To: ASNR International Collaborations Committee
Date: February 1, 2016
Re: My trip to Ahmedabad January 16-31, 2016
The trip to Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, India was outstanding. My host Hemant Patel was very gracious, friendly, and accommodating. He tried to create programs that addressed all aspects of neuroradiology over the two week period and scheduled them at the beginning and end of the days so as not to interfere greatly with workflow. Thus, I gave 3 brain imaging seminars, 2 head and neck seminars, one orbit seminar, one spine seminar, one business of radiology seminar, and even one seminar on triathlon preparation. In half the seminars, the audience was equally split among radiologists and clinicians (one each for spine, head and neck, orbit, and business) while in 3 seminars it was predominantly radiology trainees. I gave talks in 6 different venues, often in private hospitals that were run by the clinicians as well as at hotel conference rooms.
I thought it was an excellent mixture of educational and social programming as we exchanged lots of cultural events. For example, I had the honor of “hoisting the flag” for India’s Republic Day at a children’s school. I was taken to Gandhi’s ashram to learn about leadership. We attended two Indian weddings (apparently they are weeklong celebrations and everyone is invited).
I had 3 day weekends off so that I could see additional parts of the country on my own. Most days I shared the stage with other local speakers to give my voice a break, usually providing 3 lectures, an unknown case quiz, and then having the local people show me cases. For the unknowns, I used www.nearpod.com and got everyone in the audience involved in polling and fill in the blanks.
The only negatives were the sometimes spotty wifi signal that prevent good internet interactions. Most of the cases I saw were variants on tuberculosis.
A final word on Dr. Hemant Patel: He was a great, gracious, friendly, conscientious, thoughtful host. He personally spent a lot of time with my wife and me and clearly had a detailed plan for the time together. He should be considered the ideal collaborator.
In all, an outstanding experience.