(radRounds, April 5, 2008 - Vienna, Austria) The European Congress of Radiology, the annual meeting of the European Society of Radiology, was held March 7-11, 2008 in Vienna, Austria. Over 17,000 participants from over 90+ countries, ECR has grown into the second largest medical meeting, not to mention only radiology, in Europe and the second largest radiology meeting globally.
Germany, India and Israel were ECR 2008’s honored guests which gave these three countries the opportunity to present themselves and their latest scientific accomplishments. Under the visionary leadership and aegis of current 2008 ECR President Prof. Maximilian F. Reiser, it will for the first time invite a partner discipline, in a move to improve the ongoing dialogue with other medical specialties, specifically general internal medicine as this year's guest and pioneering field. Radiology is situated in an important role to collaborate with all disciplines of medicine and this is a well received and important illustration of the field's committment to work with other specialties to benefit all of our patients.
This article is a first of a series, produced and mainly written by Jana Ivanidze, a member of our Scientific and Academic Advisory Panel, also MD/PhD Candidate, University of Munich Medical School.
An exclusive interview with Professor Maximilian F. Reiser will be featured in this several-part series. We thank Professor Maximilian F. Reiser for this wonderful and unique opportunity to learn about his visions and expectations for our wonderful field of Diagnostic Radiology.
PART I: PROFESSOR REISER'S PERSONAL HIGHLIGHTS AND VIEWS ON COLLABORATION WITH OTHER SPECIALTIES.
Jana Ivanidze: "What are your personal highlights at the ECR 2008?"
Professor Maximilian Reiser: "Aside from the enormous scientific and educational programme we have put an emphasis on interactive CME components including an instant self-assessment modality.
Another relatively new format which has been very successful in the past few years and is thus continued at ECR 2008 is that of the guest countries. This year we have invited India and Israel. Experiences from the past have shown that the ties between the respective guest countries and Europe become a lot closer through their presence at the ECR.
Something we are really happy about is the 20% increase in abstract submissions as compared to last year’s ECR. This lead to an acceptance rate as low as 33%. Of course we regret having had to reject many good publications, yet on the other hand we can now be very proud of the extraordinarily high scientific level.
Another new invention which was of great personal importance to me is the encounter with partnering disciplines. I believe that the clinician has one “customer” – the patient, while we have two “customers” – the patient and the referring clinician. With this session series I would like to enforce the collaboration between radiologists and clinicians and thus improve “customer confidence”. This year I have selected the general practitioners to discuss two very hot topics: coronary artery disease and peripheral vasoocclusive disease."
Jana Ivanidze: "Given this focus on general practitioners at the ECR, how can the cooperation between radiologists and their clinical counterparts be further improved?"
Professor Maximilian Reiser: "In a study from Bochum, Germany, a cardiologist asked clinicians of various specialties: “what is the exposure dose with a chest X-Ray/ an abdomen CT/ …” and the results were more than discouraging. Most MDs from disciplines other than radiology only have a vague idea what they are dealing with. Thus it is my personal aim to foster cooperation and dialogue between radiology and the clinicians.
What really bothers me is the public outrage about these issues going along with a simultaneous shortage in radiology class hours for medical students. Instead of reducing the amount of educational courses in radiology, one should rather think about ways to intensify radiology education for medical students. This is something we are communicating to the political authorities.
I believe that from the radiologists’ perspective, we have to ask ourselves “what do clinicians expect from us?” Another important issue is that the clinicians oftentimes don’t know what radiology has to offer. Facing today’s public discussion on dose exposure protection, it is very important that clinicians are well informed about how to protect their patients from too high exposure doses and yet to provide them with the best possible diagnostic and interventional means."