Spreading the Word about Global Radiology by Starting a Dedicated Journal
Helping others abroad is a large and immensely important part of global radiology. I would like to take a moment to highlight a few other parts that I have had the opportunity to watch blossom. These too add to the infrastructure of this essential movement.
A few of my colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care have strived to increase the awareness of global radiology with the creation of the Journal of Global Radiology and the Division of Global Radiology. The founder of the Journal and the Division is one of our abdominal radiologists, Sarwat Hussain, MD, FACR, with the support of our chairman Max P. Rosen, MD, MPH, FACR, as well as other caring colleagues in and outside of the radiology community.
Here is a small bite of my time with Dr. Hussain asking him about the Journal of Global Radiology. In a later blogpost, I will update readers what is happening inside the Division of Global Radiology.
What prompted you to start the Journal of Global Radiology?
I have been going to Pakistan for the past 25 years contributing to local radiology education. More recently, I have been doing voluntary work in Iraq, Tanzania, and Liberia. I realized there were other entities who are trying to do the same — ultrasound training, voluntary work, etc. — for a long time. And I did not know about it, which meant many people are doing this kind of work and not connecting with others who are working on similar efforts. I saw the opportunity for a place where people can report and catalog their experiences so that others can get a) encouraged to do the same, b) learn from each other’s experiences and mistakes, and c) go to the area of their interest, for example, their own town or village in the developing world.
What is the mission of the Journal?
The World Health Organization (WHO) is often quoted as reporting that two-thirds of the world’s population has no access to medical imaging. I think that speaks to the mission and vision to educate not only the western population, but empowering the developing world’s radiology community as well as the non-radiology community who are made up of decision-makers that assign resources to various aspects of health care.
What has the Journal of Global Radiology been up to?
So far, we have published eighteen articles in two years. There has been about more than 4000 downloads from the website. The Journal has been working to spread awareness of how the other part of the world lives, how they conduct medical imaging within the constraints of their resources, and what can be done to improve the situation.
At the same time, we’ve been in contact with the equipment manufacturers who are trying to develop cost-effective equipment for low-income countries. We are hoping to inform and educate the [people in the radiology community of the developing world] about these cost-saving opportunities.
To support aspiring scientists in underserved countries, Dr. Hussain and the editorial board have put together what they call ‘Scholarly Twinning.’ It’s a program where the authors submit their article and, if needed, someone with experience in journal writing and in the subject of the article helps adjust the article for publication in conjunction with the authors.
In summary, in its short two years, the Journal of Global Radiology is striving to become a place to learn about and inspire others to make positive changes in medical imaging access around the world. It is made up of group of caring individuals reaching out to the curious and underserved. To learn more about the Journal of Global Radiology and to access and download its free articles, please go to: http://escholarship.umassmed.edu/jgr/.
By Staci M. Gagne, MD