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Making His Mark Through Continuous Learning

Cornelio Gutierrez Padre, Principal Radiographer (Clinical), Dept of Radiology SGH

Cornelio still remembered his excitement when a new High-End CT machine arrived at the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) in 2006, which was also jointly owned by the SCAN-CVI-Radiology Department of the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). The CT scan machine was primarily used for cardiac cases, but could be utilised for other diagnostic CT procedures as well. It was a non-invasive procedure that allowed radiologists to assess coronary artery abnormal narrowing or blockage without the discomfort of invasive coronary angiography.

"I was proud to be one of two radiographers overseeing the use of this machine and training fellow radiographers in its use," recalled Cornelio with a smile.

Two years later, he led the use of another cutting-edge angiography system at SGH – the newly installed Hybrid Angiography-CT system, the first system in use in Asia outside of Japan. Cornelio developed imaging and injection protocols for intra-arterial CT angiography procedures with the new system. He also became one of the first radiographers to share his knowledge of the imaging techniques and applications in vascular intervention using the hybrid Angio-CT system with members of the International Society of Radiographers Radiological Technologists at their World Congresses in 2010 and 2016.

Interventional radiology was not the most popular field of specialisation for radiographers to join back then. During an angiographic procedure, radiographers are required to provide real-time fluoroscopy and CT images to guide radiologists as they perform interventional procedures. This is unlike other fields where radiographers independently perform diagnostic imaging and send them to radiologists to review in their own time. For someone new to the service, interventional radiology would seem much more daunting.

However, Cornelio always looked forward to the next advancement in imaging technology and exchanging insights on the field with other specialists in the various international conferences he went on.

"A quote I always abide by is, 'Gaining knowledge is the first step to wisdom. Sharing it is the first step to humanity," he said. "We have to be open-minded and embrace continuous learning and sharing, to advance the field on the whole."