Uniting and Elevating the Radiology Profession

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An interview with the President-elect of the Inter-American College of Radiology.

Everything Rad: Please explain the mission of the CIR.

Dra. Gonzalez Ulloa: The Inter-American College of Radiology (Colegio Interamericano de Radiología) (CIR) is an Ibero-American Scientific Medical Association founded in 1943. It is made up of 25 countries represented by a national association. In these 25 countries, there are around 60,000 registered radiologists. The official languages are Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Image of two radiologists evaluating a medical scan.
The CIR’s mission includes elevating the technical, scientific, and human quality of the radiological practice.

Dra. Gonzalez Ulloa: The CIR’s mission is mainly:

  • To unite the National Radiology Groups and the medical specialists that comprise them.
  • To elevate the technical, scientific and human quality of the radiological practice for the benefit of the patients.
  • To watch over the professional development of radiologists in the scientific, ethical and social fields.

ER: What challenges are radiologists currently facing?

Dra. Gonzalez Ulloa:

  • Usurpation by other specialties
  • Artificial intelligence       
  • Emerging technologies within our specialty
  • Software and equipment with frequent updates; and
  • Unequal budget for the acquisition of new technologies

ER:  Are there challenges that are specific to Latin America compared to other parts of the world?

Dra. Gonzalez Ulloa: Our challenges are inequality of technology and education in the different countries that make up the CIR. To help with this, countries that are part of the CIR that have more resources support the less-developed countries. They do this by training radiologists through scholarships and visiting professors, among other initiatives.

ER: Radiological tools change frequently. How does this affect education and training?

Dra. Gonzalez Ulloa: We live with the constant challenge of staying current with new technology. It is difficult for all countries to access the technological updates at the same pace; however, there are some international standards that can help reduce these differences.

ER: How does the CIR help radiologists keep up with changing technology?

Dra. Gonzalez Ulloa: We support them through on-site and virtual continuous medical education. These include the CIR Update Course, CIR Conference, Visiting Professor Program, CIR Visit, CIR-RSNA Session in Spanish, practical workshops, virtual radiology platform, and publications. We are having our next congress in conjunction with the Mexican Federation of Radiology from December 9th to 12th in Mérida Yucatán. The congress will be a hybrid event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CIR also provides advanced fellowships for young radiologists, and certification and recertification. Also, we have centers of excellence for continuing medical training, which are available through ELAR Scholarships for young radiologist members of all CIR member countries.

ER: CIR’s mission includes raising the “human quality” of professional practice. What does that mean, and why is it necessary to address this in particular?

Dra. Gonzalez Ulloa: It is important to emphasize the significance of the doctor-patient relationship, as well as the interpersonal relationship between general practitioners and specialists who refer patients to imaging departments. The idea is to eliminate the “invisible radiologist” and make relationships warmer.

The phrase radiology with more “human quality” also refers to radiological protection aimed at the patient. This includes global programs like LatinSafe, EuroSafe, Image Wisely, Image Gently and others.

ER:  Is there any other topic that you would like to address?

Dra. Gonzalez Ulloa: I would like to remind readers that October is “Breast Cancer Detection Month.” It is important to mention that – like all radiology studies – mammography and breast ultrasounds must be performed by Radiology and Imaging specialists.

An annual mammography performed with quality and reviewed by radiologists has proven to save lives. The smaller the tumor, the less aggressive the treatment and the better the quality of life and survival rate for women.

I invite all women over the age of 40 to get their mammograms and encourage their friends to have their annual studies, too. I urge male readers to share screening campaigns with their female relatives, friends, co-workers and their social environment.

Photo of Dra. Gonzalez Ulloa.

Dr. Beatriz González Ulloa is President-elect of the Inter-American College of Radiology (CIR); Vice President of the Ibero-American Society for Breast Imaging (SIBIM); the Founding Partner of the Ibero-American Society for Breast Imaging; former president of the Mexican Federation of Radiology and Image (FMRI); former president of the Mexican Council of Radiology and Imaging (CMRI); former president of the Jalisco College of Radiology and Imaging (CRIJ); and is a Professor at the FMRI and CIR.

Read the related blog on Radiologists are Most Qualified to Evaluate Breast Health

#breastcancerawareness #CIR #pinktober


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