While physicians and patients alike may take for granted the ease with which imaging services are ordered and administered in this country, we should not lose sight of the fact that four billion people in the world have no access to imaging services. While much of the recent healthcare debate in the U.S. has focused on how to prevent the overutilization and inappropriate use of medical imaging, a majority of the world’s population lacks access to even basic radiography. How is the radiology community in the U.S. responding? The American College of Radiology, under the guidance of Dr. John Patti (chair of the board of chancellors), has taken a leadership position among professional radiology organizations in addressing the imaging needs of developing nations through the creation of the Commission on International Relations. Its charge is to share knowledge and resources with developing nations so that all patients, regardless of location, can benefit from advances in medical imaging. To date, the commission has provided international aid in response to natural disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti and, most recently, partnered with the International Society of Radiology to make educational resources (journals, etc.) available to radiologists in war-torn nations such as Iraq.
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