Kerala Radiology Education Society for Training was established to impart training for Post Graduates and Practising Radiologists , as also to promote Radiology Research. Prof MR Balachandran Nair , Dr Rijo Mathew , Dr Ramesh Shenoy and Dr Amel Antony had this shared vision for the progress of Radiology and a positive group synergy to get things done. Later on Dr Praveen Nirmalan joined the group bringing in his expertise in the field of Research and mentoring. Though the primary target is Radiology Post Graduates and Practitioners , spreading awareness on Basics of Radiology in relation to specialties is also given due importance.
KREST is based out of Kochi and started off with training for Radiology Residents which included case discussions , spotters and mock exams . The programme stood out for its sheer content, and high academic standards backed by accomplished faculty of which most were examiners. Over the years Resident training programme has evolved , with innovations like individual monitors and LED walls leading to projection of high resolution images and better learning experience . As a comprehensive programme for training PGs there are sessions on Radiology Physics , Contrast media and practical aspects of Interventional Radiology .Another key feature is the session on how to face the examiners and winning the mind game
It’s a fact that Radiology Physics is not allotted the required teaching hours in our Institutions and there is also a dearth of established teachers. Radiology being at the interface of Technology and Medicine , Residents are expected to have a working knowledge of the modalities they handle. This would naturally lead to better understanding and precise diagnosis , in addition to deciding on appropriateness of a particular modality. With these aims in mind , KREST started on dedicated Radiology Physics programme , covering the entire subject through dedicated sessions spread over two days and the feedback has been very encouraging
Subspecialisation is the need of the hour , with Radiology widening its horizon and reach at a rapid pace . KREST in association with IRIA Kochi has been at the forefront in this regard. The first ever National Fetal Radiology Conference held at Kochi was a runaway success , in terms of the number of delegates, excellent faculty and practical workshops. Moreover the conference lead to a paradigm shift with Radiologists reclaiming their turf, armed with updates , practical tips and sound basics .
This lead to a nation wide surge in Fetal Radiology programmes with positive impact on ante natal care and fetal well being Gastro Radiology was another programme which received great support from both Radiologists and Gastro Enterologists . A panel of expert faculty consisting of Clinical Radiologists and Gastro Enterologists lead the two day programme with discussions ranging from Barium meal studies to Liver Elastography and Gastro Interventions , emphasizing the complementary nature of investigations and the important role played by Radiology in patient management . In a similar vein , ‘Basics of Radiology’ was aimed at Non Radiology PGs and practitioners to give an overview of Radiology in diagnosis and treatment .
Musculoskeletal Radiology is another upcoming subspecialty with opportunity for team work . The programme on MSK Ultrasound was unique with cadaveric injections of joints and one on one biopsy training on animal parts . Multiple ultrasound stations ensured that the delegates gained enough knowledge to practice this sub specialty with confidence and required expertise
The continuing saga of KREST Programmes is due to the fact that attendees are left wanting more after every academic feast and so the success story keeps spreading far and wide augmented by a strong presence in Social Media Platforms . With Lockdown in vogue due to COVID -19, KREST has stepped in with online programmes to meet the demand for academic activities . So far more than 100 Webinars have been held ranging on various topics including Precautions for imaging COVID patients , Fetal Radiology and Breast Radiology . Taking into account the requirements of PGs, KREST has initiated weekly PG presentations , moderated by a Senior Professor . The response from across the nation has been just overwhelming and now online mock exams have been initiated.
KREST is definitely set to scale greater heights with its wide reach, innovative teaching programmes and expert faculty backed by appropriate harnessing of technology and an ever increasing group of knowledge seekers .
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Dr. Ramesh Shenoy