Professor Bonomo points out that whilst, over the last few decades, ‘radiology has experienced a happy phase, rich in important technological innovations and clinical applications’ the need to increase the number of radiologists acquainted with novel diagnostic technologies and interventional procedures is significant. Thus, he adds, ‘My motto this year is innovation within tradition, since we aim both to continue successful initiatives and at the same time improve the ECR’s quality, keeping the programme exciting, and offering a complete learning experience, with options to suit every delegate’s professional needs.’
Education and training
‘The Foundation Course will focus on ultrasound in order to underline the necessity for radiologists to know and carry out ultrasound scanning better than other specialised physicians, and the importance of including ultrasound in diagnosis, along with other imaging techniques,’ he emphasised.
Also enhancing education and training, the number of interactive sessions has been increased and one of last year’s innovations, the extremely popular Categorical Course ‘CLICK’ (Clinical Lessons for Imaging Core Knowledge) is again being held.
‘Interactivity enhances understanding and bridges the gap between theoretical lectures and practical application in daily routine,’ the professor points out. ‘Moreover, it allows attendees to make a direct contribution to the sessions and to communicate with the speakers.’
As always, young radiologists will be paid particular attention and space. ‘They will benefit from the new subspecialty refresher courses entitled How I report, which focus on how to report in a way that is more understandable and useful to referring physicians.’
Several other initiatives will be dedicated to the younger generation, such as ESR Rising Stars, Junior Interpretation Quiz, the Radiology Trainees Forum and the ESOR Session, and Invest in the Youth.
Emergency and oncology
Reflecting on two ever-expanding fields within radiology -- and the creation of two new radiological subspecialty societies, the European Society of Emergency Radiology (ESER) and the European Society of Oncologic Imaging (ESOI) -- the ECR is this year launching Refresher Courses and Satellite Symposia on oncologic imaging and emergency radiology.
Radiation oncology, with its very close connections to radiology and medical imaging, is being represented at ECR 2012 by the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology (ESTRO).
Also fitting into this theme, the multidisciplinary lecture series ‘Managing patients with cancer’ is now into its third year. In the, specialists from various disciplines will discuss their close cooperation at the hospitals where they work together as cancer teams.
One Professional Challenges Session, being held jointly by the ESR and the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) is radiation protection, an extremely important area of focus for the whole discipline. The collaboration with the ICRP, the first of this kind at any ECR, will involve not only the organisation’s own experts, but also representatives from the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Other societies, other countries
Close cooperation with national radiological societies and other medical disciplines is the cornerstone of the ESR Meets programme, which sees an exchange of knowledge with three different national radiological societies each year, in the name of building stronger connections with radiological organisations throughout the world, the organisers point out.
Alongside Italy, which is always among the best represented nations at the ECR, and Romania, the ESR reports its ‘delight’ in welcoming the first African nation to take part in the programme: Egypt.
‘Italy, Romania and Egypt have all responded with great enthusiasm to our invitation,’ Professor Bonomo added. ‘The invited partner discipline is our sister discipline, radiation oncology, in which imaging plays a growing role in defining and assessing patients’ response to treatment.’
ECR’s virtual international delegates
Several major sessions from three different lecture rooms will be broadcast as live web streams for the first time. These will be accessible free, via the ESR website. This new initiative aims to broaden the reach of the congress and make some of its highlights available to ‘virtual delegates’ throughout the world.
One of the great attractions of the ECR is, of course, the enormous trade show that is showing the indispensible tools of the radiologist’s trade. Some 300 international firms are here at ECR 2012, with innovations spread over 26,000m² of exhibition space.
Catch up with ECR online
For those unable to attend this year’s ECR, certain selected sessions – e.g. the opening ceremony, honorary lectures and the ESR meets sessions – will be broadcast online via the ESR website, thanks to an initiative introduced this year called ‘ECR goes to…’ As usual, all presentations will also be available after the congress via the ESR website, Prof. Bonomo points out.