I was approached by a member of R.A.B. to fill her role for the Samoa 2016 trip and was given a fantastic opportunity to participate in an educational team of two radiologists, an obstetrician and a breast surgeon. I believe the combination had greater impact and benefit for local clinicians, medical students, surgeon, medical technologists, radiologist Dr Fatupaito and radiology registrar, Dr Keil, who attended the two day lecture series. There were plenty of interesting questions directed towards all members of our group. Discussions around culturally challenging settings, such as transvaginal imaging in gynaecology, and a few clinical opportunities in the department whilst there. Small group teaching sessions were found to be very popular. We also had dialogue around future trips with respect to creating workshops, maintaining a combination of clinical and radiologic expertise, and meeting local needs.
I had the additional opportunity of “working” in the radiology department later in the week, reviewing more challenging CT and ultrasound cases and undertaking “one on one” case based teaching. It was here in the department however, that I more clearly appreciated a few of the clinical limitations, such as the lack of PACS and image storage. There simply is no ultrasound image storage and therefore no comparison can be made to previous imaging on subsequent patient visits, nor correlation of imaging characteristics between modalities, such as CT and ultrasound. Lack of clerical support has the radiologists contacting and booking their own patients for barium studies, for example.
I found the experience very rewarding and worthwhile. The Samoan people are tremendous hosts, for which we are very grateful for. This event has allowed us to create an ongoing working relationship which we would like to foster and support. Although these settings are often considered philanthropic, I believe it is us who truly benefit!