News

2019 student awards

Left:Nathan Scott Le: Received the Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences Student Prize awarded to the student who has made a considerable contribution to the enhancement of Learning and Teaching within our department and beyond the course requirements.
Right: Yaxuan (Lisa) Peng: Received the MIA Y1 Highest Aggregate Prize.

Congratulations to both students.


Ultrasound on the Threshold of Change

Report from Natasha Miles 4th year Bachelor of Radiography and Medical Imaging (Hons) student (2019)

General sonographic practice in Thailand is undergoing a critical reform.

In prior years, comprehensive sonographic examinations - usually the domain of sonographers in Australia - were performed by radiologists. Ultrasound imaging was expensive to obtain, inaccessible to rural communities, and caused undue strain on the radiologist workforce. The previous system was not working.

A new ultrasound training program under the generous patronage of HRH Princess Chulabhorn aspires to combat this shortage. Dr Jiraporn Laothamatas, head of the project, formed a collaboration with Monash University, Australia to establish a two-year postgraduate qualification for sonographers. The inaugural class has three students, with hopes to dramatically expand in the future.

As a third-year radiography student from Monash, I was granted the opportunity to spend two weeks in December 2018 at their brand new facility in Bangkok. I spent six days observing and assisting with sonographic examinations at the Chulabhorn Royal Hospital in Bangkok, and an additional three days attending an abdominal ultrasound short course offered by the school.

The ultrasound clinical site had an emphasis on hepatic pathology - particularly hepatitis - with vascular and thyroid scans also commonly performed. I observed sonographic examinations performed by radiologists, intern physicians and, excitingly, the first ever class of trainee sonographers.

I was encouraged to practice my sonographic technique on abdominal patients, witnessing pathologies as diverse as hepatic metastases, cholecystitis, acute ureteric hydronephrosis and complex ovarian cysts.

The abdominal ultrasound short course was similarly edifying.  Attended by forty-two students, a mix of physicians and ultrasound master’s students, the course was a three-day intensive series teaching the basics of abdominal ultrasound. Didactic, bilingual Thai-English lectures were delivered in the morning, with small group practical scanning sessions attended in the afternoons. The final practical session incorporated patients from the affiliated hospital.  Ultrasound physics and the anatomy, pathology and methods of scanning abdominal organs were covered by the seminar. The short course provided insight into how sonographic education is delivered in Thailand, and a valuable extension to my current understanding of sonographic practice.

I am grateful for the generosity and hospitality of my Thai hosts, and to Monash University, particularly Dr Cynthia Cowling, for this opportunity. I hope to integrate some of my findings into a 4th year Honours research project regarding intercultural differences in ultrasound education and practice.

Overall, the experience was an incredible chance to witness the nascence of a sonographic education system and develop my intercultural understanding. I hope that it reinforces the relationship between Monash University and Chulabhorn Royal Academy and encourages their future collaboration.

The inaugural class of Masters of Ultrasound students, and members of the CRA faculty. In order from L to R,  Panitaporn Sriparat, Surapa Hairunjit, Natasha Miles, Dr. Surachate Siripongsakun, Dr. Siwat Pumiwat and Pantajaree Hiranat.

An abdominal scanning workshop, with instructor Sirinda Yimsawad.


Research in Excellence Seminar 2018

This year the Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, at Monash University, hosted a one-day seminar on Excellence in Research.  The conference was attended by around 123 staff, students, clinicians and academics.  “The goal of the conference was to showcase the research being performed by Monash University staff and students” said Professor Marilyn Baird, head of department.  “We also want to inspire our existing cohort of students to undertake research in their clinical roles” said Dr Matthew Dimmock, a lecturer in the department.  In order to facilitate this goal, nine eminent keynote speakers were invited to present. Keynote speakers included:

  • Professor Terry Haines (Head, School of Primary and Allied Health Care, Monash University)
  • Professor Charlotte Rees (Director, Monash Centre for Scholarship in Health Education (MCSHE), Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences)
  • Mr Peter Coombs (Chief Sonographer, Monash Health and Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, Monash University)
  • Dr Chris Hall (Senior Scientist, Australian Synchrotron)
  • Dr Jason Callahan (Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre)
  • Dr Chris O’Donnell (Consultant Forensic Radiologist, Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine and Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, Monash University)
  • Associate Professor David Connell (Musculoskeletal Radiologist and Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, Monash University
  • Associate Professor Robin Hart (Senior Lecturer and Course Convenor Bachelor of Radiation Sciences, Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences, Monash University) Dr Sharna Jamadar (Cognitive Neuroscientist and ARC DECRA Fellow, Monash Biomedical Imaging)

In the subsequent sessions of the day 11 other PhD candidates, senior academics and students from the Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences presented their most recent findings. The day was rounded off with a panel discussion, chaired by Professor Marilyn Baird. “It’s great to see so many of our graduate students come together at an event like this” said A/Prof Michal Schneider, senior lecturer in the department.

The Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences hosts an excellence in research seminar every two years. Attendance at the seminar attracts a certificate of attendance which can be used by practitioners as evidence for meeting continuing professional development requirements.  Please contact the Department if you would like to be put on a registration list for our next seminar.



Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences staff represent at ISRRT World Congress

The International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT) recently held its 2018 World Congress in Trinidad and Tobago, the first time held in an emerging nation. The Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences was represented by Cynthia Cowling and Lori Boyd who both represented three times in such diverse areas as storytelling in mammographic teaching to impact of social media on teaching radiography and the role of the radiographer. Cynthia Cowling was awarded the Dien Van Dijk Award for contributions to the radiographic profession globally. This is only awarded once every four years and is in recognition of exceptional service to the education of radiographers and the development of medical radiation technology worldwide.


Overseas Clinical Placements for DMIRS students

7 Year two students from the Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences have been accepted to complete their 4 week, Semester 2 placements overseas. Two students will be attending: Aberdeen (Scotland), Warrington (UK) and Thailand and one student will be attending Tel Aviv (Israel).


DIEN VAN DIJK Award

The milestone 20th International Society of Radiographers and Radiation Technologist (ISRRT) World Congress was held from 12-15 April 2018, Port-of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

It is with great pleasure to announce that Cynthia Cowling was the recipient of the DIEN VAN DIJK Award. This award is in honor of the contributions of Dien van Dijk, one of the founders of the ISRRT and who in 1962 became the first President of the ISRRT. The objectives of which she upheld were to assist the education of radiographers and to support the development of medical radiation technology worldwide. This award dedicated to her memory is to honor members of the ISRRT who have shown exceptional service and commitment to the ideals so powerfully demonstrated by Dien Van Dijk.

The award is based on the recipient's recognized activities which reflect the founding principles of the ISRRT, assistance in the education of radiographers and assistance in the development of the profession in several countries.


ASMIRT 2018

Harold Anderson Memorial -  Best Student Paper

Our 2017 graduate, Hogan Sharpe received the Harold Anderson Memorial - Best Student Paper 2018 for his paper entitled: Predicting femoral geometry using an articulated statistical shape-model constrained to simulated motion-capture markers. The award was presented at the Australian Society of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy (ASMIRT) Conference held in Canberra.


ASMIRT 2018

HONORABLE MENTION E-POSTER

Daniel Sapkaroski received an honourable mention for his ePoster on ‘Quantification of student radiographic patient positioning using immersive virtual reality simulation (CETSOL)’.

Overall, the Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences was well represented at the conference with papers presented by academics, current and recent graduates covering a wide range of topics.

Papers presented:

  • Williams, I: Evaluation of radiographer accuracy in providing written comments following short course in image interpretation.
  • Anderson, N: Augmenting a radiation therapist research cultue across multi-campus service
  • Matthews, K: Conceptualising radiation therapy advanced practice findings from a national focus group study
  • Chau, J: Issues arising from incidental findings in subjects undergoing medical imaging for teaching and research
  • Lee, K: CT learning via high fidelity simulation for undergraduate radiography students
  • Anderson, N: Independent validation of a feeding tube prognostic application (App) for head and neck radiotherapy patients
  • Sapkaroski, D: Implementing a virtual reality simulation clinic with dynamic patient interaction and communication for medical imaging students
  • Cowling, C: Use of digital storytelling to each evidence-based breast imaging to radiography students
  • Sharpe, H: Predicting femoral geometry using an articulated statistical shape-model constrained to simulated motion-capture markers

Dr Caroline Wright chaired a Q&A panel on ‘Student professional dilemmas’ and Catherine Osborne was an invited panel member for a session on Knowledge Based Radiation Therapy Planning.


Statutory Appointments

In January 2017 Dr Caroline Wright was appointed by the COAG Health Council to the Medical Radiation Practice Board of Australia as a practitioner member. Caroline commenced this position in February 2018.


Delegation - HRH Princess Chulabhorn College of Medical Sciences

The Department of Medical imaging and Radiation Sciences have collaborated with the HRH Princess Chulabhorn College of Medical Science (Bangkok) to create a Sonography School for the provision of post graduate sonography coursework materials and ultrasound training workshops.  
On February 22, the department hosted a senior delegation from HRH Princess Chulabhorn College of Medical Sciences. The delegation met with the Dean and Senior Faculty leaders and also toured the Monash Biomedical Institute Research Facility.


Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences collaboration in the creation of a Sonography School

The Department of Medical imaging and Radiation Sciences have collaborated with the HRH Princess Chulabhorn College of Medical Science (Bangkok) to create a Sonography School for the

provision of post graduate sonography coursework materials and ultrasound training workshops. The contract, worth $400,000 obliges MIRS to the following deliverables: Deliverable 1 (Year 1): Creation and delivery of curriculum materials suitable for a Graduate Certificate in Medical Ultrasound comprising 4 subjects; Deliverable 2 (Year 2): Creation and delivery of curriculum materials suitable for a Graduate Diploma of Medical Ultrasound comprising 4 subjects; Deliverable 3 (Year 1): Train The Trainer - Creation and face to face delivery of a clinically oriented Train the Trainer Package for Ultrasound

Scanning i.e. a practical manual with visual resources that will assist radiologists to develop knowledge and skills in how to train other practitioners how to perform medical ultrasound, and Face to face support to facilitate the implementation in practice of the principles underpinning effective training and assessment in the clinical environment. Deliverable 4 (Year 1 and Year 2): Curriculum Development - Year 1: Visit by expert consultant to assist with core curriculum development on-site (1 week); Provision of supplementary resources and materials. - Year 2: Visit by expert consultant to assist with core curriculum development onsite (2 weeks); Provision of supplementary resources and materials. The major activity from July to October 2017 was meeting deliverables 1 and 3. In December, Professor Marilyn Baird and Cynthia Cowling were invited to the Opening ceremony, where Professor

Baird spoke on the Evolution of Sonography Education and Professional Accreditation in Australia. Ms Cowling presented a talk, From Radiographer to Sonographer: The Impact upon HealthCare of the Creation of the sonography Professional. They were also given a tour of the new sonography school, which boasts eight state of the art ultrasound units, and three simulation phantoms. Following this, Professor

Baird and Ms Cowling were given the very special privilege to be introduced formally to Professor Dr. HRH Chulabhorn and were apprised of the protocol required when greeting the Princess and bowed appropriately to receive a gift from her. Images below show Cynthia and Marilyn in the presence of HRH. Chulabhorn Royal Academy is developing a full slate of medical and health programs and has chosen models and programs from across the globe upon which to build their schools. The Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences is very proud to be the only program chosen from Australia, and proud to represent Monash, a University very highly regarded in Thailand. This collaboration has led to potentially new opportunities for Monash with a delegation set to meet with the Dean and senior faculty leaders later this month.


The Victorian Rural GP Radiography Training Course

Ruth Druva from the Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences recently ran the annual GP radiography training course in the medical imaging department at Goulbourn Valley Hospital. The medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences department have been training rural GPs in basic radiography positioning skills for the extremities for well over a decade. The course enables these GPs to gain a use radiation licence and take “x-rays” under a limited licencing arrangement. This course is approved by both the RANZCGP and the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.


Pebble Pad Event

“Re-imagining Portfolios” - a Pebble Pad Event for the Victorian Tertiary Sector was held in late March. The Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences were invited by Shane Sutherland, the founder of PebblePad, to provide the keynote address “Transforming the Radiography program with the Personal Learning Platform at its core." Marilyn Baird presented the overview and Ruth Druva presented course specific details (with full acknowledgement to John McInerney). Luke Meeking, who completed the BRadMedImag (Hons) last December and who is now a radiographer at the Royal Melbourne, came along and added to the student perspective. For further information about Pebble pad, please see www.pebblepad.co.uk and PebbleBash case studies.


The Singapore Institute of Technology Project

In early May, the Department of Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences signed a contract with the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) to provide a series of radiography iSAP cases over 3 years the total funds over 3 years are $10,873. SIT is now the sole provider of health profession education for Singapore and all programs are now 4 year bachelor degrees.