I will be rotating at the Muhimbili National Hospital (tertiary public hospital) and the Aga Khan Hospital (private hospital) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. At these hospitals, I will serve as a radiologist and consultant to both their in-house radiologists and ordering providers by adding my perspective from the United States. There are several differences between how radiology is utilized in the United States and Tanzania. As CT and MRI are uncommon in Tanzania, there is a greater dependence on ultrasound and plain films. This will allow me to share CT and MRI findings that I may be more familiar with. Likewise, I will learn ultrasound findings of diseases that would be typically diagnosed with CT or MRI in the United States. Additionally, in the United States, there are well-established guidelines for imaging indications published by the ACR Appropriateness Criteria, which I hope to introduce. Finally, I will prepare several presentations and cases to do more formal didactic teaching on topics including trauma, stroke, and chronic liver disease.
As above, I will be rotating at the Muhimbili National Hospital and the Aga Khan Hospital. The target population includes 1) practicing radiologists at those 2 hospitals, 2) ordering providers (specifically, emergency medicine, internal medicine, and surgery) and finally 3) other rotating physicians from the United States. It is reported that Tanzania has a total of 60 radiologists in the entire country of approximately 55 million people- this averages to 1 radiologist per 1 million people. This medical mission was recommended by one of the radiology attendings at my hospital (Stanford) who routinely travels to Tanzania for medical work; she attests that there is limited access to quality radiology particularly due to the limited number of radiologists and poor access to imaging. Thus, I believe I can make meaningful differences short term by serving as a radiologist and long term by sharing my knowledge gained from training in the United States.
In the short term, I hope to serve as another radiologist by interpreting examinations, serving as a consultant to ordering providers (e.g. reviewing prior imaging, directing them to the most appropriate imaging modality), and scanning patients at bedside with a portable ultrasound machine. Long term, I hope that I will share my radiology knowledge both informally through day-to-day conversations and more formally through didactics. I will also gain additional skills by familiarizing myself with imaging manifestations of diseases more prevalent in developing nations (e.g. parasitic infections) and medical management in a low-resource setting.
I spent 2 weeks at Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH), a 1600-bed hospital that serves as the largest tertiary referral center in Tanzania. The majority of my time was devoted to teaching their junior radiology residents in addition to formal readout of diagnostic radiology examinations. Teaching their residents was one of the most rewarding experiences for me. Their enthusiasm for radiology and eagerness to learn was inspiring; despite being on a scheduled holiday or night float, the majority of the residents still came to our training sessions. Although their radiology residency program is relatively new, I am very optimistic and excited to see how the program grows with their outstanding residents.
I would like to thank my mentors at Stanford as well as Doximity for their generous support and funding!