Karen Rodriguez, MD
Karen Rodriguez, MD
Radiology · Lebanon, NH

Tanzania breast imaging initiative

October 18th
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Project Description

Dartmouth has a collaboration with Muhimbili National Hospital (MNH) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where we help teach image interpretation skills to their radiology residents and we provide direct clinical service for breast procedures. During our time in Tanzania we assist in teaching and performing breast biopsies as we are helping to get their breast center started.

In addition we give a series of lectures for the radiology residents. The curriculum not only includes didactic lectures but also teaching at the workstation as we go through our search patterns for image interpretation. Throughout the day we work closely with the radiology residents at MNH.

Population Served

The Tanzania patients benefit from us being there and providing access to breast procedures. Breast biopsies help to expedite breast cancer diagnosis and reduce morbidity. The radiology residents in Tanzania also benefit from the teaching by the Dartmouth and Yale residents and attendings.

We benefit as residents by having the opportunity to help educate our Tanzanian colleagues. We benefit by being involved in creating the curriculum and the lectures that we present while we are there. We also benefit by being exposed to global health and hope that the residents continue to support global health initiatives throughout their career. Tanzania has a need for expanded radiological medical services and our group helps to educate their residents.

Expected Impact

The impact is long term as we help train the current radiology residents. The learning carries forward as the current residents and attendings in Tanzania become more comfortable with breast procedures they are able to perform more independently. Improved breast cancer screening will help to reduce the burden from breast cancer.

In addition, IR physicians are going to Tanzania to train the IR fellows and we get to be a part of the teaching and learning that happens. As residents we learn about different learning styles and learning in different environments. We learn how to teach other residents who have different backgrounds. We learn how to be better educators by adapting our lectures to different learning environments. Our experiences after we return will also be shared with our peers who will continue to provide new learning materials and help to trouble shoot as the Tanzanian training programs expand.

Trip Photos & Recap

The breast initiative trip was very rewarding. We got to experience a different culture and do a lot of teaching while also learning a lot. We gave breast imaging lectures, including on BIRADS terminology. We also held multiple breast biopsy ultrasound workshops for the radiology residents. We bought chicken breast and inserted olives for residents to practice their biopsy skills using wireless ultrasounds.

The Mloganzila Campus of MUHAS in Dar held a breast camp for women who had any breast concerns. They had over 200 women show up with breast concerns. More than 20 of the women had palpable breast findings and they were scheduled for breast cancer screening. Each women would get a targeted ultrasound and a mammogram if indicated. If the lesion/mass was concerning we assisted the residents/attendings to perform a breast biopsy. I believe we made a big difference by being there. The lectures, workshops, and biopsy experience were well received and everyone was excited to participate. We are hopeful that the breast initiatives that we started to implement will continue.