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Colombia distinguishes itself as a country where foreigners have traditionally been welcomed. Colombians pride themselves for their thirst of knowledge. Bogota’s St. Thomas University was founded bythe Dominican Order in 1580. Remarkably, as a point of reference, Harvard University the oldest higher learning institution in the United States was founded in 1636. No wonder that many SouthAmericans refer to Bogota, Colombia’s capital, as “The Athens of South America” (1). Currently, there are more than one hundred higher education institutes in Bogota, and all of them play a vital role inthe life of the city and its economy. In 2007, Bogota was named World Book Capital by UNESCO. Bogota is the first Latin American city to receive this recognition, and the second one in the Americasafter Montreal.

In South America, along with Argentina, Brazil and Chile, Colombia pioneered the use of new medical technology at the turn of the 20th century. The Colombian popular newspaper“El Diario” reported extensively on the discovery of the X-rays just two months after Dr. Wilhelm Roentgen’s presentation before the Society of Medical Physics in Wurzburg. The medical use of X-raysin Colombia dates back to 1901, where it was first utilized for operative procedures. The Colombian Radiological Association (ACR) was founded in 1945 and held its first national meeting in 1950.Despite the exposure of Colombian radiologists to new imaging modalities, the practical application of advances in Diagnostic Imaging has lagged behind primarily due to economic and financialconstraints. The first CT, Ultrasound and MR units were installed in Bogota in 1978, 1979 and 1990, respectively.

Drs. Javier Beltran, Diego Jaramillo and Jenny Bencardino were faculty members of theInternational Skeletal Society’s Outreach Program in Colombia. The Outreach program was hosted at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana (PUJ) in Bogota as well as at the XXXV Congress of the...
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