Ask any golfer, the best courses are always the most memorable from beginning to end. It’s the excitement of swinging into action, the hope that accompanies teeing-off into the wide blue yonder, praying for that rare hole-in-one. It’s the joy of meandering the expansive green, giving everything your best shot. It’s the frustration of landing in a sand bunker, trying to get yourself out of an unexpected rough patch, and it’s the intense elation, or despair, at coming out the other end under or over par. When you experience an outstanding course you too soar like an albatross, not just a little birdie, and that’s what makes it memorable.
Associate Professor Craig Hacking, Academic Lead for Clinical Radiology at UQ’s Office of Medical Education, and Director of Medical Imaging at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH), knows that feeling well, having been an avid golfer since childhood.
“My brothers and I grew up near a golf course, so I started playing golf at a young age with our dad and really enjoyed the challenge,” Dr Hacking said.
“It taught me important life lessons like being patient, working independently, learning from others, respecting my elders and taking responsibility for my actions”.
Dr Hacking drives home these lessons daily as he delivers innovative radiology content to students in the UQ MD program, so they too experience what it’s like to complete a memorable course.
“The inspiration I draw from introducing medical imaging in Phase 1 and 2 of the UQ MD program is exposing students to the importance of radiology in modern clinical practice, and (hopefully) encouraging some of them to pursue it as a career.
“I’ve created a UQ website for MD students, called UQ Radiology Resources, full of links and resources for MD students mainly using Radiopaedia, a free open-access online radiology website. I’ve also recorded more than 100 short radiology teaching video tutorials and lessons,” he said.
A good friend of Dr Hacking, Melbourne radiologist Associate Professor Frank Gaillard, created Radiopaedia.org while working as a radiology trainee in 2005.
“It’s a wiki-style website where volunteers contribute articles and cases that are relevant to radiology. Currently (August 2020), there are more than 38,000 cases and 14,300 articles on the site.
“A large group of editors from around the world volunteer daily to make sure all cases, articles and content edits are accurate, and maintain the quality standards our readers are used to. I’ve held several senior editorial and executive committee roles with Radiopaedia.
“I’m proud to say the website is the largest free online radiology resource, currently attracting more than 19 million page views per month, with more than 180,000 registered users globally.
“We offer video educational content to over 125 developing nations for free. Our mission is to create the best radiology reference the world has ever seen, and make it available for free, for all, forever.
“This year Radiopaedia has also been a trusted and up-todate resource on COVID-19 imaging, with more than 130 educational cases uploaded and over 600 article edits as more literature is published.”
So, while most of us were shouting a collective ‘fore’ in 2020, Radiopaedia and Dr Hacking were advancing through the pandemic.
“I was at the bottom of a steep learning curve at the most intense time of COVID preparations, being the new Director of Radiology at one of Australia’s biggest and busiest hospitals, RBWH,” Dr Hacking said.
“Fortunately, a few staff kept an eye out for me, asking if I was okay, and gave good feedback on the job I was doing. It meant a lot, and their positivity definitely rubbed off on me during some difficult times.”
Just like legendary American golfer Ben Hogan once said, “As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round,” and so Dr Hacking is now looking forward to life after COVID-19.
“I can’t wait to travel again when things get back to normal; I really miss travelling, domestically and internationally.
“I’m also looking forward to Christmas because I love what it does to my kids. They get so excited, and to see them playing with each other and their cousins is just wonderful. Hopefully, we’ll be allowed to meet with all our family to celebrate this year.
“And, then there’s the long, hot summer evenings, swimming in the pool with the kids, BBQ dinners on the back deck, and playing a few rounds of golf, of course. Now that would be memorable!”