Victoria Vuong, MD
Victoria Vuong, MD
Radiology · San Diego, CA

RAD-AID Guyana: Building IR/DR Services

October 7th
Georgetown, Guyana

Project Description

I am currently a fourth-year diagnostic radiology resident with an early specialization in interventional radiology at the University of California – San Diego (UCSD). Throughout my residency, I have been intimately involved in formulating a global health curriculum and building a RAD-AID chapter at UCSD. I have been involved with RAD-AID Guyana since 2022, most recently providing research support. With the goal of continuing to strengthen my relationship and UCSD’s partnership with the RAD-AID Guyana program, I look forward to traveling to Guyana in October 2023 for a two-week trip focused on interventional and diagnostic radiology services.

During my trip, I will focus on building awareness of the services offered by the newly formed interventional radiology division and help with any administrative or organizational tasks needed to ensure the success of this new division. I will help provide technical support to any scheduled procedures. I will also plan to work with the onsite attending to provide lectures and/or teaching sessions revolved around getting to know the devices and equipment used in interventional radiology.

I will also be providing lectures and case reviews for the diagnostic radiology residents at Georgetown Public Hospital, to include interventional radiology, but also to include specialized topics such as neuroradiology, pediatric radiology, etc. As part of the diagnostic radiology program, there is a mandatory research component, and therefore, I will also provide lectures on conducting research.

Population Served

Guyana is a country of approximately 800,000 people and had no home-grown diagnostic radiology providers or interventional radiology services prior to 2017 and 2023, respectively. Directly, I hope that this project will serve to provide education, case discussion, and departmental support to the radiology residents and attendings, so that they may ultimately help provide needed diagnostic and interventional radiology services to the Guyanese people. For the residents, virtual education cannot compare to in-person teaching, which allows for fervent discussion on cases, immediate feedback, and procedural teaching. In addition, I hope that this project serves the other hospital departments and brings awareness to which services interventional radiology can provide and ultimately helps integrate interventional radiology into the hospital workflow. I also hope that an on-site presence can help to delineate issues that may arise in building a new division and that these can be addressed early on. Overall, this is an exciting time for both the radiology residency program and interventional radiology division and I’m excited to help these programs grow.

Expected Impact

The University of Guyana Masters of Science in Diagnostic Radiology program in collaboration with RAD-AID Guyana was founded in 2017 and not only brought on-site diagnostic radiology to Guyana, but also established a way to train physicians in diagnostic radiology to continue to provide these services to Guyana for years to come. In 2021, the program graduated its first class of diagnostic radiologists, with one graduate pursuing advanced training in interventional radiology. Because of this, the first interventional radiology services will be offered to the Guyanese population at Georgetown Public Hospital in 2023.

Through my visit to Guyana, I hope to strengthen the relationship between UCSD, the radiology residency program and department, and RAD-AID Guyana. I want to expand the opportunities for our institution’s residents and attendings to become involved in this collaboration both virtually and in-person, providing didactic lectures, remote readouts, and case reviews in all subspecialties as well as research support and in-person procedural training in interventional radiology. Additionally, as a co-founder of the Global Health Track at UCSD, it is important to provide opportunities and resources for our residents to contribute to our community abroad. Given that I also want to continue this long-term partnership between myself/UCSD and RAD-AID Guyana, it is even more important to be able to meet my colleagues and form an open pathway for communication and consultation. Hopefully, this will allow opportunities for the Guyanese residents and attendings to visit the US and learn more about common disease processes in the US, given the vast differences in our populations. Overall, I hope this experience forges a long-term relationship that will extend well beyond my residency.

Trip Photos & Recap

With the support of the Doximity Foundation Grant and RAD-AID Guyana, I was able to travel to Georgetown, Guyana and spend two weeks working with both the diagnostic radiology residency program and the interventional radiology faculty at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). I was able to help bring donated supplies over to the program and it was great to be able to see the blossoming interventional radiology services, including CT-guided and angiographic procedures. During my time at GPHC, I was also able to help set up a Mentice angiographic simulator, with the intention to not only help train radiology residents in angiographic procedures, but potentially to help train residents in the interventional cardiology department or to help train and develop an interventional stroke service that is currently being developed. These burgeoning relationships between interventional radiology and the other medical and surgical specialties that I was able to witness are sure to help a multitude of future patients.

Furthermore, my favorite part of the trip was that I was able to share my knowledge with my resident peers over my two weeks at GPHC, working with them on reports during pre-readout sessions and lecturing on requested topics, including board review topics and case reviews. The thirst for knowledge was palpable and there was so much enthusiasm and engagement from the residents. During my time, I was also able to help the senior residents with their required research topics for graduation.

This was my first time visiting GPHC in conjunction with RAD-AID Guyana and RAD-AID Guyana IR. I hope that this is just the beginning of a personal long-lasting relationship with the residents and faculty that I was able to meet, teach, and learn from. With the ability to meet the residents and faculty in person, I can now put names to faces as I continue to work with the diagnostic and interventional radiology departments to provide virtual lectures and help with research topics. Furthermore, I hope my visit was just another step to strengthen the partnership between the residents and faculty of the University of Guyana and UCSD so that we may continue to learn from one another for years to come.