There is marked heterogeneity in IR training and practice in the Middle East/North Africa region, and Egypt is not an exception. Despite the well-established IR practice in Egypt; training pathways are still inconsistent and remarkably variable among different institutions.
By Rana Khafagy
Head of the PAIRS Residents, Fellows and Students (RFS) Committee
IR Consultant, Ain Shams University Hospitals, Cairo, Egypt
CVIR Endovascular Editorial Board member
Vascular and Interventional Radiology (VIR) practice in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region shows marked heterogeneity due to variations in the IR resources and training programs. While countries, like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, have the most advanced VIR laboratories performing the most complex procedures, other countries rarely perform the simplest procedures like biopsies and drainages.
Few countries in the MENA region have structured well-established VIR fellowship and official training programs, other countries have unstructured individual or institution-based training programs or none at all.
In Egypt, The Egyptian Board of IR is currently the only official specialty board certificate. It is a 2-year training program among 5 certified institutions most of them are University hospitals. It is usually done by radiologists after successful completion of the Egyptian Board of Diagnostic Radiology or obtaining a Doctorate of Medicine degree in Diagnostic Radiology.
Otherwise, IR training in Egypt is institution-based and there is no nationwide structured VIR fellowship program; it provides nonstructured training in many aspects of the field.
A recent survey mapping the IR workforce in Egypt conducted in 2018, involving the largest 19 University, governmental, and military medical institutes, has clearly shown that the number of IR residents and fellows has notably increased especially the females. This ensures that although Egypt is considered a developing country facing many socio-economic challenges, the VIR practice there has remarkably developed in the past years along with establishing several well-equipped VIR centers and raising well trained IRs.