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AOCR 2018 interview questions - Dinesh Varma

1. Please tell us of your journey from India to being President Elect of AOSR

I graduated from Nalanda Medical College and went on to do my House job at Maulana Azad Medical College with further 6 months at AIIMS. Then I returned to Patna Medical College and Hospital to do MD in Radio-diagnosis before migrating to Australia in 1989 to join my wife, Rita.
I had to go through Australian Medical Council examinations to get my Indian qualifications recognized and then did a 5-year specialist training in Radiology at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne. 
While I was in the training program I was elected the first Trainee’s representative on the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologist (RANZCR) Council.
I subsequently got elected to the Council for three terms finishing as the President of the College in 2013. 
When I was in the final year of my term I was nominated by my College to be on AOSR Executive Council. That is when my journey with AOSR started. I was then elected as Treasurer and Honorary Secretary and that was my path to becoming the President of AOSR.

2. What drew you to the activities of the AOSR?

Although AOSR has been in existence for a long time, the organization still has a long way to go and we are making steady progress. I realized that there was a lot I could contribute to AOSR in strengthening the organization from my experience gained during my long tenure at RANZCR. We slowly worked through streamlining the internal processes of the Organisation, strengthened the financial position, reached out to member countries and were successful in establishing AOSOR. We also established various Terms of References and implemented fixed terms for Councilors and election processes.

3. What are your primary goals as President of AOSR over the next 2 years.

I would like to see AOSR become as strong as RSNA and ESR in terms of its values, educational output, providing a platform for various member countries to come together and share their experiences and reach out for any assistance in uplifting the standard of care of their patients.

4. What are your views regarding radiation safety and how do you wish to address them.

I am a strong advocate for justification of the use of radiation and appropriate use of radiological investigations. As radiologists we are in a coveted position to educate our colleagues regarding the hazards of radiation and work with them in ensuring that patients get the best care yet use the ALARA principles at every instance. 
We can also address the appropriate use of radiological tests by educating our patients and informing them of the various other options available in investigating their medical conditions.
The implementation of Diagnostic Reference Levels at every facility is a very effective way to ensure that every radiation emitting equipment is working at optimal level.

5. How does Melbourne treat you?

Melbourne is a great city and ever since moving to Australia I have lived here so I am heavily biased. Despite that when we get overseas or interstate visitors they leave with a great impression about Melbourne and that makes us feel that there is a lot of truth in our impression about Melbourne. It is a great place to bring up a family and our son and only child, Ritesh is a true Melbournian.
We are known for our coffee culture, fantastic restaurants serving cuisine from every corner of world, and international events that occupy every month of the year. Where else would you get four seasons in a year that you do not ever have to pack away your summer or winter cloths or your umbrella? This is Melbourne.

6. What has been your connection with India?

Besides my family I have also established a large network with Indian radiologists. I have been invited by IRIA on numerous occasions and also assisted Society of Emergency Radiology in getting it off ground and was very honoured to have been made a founder member. I have participated in all of their scientific meetings and would like to see it grow bigger and stronger. 
I am also involved with Australia-India Trauma System Collaboration (AITSC). This collaboration started in 2013 with Australian and Indian government committed to spending $2.6 million to find best ways of delivering needed care to injured people.
 

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