Head to Seoul in late October for a congress to remember

August 26, 2008

The attention of the medical imaging community looks set to turn to Seoul later in October, when the 12th Asian Oceanian Congress of Radiology will be held. This is the first time the congress has been staged in Korea since its debut event in 1971, and, given the high quality of radiological practice within the country and its strong educational links with the U.S., the conference is bound to attract plenty of interest. The number and expertise of the invited speakers from North America are certainly impressive.

 

The attention of the medical imaging community looks set to turn to Seoul later in October, when the 12th Asian Oceanian Congress of Radiology will be held. This is the first time the congress has been staged in Korea since its debut event in 1971, and, given the high quality of radiological practice within the country and its strong educational links with the U.S., the conference is bound to attract plenty of interest. The number and expertise of the invited speakers from North America are certainly impressive.

My own memories of AOCR are very positive. The 1995 congress in Kuala Lumpur was my first Asia Pacific meeting, and it was a real eye-opener and a wonderful introduction to the continent. The atmosphere was more relaxed and less formal than large U.S. and European conferences, typified by the relatively casual dress code and the slightly less strict adherence to schedules and time-keeping. But the overall approach to learning was still professional and rigorous, and the attendees appeared to make the most of the opportunity.

We had launched Diagnostic Imaging Asia Pacific the previous year, so it was a bonus for us to meet with readers, authors, editorial advisors, and advertisers within their own region. Their great enthusiasm and desire to share their experiences were striking. Congress president Dr. K. Kulaveerasingam granted me a lengthy interview about the goals and highlights of the meeting; members of the press are very rarely given such access to the top people during international meetings.

I also felt privileged to attend AOCR 1998 in Kobe, Japan, and AOCR 2001 in Singapore. Again, both were well-organized conferences. In addition, we provided news coverage from AOCR 2004 in Singapore and AOCR 2006 in Hong Kong, and we were not short of good material.

The 12th AOCR (www.aocr2008.org) will focus on the future of radiology and feature more than 200 world-renowned international speakers. It is being hosted jointly by the Korean Radiological Society and Asian Oceanian Society of Radiology. The president of the congress, Prof. Byung Ihn Choi, is a highly respected gastrointestinal radiologist who was president of the 11th Congress of the World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. He also has the rare-if not unique-distinction of appearing twice on the cover of DI's Asia Pacific edition: first in December 2001, when he was shown singing karaoke at AOCR 2001, and second in August/September 2006, when he was president of the WFUMB congress.

One of the highlights of the scientific program is likely to be the debate, "Surveillance of HCC: how and when?," on the afternoon of 26 October. As the lead news story in this issue shows, Korean radiologists have extensive experience of liver tumor ablation, so this should be a state-of-the-art session. Other debates on optimization of contrast-enhanced liver CT and on cardiac CT and MRI will also be popular.

The travel costs of attending AOCR are likely to be prohibitive for some delegates, but at least the organizers have fixed a fairly low onsite registration fee for physicians at US$425.