Introducing the Scottish Branch of the BIR

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Introducing the Scottish Branch of the BIR
Dr Andrew Pearson, Consultant Radiologist from Borders General Hospital in Melrose and Scottish
Branch Chair, talks to Chloe Scragg, BIR Branch Coordinator, about the BIR Scottish Branch.

The BIR first held a Branch meeting           subject. CT had only just been invented
for its Scottish Members in 1936,             by Sir Godfrey Hounsfield and was
and continued to do so until 1946             not clinically available until after I
when it was decided by ballot among           graduated. Images in those days
the Scottish Radiologists that future         were limited to the brain and were
meetings were to be held by an                very primitive, barely showing more
unaffiliated body – the formation of          than the ventricles! Since then the
the Scottish Radiology Society. And           technology has changed beyond our
so, 63 years later, we are pleased to         wildest dreams to offer us the present
announce the re-formation of Scottish         day multidetector super-fast scanners
Branch of the BIR!                            which are now an essential tool in
                                              the investigation of many medical
Dr Andrew Pearson, Consultant                 conditions.
Radiologist from Borders General
Hospital in Melrose, is the Scottish          Of course, ultrasound was strong
Branch Chairman and tells us more             in Glasgow thanks to Professor Ian
about it.                                     Donald, and we were proud of our
                                                                                           Dr Andrew Pearson, BIR Scottish
                                              modern scanners which had the
                                                                                           Branch Chairman
Hi Andrew, congratulations on                 probe ‘conveniently’ mounted on an
your new post as Chairman of the              articulated arm, a great ergonomic
                                                                                          Since my student days, Medical
Scottish Branch of the BIR. The               step forward from the clunky but
                                                                                          Imaging has moved centre stage to
Scottish Branch of the BIR last met           excellent Diasonograph! No sign then
                                                                                          become an essential tool in the rapid
over 60 years ago: what do you                of small handheld probes offering
                                                                                          diagnosis of complex conditions,
hope to achieve in your new role as           high-resolution real-time imaging,
                                                                                          enabling early treatment and often cure
BIR Scottish Branch Chairman?                 with Doppler and numerous other
                                                                                          of conditions which were previously
                                              new technologies.
I very much hope that we can build a                                                      often undiagnosed until there was no
vibrant, interactive regional branch                                                      hope of successful treatment.
                                              Nuclear Medicine was just moving from
providing imaging professionals in
                                              the old rectilinear scanners to primitive
Scotland with both educational and                                                        And finally, when not busy working,
                                              single headed gamma cameras.
networking opportunities to all disciplines                                               what do you like to do in your free
                                              Now, twin headed SPECT scanners,
within the imaging team. I shall aim to                                                   time?
                                              most with built in CT, are standard
increase BIR membership, not least by
                                              which, together with advances in            In my spare time I enjoy spending
introducing the organisation to students
                                              radioisotopes, have enabled massive         time with my wife, Jenny, and family
who may join the BIR for free!
                                              progress in oncology and many other         including two young granddaughters.
                                              areas, leading to the change in name        I also enjoy computing, music and
The BIR has a growing number of
                                              to Molecular Imaging.                       photography together with travelling,
student members. How have you
                                                                                          principally throughout Spain, a largely
seen the radiology industry and
                                              This name, of course, also embraces         underestimated country, which has so
profession in Scotland change since
                                              PET, of which there was no sign in          many delights to discover, especially
your student days?
                                              clinical practice when I was a student.     inland and in the North.
I was inspired by medical imaging as          MRI was also a distant hope in day to
a student, and it was my favourite            day clinical work.

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