International Young Academics Learn Vital Skills Through RSNA IRIYA Program

By Felicia Dechter

Preparing manuscripts, teaching, writing and publishing a scientific article and submitting a grant application are just a few of the many skills participants from around the globe routinely learn in RSNA's Introduction to Research for International Young Academics (IRIYA) program.

Amy Sevao, M.D., Mickael Ohana, M.D., Chong Hyun Suh,M.D.

This year, some of the young academics who attended a special four-day seminar at RSNA 2014 offered their impressions of the IRIYA program that teaches those vital skills and encourages young radiologists from countries outside of the U.S. to pursue careers in academic radiology.

"This is a really good, highly-organized program," said Chong Hyun Suh, M.D., a fourth-year resident at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. "It's a good opportunity to learn basic research. I learned a lot from not only the speakers but also the other participants.

"IRIYA provides a good stimulus to young researchers," Dr. Suh continued. "I would highly recommend it to our colleagues in Korea."

Eligible candidates are residents and fellows currently in radiology training programs, or radiologists not more than two years out of training, who are beginning or considering an academic career. Candidates are nominated by their department chair or training director, who may only nominate one candidate per year.

The RSNA Committee on Radiology Education recommends 15 international young academics for consideration by the RSNA Board of Directors each year. Successful candidates are provided with complimentary registration, shared hotel accommodation for the duration of the program, and a stipend to help defray travel expenses.

IRIYA, which began in 2000, serves for some as a touchstone for the specialty.

Amy Sevao, M.D., a radiology trainee at Auckland City Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, said the country is fairly isolated and that IRIYA is "very good, very useful," to get a feeling for "what's happening" in radiology.

Dr. Sevao, who plans to be an academic radiologist focusing on translational research, says she is the only person in Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) who is earning a Ph.D. in medical imaging.

"This program is really great," Dr. Sevao said. "I'm going to start using what I was taught yesterday straight away."

The program is "excellent," said Mickaël Ohana, M.D., a radiologist at the Nouvel Hospital Civil in Strasbourg University Hospital, France, who plans to enter hospital-based practice, clinical and academic research and teaching. "The speakers are really excellent and it helps to plan for the future," Dr. Ohana said.

In addition, participants said they were offered some pearls of wisdom that will take them a long way.

"We were taught it's better to choose this profession for joy, and that was really insightful," said Dr. Ohana, adding, "I'd like to thank RSNA for the opportunity."

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