In Hong Kong, more than 400 students were in attendance as St. George’s University dean and professor Dr. Marios Loukas presented at the Global Aspiring Medic Conference (GAMC) on July 20. The conference, organized by ARCH Community Outreach (ACO) in collaboration with The University of Hong Kong (HKU), is the largest student medical conference in Asia. As one of the keynote speakers, Dr. Loukas gave a presentation on “Translational Research in Clinical Anatomy; The Way Forward”, which introduced the application of translational research as a tool to address the gap between gross anatomy and patient care.
“Our aim was to show these students how medicine relates with research,” said Dr. Loukas, dean of basic sciences and research at SGU. “We demonstrated how we can use new surgical techniques and approaches that we discovered at SGU, and how we can apply them to solve typical problems that we see in the hospital in patients. We identify a problem, take it back to the lab, solve it, and then go back into the hospital and implement that procedure. This approach is now being used in hospitals all over the world, from Japan to the United States.”
In addition to his keynote speech, Dr. Loukas also held a practical workshop titled, “The Use of Ultrasound in Everyday Practice”, where he performed ultrasounds on eager volunteers, wowing the 50+ students attending. He explained how a doctor could diagnose a patient through the use of an ultrasound scan and also gave each participant invaluable hands-on experience operating the ultrasound device.
“I think the students enjoyed both the lecture and the ultrasound session,” stated Dr. Loukas. “I believe ultrasound is the stethoscope of the future. It has so many uses and has become a cost-saving modality these days, and much less expensive. My hope is that many of these students here today will eventually become doctors treating patients and remember these experiences at the GAMC that were crucial to following this career path.”
At the end of the workshop participants received a copy of Dr. Loukas’ new book, Essential Ultrasound Anatomy, which he co-authored with Dr. Danny Burns. The book provides today’s students with a solid foundation in regional ultrasound anatomy by offering practical, comprehensive coverage of the ultrasound images and important structures that are most frequently encountered in daily practice.
“The book project started three years ago,” Dr. Loukas said. “Dr. Burns and I wanted to combine anatomy within ultrasound, so that students from other courses such as physiology or pathology could understand how we use ultrasound. This forms the basis for any type of student or even resident to start diagnosing different conditions.
“Interestingly, the entire design of the book’s pictures and illustrations were all created here at SGU in our new illustration unit,” added Dr. Loukas. “Since we have medical illustrators in-house, that makes it much easier for us when we’re publishing a paper or writing books. In fact, the quality of the finished product then becomes that much higher.”
In 2011, SGU introduced ultrasound teaching into the Department of Basic Sciences. Today, the department now offers a Point of Care Ultrasound Certification course, allowing students to become certified in ultrasound, which provides an enormous advantage during their clinical years and residencies. St. George’s University is one of the few schools that provides such an intensive ultrasound course.
Additionally, the University has substantially invested over $1 million in the ultrasound technology at the True Blue Campus. Currently, it has more than20 ultrasound units that are operated in conjunction with standardized patients. Each ultrasound station can hold up to four students, paired with a standardized patient and a clinical tutor demonstrating how the device is operated.
– Ray-Donna Peters