Koreans share knowledge andgive practical tips on hot topics

July 1, 2009

One of the joys of overseas travel is that it always broadens the mind. But it can some times be unnerving, especially when it comes to dining out.

One of the joys of overseas travel is that it always broadens the mind. But it can some times be unnerving, especially when it comes to dining out.

My first restaurant meal in Seoul proved a particularly novel and challenging experience. I had just about learnt to cope with the various types of chopsticks used in China and Japan, but when I saw the long, ornately decorated metal chopsticks laid out in front of me, I recoiled and broke out in a cold sweat. Fortunately, my host was a very considerate person, and as soon as he noticed me struggling clumsily with the unfamiliar implements, he asked the waiter for a fork.

Thankfully, the rest of the trip went far more smoothly. During my stay in the capital city in June 1997, I was fortunate to visit the radiology departments in Seoul National University, Asan Medical Center, and Samsung Medical Center.

Having heard lectures by Korean speakers, I knew the standard of radiology in the country would be high, but there is nothing quite like seeing the evidence firsthand to convince one. The well - designed, immaculately clean examination rooms filled with ultra modern equipment, combined with the professionalism and efficiency of staff, certainly matched anything I had seen in Europe or Japan. I also was lucky to witness a lively and interactive meeting between radiologists and referring clinicians to discuss complex cases, and that served to underline my positive impression.

Since this visit, I have always endeavored to ensure that Diagnostic Imaging Asia Pacific contains regular contributions from Korean authors. Our two Seoul-based editorial advisors, Prof. Jung - gi Im and Prof. Jae Hoon Lim, have been very helpful in suggesting topics and recommending potential authors.

This issue contains two practical overview articles from Korea. The first is about lumbar spine MRI, and because over 17,000 such examinations have been performed at Dr. Hyung Seok Kim's hospital since 2004, he is well qualified to write about this subject. The second discusses the imaging of pulmonary lesions resulting from parasitic infections commonly found in the Asia Pacific region.

Finally, I would like to remind you that you can log on to DiagnosticImaging.com for global news from the latest congresses. Clicking on the Conference Reports button on the home page enables you to access our web news reporting from the 2009 Stanford International Symposium on Multidetector- Row CT. Also, check our daily news section for articles from events like the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine's annual meeting, held during June in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.

If you have any observations or comments, please send them to me by e-mail at philipward1@btconnect.com