The Third Asian Radiology Summit
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The Third Asian Radiology Summit was successfully held on April 13, 2018, in Yokohama, Japan. Delegates were the Presidents of participating Asian radiological societies. To have a deeper understanding of the current status of the participating societies, with emphasis on how they operate, as well as their goals for the future, the delegates exchanged presentations about their roles as presidents of their society. Scope and limitations of their roles, the challenges they face, and how they address them were discussed and these opened collaboration opportunities between societies.
The participating societies included Bangladesh Society of Radiology and Imaging (BSRI), Chinese Taipei Society of Radiology (CTSR), Korean Society of Radiology (KSR), Philippine College of Radiology (PCR), Radiological Society of Thailand (RST), Singapore Radiological Society (SRS), Sri Lanka College of Radiologists (SCR), and Japan Radiological Society (JRS). Figure 1 is a photo of the delegates to the 3rd Asian Radiology Summit.
Professor Hiroshi Honda, President of Japan Radiological Society, graced the event chaired by Prof. Noriyuki Tomiyama and Prof. Kei Yamada.
The roles of the President of the Chinese Taipei Society of Radiology
The Chinese Taipei Society of Radiology (CTSR) devotes itself as the center of communication for all issues in radiology-related areas. It has been active in furthering research, education, and clinical practice in radiology for 67 years.
The executive committee of the Chinese Taipei Society of Radiology is comprised of 21 Board Members and seven Supervisors as shown in Fig. 2. The President works closely with the Secretary-General and Secretariat of the society and different committees for different functions deal with internal, external and international affairs.
The President and the board members serve a 3-year term. Call for nominations of new board members and supervisors is sent out 1 month before the voting which is held every 3 years during the CTSR General Assembly. New board members hold a Board Meeting within 1 month after the General Assembly where the election of the President takes place. They must nominate and elect from among themselves. The 3-year term begins as soon as the results are announced.
As the society plays a huge role in the administration of Board Certification and professional specialty, as well as in the reimbursement of national insurance, radiological education, and international collaborations, different committees were formed for different functions. The chairmen of the committees are appointed by the President and the committee members are selected by the appointed chairmen.
A few major projects of the CTSR are their Annual Meeting, Breast Cancer Screening Plan, Quality Improvement Plan for CT and MRI Cancer Imaging Report, and their official publication, the Journal of Radiological Science.
In dealing with all these projects and other internal and external affairs, the President works with several committees.
The roles of the President of the Korean Society of Radiology
Established to promote advances in radiology and related sciences, as well as medical services through collaboration among its members, the Korean Society of Radiology (KSR) has grown to have more than 4000 members as of 2017. The society safeguards its members' rights and interests to ensure a medical environment suitable for high-quality clinical practices.
Current interests of the society are focused on the Moon Jae-in Care, a health policy by Korean President Moon to strengthen the coverage of health insurance including MRIs and ultrasounds and to reduce health care costs. The society aims to adopt a patient-centered radiology and be a leader in scientific innovations such as the artificial intelligence in the future.
The roles of the President of the Philippine College of Radiology
The Philippine College of Radiology has over 2000 members and the President and the Board of Trustees are elected by all members during the Annual Convention. The executive committee of the Philippine College of Radiology is composed of the President and ten other members of the Board of Trustees (two Vice-presidents, one Secretary, one Treasurer, one Auditor, one Publicity Relations Officer (PRO) and Board of Trustees) (Fig. 4).
The President sets the agenda for a board meeting. The current agenda is the formation of sub-specialty organizations. This is to address and meet clinical demands for imaging specialists.
Another role of the President is the appointment of committee chairmen. The PCR has eight committees and the President can create more if a need arises. The standing committees are Membership, Accreditation, Annual Convention, Residency Training, Research, Ethics, Publication, and Election. The President is also a member of each committee as the advisor.
To push his agenda, the President speaks at workshops, seminars, and ceremonial activities. He also links up with other medical organizations in the country, enlisting the help of various leaders to carry out his agenda.
As the External Liaison Officer, the President represents the whole society abroad, meets up with global leaders in radiology to promote PCR and seek collaboration opportunities with other societies.
The PCR aims to achieve advances in teleradiology, MRI, IR, and therapeutic radiology, hybrid imaging, and AI.
The roles of the President of the College of Radiology, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia
The College of Radiology (COR), is currently the sole body representing all radiologists in Malaysia. It was founded on the 23rd August 2001 when the Malaysian Radiological Society dissolved and en bloc, joined the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia, as the College of Radiology (COR) under the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia.
Membership consists of clinical radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and clinical oncologists. There are also provisions for associate memberships from related professions.
Figure 5 shows the executive members of the COR including the President, Immediate Past President, three Vice-presidents (Radiodiagnosis, Nuclear, and Oncology), Secretary, Treasurer, and Council Members.
The President is responsible for facilitating continuing education for radiology, biomedical imaging, clinical oncology, nuclear medicine, and allied health professions. The annual Malaysian Congress of Radiology, along with many other seminars and symposiums, is one great venue for continuing education.
Forging closer relationships with other colleges and professional bodies is also a big role of the President. He is active in strengthening collaborations with local societies such as the Malaysian Society of Interventional Radiology (MYSIR) and other colleges in the Academy of Medicine. Internationally, collaborations with the ASEAN Association of Radiology (AAR), Asian-Oceanian Society of Radiology (AOSR), and Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) are also prevailing.
The President also plays a role in advising and assisting relevant regulatory authorities such as the Standard and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) which is responsible for standards, quality, and promotion of technical excellence, in producing standards and quality documents for medical imaging devices. He is also responsible for establishing standards and practice guidelines and dealing with ethical issues. He also works with private companies for educational grants, corporate sponsorships, and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs.
The role of the President holds no regulatory authority. Any consensus or agreements regarding any issues need to be forwarded to a regulatory body for implementation. Other challenges include finances, manpower, and membership. Not all radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and oncologists are members of the COR. Membership is voluntary so, attracting more members would mean providing more membership benefits and networking opportunities.
The COR aims to develop subspecialties and local radiology training programs that are recognized worldwide. Teleradiology is another advancement the society aims to develop and cater for the international market in the future.
The roles of the President of the Singapore Radiological Society
Founded in 1977, the Singapore Radiological Society is a non-profit society of radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and radiation oncologists with subsections in Breast, Interventional Radiology, Musculoskeletal, Radiation Oncology, Abdominal, Cardiovascular, Neuroradiology, Interventional Radiology, and Artificial Intelligence. It was established to foster relationships between members through social and academic activities and promote links and friendships with fellow societies locally and overseas. The society has 459 members to this date. The current structure of the society is shown in Fig. 6.
The main role of the President is to provide strategic direction for the society. This involves membership engagement through various social events, the society’s transition towards a corporate structure, and succession planning. The presidency is a pro-bono appointment for a term of 2–4 years and the entire executive committee is on a voluntary basis. These are two of the limitations of the presidency in addition to tradition-imposed limits.
The society as a whole is now facing some challenges as it transitions towards a corporate structure. Formation of a Board of Directors and a Board of Trustees to oversee the society and the trust fund of the society, respectively, is underway. A 4-year term for each elected director has been proposed.
Singapore is a small country with a small population. This limits the society in organizing conferences and inviting good speakers. To address this challenge, the society is developing a region-focused scientific meeting and trade show. For the last 5 years, the society partnered with a professional conference organizer for knowledge transfer and it is now confident to have its own in-house organizing committee to oversee the scientific meetings and trade shows.
Moving forward, the society is determined to keep up with the compelling changes in radiology, including artificial intelligence. To encourage radiologists to evolve with the advances in radiology, the society aims to produce diagnostic imaging clinicians and not technicians. Combining clinical and business practices is also being fostered. The society also aims to shift its leadership and management from an ideological framework to a smart and practical one.
The roles of the President of the Sri Lanka College of Radiologists
The Sri Lanka College of Radiologists has about 300 members. It was established in 1980 and started training radiologists locally. The executive council consists of the President, Vice-president, Hon. Secretary, two Assistant Secretaries (Academic and Social), Hon. Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, and ten Council Members.
The President presides council meetings, oversees membership and financial matters, and is also responsible for the maintenance of premises. He conducts workshops and academic programs, coordinates with the government health ministry and acts as the liaison officer to sister societies locally and internationally. The society’s academic theme for their 17th Annual Academic Sessions is Emergency Radiology.
The President and the College play an essential role in assisting statutory bodies to make policies on manpower management as well as policies on procuring equipment. Accreditation standards and practice guidelines are also formed by the President in cooperation with Allied Health Fields, Radiographers, and Physicists.
As membership is voluntary, the society faces challenges in manpower and member engagement. The President and Council Members have to divide their time between routine clinical work and organizational responsibilities. Participation in academic programs bears no continuing professinal development (CPD) merit making it difficult to attract participants.
The society also faces a lack of resources as no annual membership fees are required but only a small entry fee. Workshops sometimes generate income and vendors support academic activities occasionally. The society receives no support from the government.
Despite these challenges, the society keeps moving forward with goals to have CPD programs and accreditation for institutes and professionals. The society also plans to carry out subspecialty training programs for members and national QC, radiation safety, and standard protocols and reporting training programs. It also aims for a countrywide hospital networking using picture archiving and communication system (PACS).
The roles of the President of the Indian Radiological and Imaging Association
The Indian Radiological and Imaging Association (IRIA) was established in 1931 and to date, has 15,300 members.
The President plays the role of a chairman of all meetings of the General Body, the Central Council, and all other committees. He presides at the Annual Conference of the IRIA and all meetings of the association. He guides and controls the activities of the association.
Regulating the activities and interpreting the rules and by-laws of the society are other roles of the President. He travels around the country in the interests of the association whenever required. He is the official invitee of the government of India to all the committees and meetings related to radiology and imaging in India. He also represents the IRIA in various international meetings for intersociety collaboration.
Like any society, the IRIA has challenges to overcome. Conflicts with other specialists on who should perform interventional radiology and who should set new rules and regulations on machine operation arise (i.e., neurologists wanting to do neuro-intervention radiology). The cost of purchasing new machines is another issue the IRIA has to deal with.
To address these challenges, the IRIA interacts with state branches and individual members about their professional issues. Workshops and certification programs are provided to members to update their knowledge.
Technology in radiology and imaging sciences is rapidly advancing including the dynamic development of artificial intelligence. The IRIA is enthusiastic about these advancements but as a country with a population of about 1.3 B, the need for more hospitals with radiology and imaging facilities and cost-effective imaging and treatments is more urgent. India has only roughly 20,000 radiologists, so more radiologists are needed.
To keep up with the advances in technology, the IRIA provides opportunities for country-specific researches, international collaborations, and exchange programs.
The roles of the President of the Bangladesh Society of Radiology and Imaging
The Bangladesh Society of Radiology and Imaging (BSRI) is the only nationally registered professional body of radiologists in the country. It has 310 general members, 349 life members, and 29 executive members.
The roles of the President can be divided into three categories—administrative, professional, and academic. The President presides the executive meetings, the annual general meetings, and bi-annual general meetings. His professional roles include the formation and post-creation of subspecialties and upgradation in the government sector. Continuing Medical Education (CME) and workshops are academic activities the President regulates. There are also annual and bi-annual scientific seminars and special meetings to provide continuing education to members. Bangladesh Journal of Radiology and Imaging is published twice a year.
The biggest challenge the BSRI has to face is the ratio of patients to radiologists. Bangladesh has a population of 163 M and there are only about 700 radiologists in the country. BSRI aims to produce more and more radiologists in the future. Bringing radiologists from remote areas over to CME programs and workshops has been another challenge. Despite this, the BSRI continues to increase opportunities for research, academic activities, and international training programs for radiologists and residents. BSRI also aims to establish subspecialties in the future.
The roles of the President of the Radiological Society of Thailand
The Radiological Society of Thailand (RST) was established in 1962. It aims to support the advancement of radiological sciences, uphold unity among members and protect their rightful benefits, and advocate radiology-related research. The RST also makes recommendations to the general public and organizations on radiology-related matters and disseminate and publicize radiology-related knowledge and information.
Currently, the RST has approximately 1500 members who are radiologists, technologists, nurses, medical physicists, radiology-related scientists, and information technologists.
The organizational structure of the RST is as shown in Fig. 7. The Executive Committee is composed of 11 members which include the President. The President and other executive members are elected by regular members and the elections take place every 3 years.
The President is regarded as the principal individual who is responsible for administrating all businesses of the Society. He/She is entitled to enact any other regulations relating to duties and objectives of the society as long as they are not contradictory to the current objectives and regulations. He/She appoints consultants and sub-committees and has the power to appoint, assign, and discharge and officer of the society.
The challenges the President has to resolve include not only issues of the society but also, issues that are personal. The President attends to and plays a big role in many different meetings which can cause difficulties in time management. Travel expenses for attending international meetings and events are not provided by the society but are borne by the President or the representative and this can pose some personal and financial issues. Literacy in using social media can also be an issue the President has to resolve. As the leader, it has also become a necessity to be adept at using social media to reach out to the younger generation.
Issues of the society include difficulties in engaging members and selecting young future leader candidates to the Asian Oceanian School of Radiology Youth Club (AOSORYC). Many organizations offer good opportunities for collaboration and it can be a challenge to select the ones with the more impact. In carrying out the President’s regional and international roles, English literacy can be an issue as well as the limited financial support by the society.
To keep up with the advances in radiology, the RST aims to have more collaborations with multidisciplinary teams and organizations to work on radiation safety and integrated diagnosis combining digital imaging, digital pathology, and genomics. It also aims to create more opportunities for academic and leadership collaborations. To strengthen relationships among members and with other societies, the RST is also enthusiastic in becoming more active in social functions.
The roles of the President of the Japan Radiological Society
The Japan Radiological Society (JRS) has 9000 members, 16 executive board members, 2 auditor-secretaries, and 250 elected representatives.
With the help of the executive committees, the President plays a key role in establishing a good educational system, encouraging research minds, making society meetings more attractive and engaging, and keeping a healthy budget for the society. Other roles include education on safety management, administration of high-quality board examination and promotion of international exchange programs.
In Japan, medical equipment and radiologists are unevenly distributed, and the regional gaps in radiological practice are evident. This is one of the challenges the JRS is facing. In addition, there is a big number of CT/MRI but the number of radiologists is small. This results in an increased workload of radiologists. Artificial intelligence (AI) diagnosis system led by radiologists is expected to lighten the heavy workload of radiologists in the future. Another issue Japan is currently dealing with is radiation exposure. Medical radiation exposure from CT is much higher in Japan than the worldwide average.
To address these issues, the JRS, with the support of the Japanese government, started the Japan Safe Radiology Project. The goal is to implement structural reform to optimize the distribution of medical resources and to improve safety, efficiency, standardization, and optimization of medical imaging in Japan. More specifically, it aims to achieve an appropriate distribution of equipment and radiologists, appropriate use of medical imaging (p), appropriate management of radiation dose (Dose Index Registry), standardization of images (Japan-Quantitative Imaging Biomarker Alliance or J-QIBA), standardization of image interpretations and reports, and utilization of AI in diagnosis. AI may actually prove useful not only in diagnosis but also in realizing the goals of this project. The Japan Safe Radiology Project requires Japan Medical Image Database (J-MID), a nationwide medical image database, to share, analyze, and utilize the collected big data. When successful, it can be extended all over Asia and ultimately, become the foundation of a bigger project - the Asian Safe Radiology Project.
The dynamic advances in the development of AI are unstoppable and radiologists must welcome its utilization in diagnosis. Subsequently, radiologists can shift their focus from reading digitized images to solving clinical problems. Changes in the education system and resident training programs might be made in consideration of AI diagnosis.
This paper was written based on the presentations at the Asian Radiology Summit 2018 held during the JRC 2018 by the following representatives of the participating societies (in order of presentation): Yeun-Chung Chang, MD (Chinese Taipei Society of Radiology), Joo Hyeong Oh, MD (Korean Society of Radiology), Jerome A. Gaerlan, MD (Philippine College of Radiology), Amir Fuad Hussain, MD (College of Radiology, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia), Andrew Tan, MD (Singapore Radiological Society), Aruna S. Pallewatte, MD (Sri Lanka College of Radiologists), Khalilur Rahman, MD (Bangladesh Society of Radiology and Imaging), Mohanan Kunnummal, MD, PhD (Indian Radiological and Imaging Association), Chamaree Chuapetcharasopon, MD (Radiological Society of Thailand), and Hiroshi Honda, MD, PhD (Japan Radiological Society). We thank Miss Liza Mia Christine F. Maquiraya for editing this manuscript.