The AOSR uses cookies on its site to make your browsing experience better. By clicking OK, you agree to our terms of use. To find out more, visit our cookie policy.

Ken Thomson's Memories of AOSR

Memories of AOSR

by Kenneth R. Thomson, MD; AOSR Past President 2006-2008 and AOSR Gold Medallist 2012

I attended the 1971 AOCR in Melbourne as I was the recipient of the prize for best candidate in the PART 1 RACR examinations that year. I had no idea about the Asian Oceanian Society of Radiology (AOSR) then and later moved to Canada and the USA to further my studies. Prof. William Hare convinced me to move from Adelaide to Melbourne in 1981 and one of the tasks he gave me was editor of the AOSR Bulletin which became quite a task as I became more involved in interventional radiology. It was with some relief that Dr Sudarshan Aggarwal started the AOSR Journal, but he still expected lots of articles from me. I fear that I was a disappointment to him.

I became a councilor representing Australia about 1983 and I have attended most of the AOCR congresses since, until 2012. I applied for the position of AOSR Secretary General at the 7th Asian Oceanian Congress of Radiology (AOCR) in 1995 and was up against Dr Sudarshan Aggarwal who shocked me saying “Australians were not truly Asians”- this probably helped my election. As a 5th generation New Zealander, I felt I was just as much a part of our region as anyone. Sudarshan and I however, continued to have friendly respect for one another over the subsequent years. In those days the AOSR was the only unifying radiology society in our region, and we formed very close ties to the International Society of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America.

As Secretary General I was introduced to geopolitics and the depth of feeling for one’s country and heritage. Some of the best advice I ever received in this regard was from Dr Man Chung Han of Korea, who was a great mentor and friend. At one dinner when everyone else had applied their “chop” (stamp) I made my version of a Chinese character. Dr Han looked at it every which way, then turned it over and asked me to sign again on the blank page. Everyone laughed. Throughout my time on the AOSR executive council, Dr Lilian Leong was my friend and confidante. She was like a big sister to me, giving me sound and considered advice about how to proceed with sometimes difficult decisions on the council. I am indebted to her. 

In the early days the regional radiology society operating the AOCR took the risks and any profits from the meeting. It was at times confusing for sponsors to separate the AOSR and the AOCR when there were two executive committees, one for the society and one for the congress. The society organising the Congress was expected to invite the executive council to their annual meetings as speakers which was at times a difficult proposition in view of the airfare and accommodation costs. For many years the Japan Radiological Society (JRS) completely funded the AOSR executive meetings, without which the AOSR may have floundered. The AOSR owes the JRS a great debt.

Registration of the AOSR was a difficult job as registering an international not-for-profit society was difficult. After attempting Singapore and Australia, where taxation of the AOSR was problematic, finally a home was found in Korea with the Korean Society of Radiology (KSR). This has helped to place the AOSR on a more sound financial footing and for a time after this, proceeds from the AOCRs were shared.

My proudest and most humbling moments were wearing the AOSR Presidential Chain of Office from 2006 to 2008, (I was terrified I would lose it) and when in 2012, I was awarded the AOSR Gold Medal. I travelled widely in the Asian-Oceanian region as a lecturer and demonstrator of procedures with the generous support of the local radiology societies and Schering, Bracco, and Cook. As part of the “gang of four” I founded the Asia Pacific Society of Interventional Radiology with Drs Man Chung Han, Kyoichi Hiramatsu, and Lenny Tan. My membership and experiences with the AOSR made this possible.

My many AOSR friends, especially, Man Chung Han, Lilian Leong, Lenny Tan, Jae Hyung Park, Hitoshi Katayama, Kyoichi Hiramatsu, K Kulaveerasingam, Sudarshan Aggarwal, Sanjiv Sharma, Byung Choi, KR Chaudhari, Hideo Uchida and many more have all enriched my life and made my experience with the AOSR/AOCR one I treasure still.

Apr 10, 2024 / by AOSR Office
TAGS: Articles
Latest News
Feb 19, 2024 / by AOSR Office/News
Sep 5, 2023 / by AOSR OFFICE/News
Jul 1, 2023 / by AOSR OFFICE/News