I was extremely fortunate to have been the 2016 ASNR Outreach Visiting Professor at Ramathibodi Hospital-Mahidol University. I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand twice during this professorship staying two weeks each time. My hosts were extremely gracious and accommodating. Dr. Thanwa Sudsang who is the Chief of Neuroradiology at Ramathibodi Hospital, was my main contact person for the program. She and I discussed the aims and goals of the trips. I provided a list of various lecture topics beforehand. After consultation with the trainees, certain lecture topics were chosen and Dr. Thanwa then formulated a daily schedule. This was a very well thought out timetable that worked in ample time for me to interact and spend time with the trainees but also had free time built in for me to explore and experience the city.
Ramathibodi Hospital is a tertiary University affiliated hospital that is part of a hospital network situated along a 2-3 block of road. Several other specialty hospitals are a part of this hospital complex. The neuroradiology section consists of seven neuroradiologists. Their two year neuroradiology program has a capacity for a total of 8 neuroradiology fellows (4 in year one and 4 in year two). The hospital has approximately 60-65 radiology residents. The hospital is very well equipped with modern, high quality computers and PACS workstations. The hospital has both 1.5T and 3T MRI scanners and 2 MDCT’s. The emergency department also houses a CT scanner.
The majority of my interaction was with the fellows and those residents that were currently on their neuroradiology rotation (approximately 5-8 residents). My daily schedule would include 1-2 one hour lectures and 2-2.5hr of case presentations where I would show the trainees examination type board cases. The fellows also prepared cases that they would show to each other. This was also in an oral board examination scenario and I would be there to provide feedback and commentary. I would also participate in the weekly neurology/neuroscience and ENT clinical case conferences. All the lectures and case conferences were held in well equipped seminar rooms.
I also had the opportunity to meet with Professors Piyamitr (Dean of Medicine), Sirintara (Deputy Dean of International Relations), Somjai (Chief of Radiology/Radiation Oncology) and Jiraporn (former chief of neuroradiology). From our discussions, it is apparent that there is tremendous enthusiasm in continuing and further developing the relationship with the ASNR and increasing the hospital’s role, as well as Thailand’s role as a leader in neuroimaging in the region.
For me, this professorship was one of the most amazing and rewarding experiences of my academic career. My hosts were absolutely superb and treated me with a level of kindness, generosity and respect that was more than anything that I could have ever imagined. As much as the trainees may have learned from my lectures, I really believe that I was the one who was truly enriched by the privilege of having been able to meet them all. From my interactions with them, it was obvious that they were extremely enthusiastic, hard working and well read. Their knowledge base is certainly on par with that of our residents and fellows back in Toronto.