The European Congress of Radiology (ECR) has long been regarded as the annual scientific meeting for radiologists. However, as some might not know, it is also the official scientific congress for medical imaging of the European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS). With a record participation of nearly 2,000 radiographers from over 60 countries at ECR 2017, the ECR has further strengthened its position as also a truly international congress for radiographers active in the field of medical imaging in Europe.
“Daily clinical radiology involves teamwork and radiographers are crucial members of the team. I see it as an obligation to commit ourselves even more to this endeavour in the future to achieve the best benefit for the patient. On a personal note, I am delighted that, besides an all-time high in submitted abstracts for ECR 2018, there also is a promising increase in radiographer submissions, something we very much hoped to see happening for the upcoming congress“, emphasised Prof. Bernd Hamm from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany, who serves as ESR President and Chair of the ECR 2018 Programme Planning Committee.
One of the major goals laid down in the current Memorandum of Understanding between the ESR and the EFRS is to promote research among radiographers and to strengthen collaboration in areas of common interest.
To meet this goal, many efforts have been undertaken to provide an even more attractive programme for radiographers at ECR 2018 (February 28 – March 4, Vienna/Austria). The scientific radiographer programme will include 21 sessions featuring 111 presentations over 5 days. Most of these sessions will be translated simultaneously from English into German, French, Italian, and Spanish. New at ECR 2018 are the ESR/EFRS joint awards, which recognise achievements in various categories.
“Apart from its rich scientific, professional and educational programme, the ECR offers not only a great possibility for continued professional development, but also a great opportunity to network with colleagues and friends from all over the world,” added Dr. Shane Foley from Dublin (Ireland), who functions as radiographer co-chair of the ECR 2018 Scientific Subcommittee ‘Radiographers’ and represents the EFRS in the Postgraduate Educational Programme Subcommittee of the ECR 2018 Programme Planning Committee.
In addition to its successful ‘Invest in the Youth’ programme, which has supported more than 7,000 young professionals (radiology residents, medical physicists undertaking PhDs, radiographers in training) over the last 15 years, the ESR, under the presidency of Prof. Hamm, has introduced a new initiative exclusively dedicated to radiographers at the beginning of their career called the ESR ‘Shape your Skills’ programme. This supports 500 early-career radiographers by giving them free registration for the ECR and two nights’ hotel accommodation.
The ESR also offers membership to radiographers for €11 per year, which grants access to a wide range of e-learning and other educational offers, as well as significantly reduced registration rates for the ECR. Radiographers who have subscribed for ESR membership before August 31, 2017 can register for ECR 2018 for only €99 until December 14, 2017.
The EFRS is not only involved closely in the annual meeting, but also contributes actively to professional matters via their direct involvement in five ESR bodies, in particular as regards quality and safety aspects in radiology. Furthermore, the two societies have joined efforts in various European Commission funded projects in the area of radiation protection, such as the European Diagnostic Reference Levels for Paediatric Imaging (PiDRL) and the MEDRAPET project, the results of which have become reference documents for the professions in Europe. The EFRS is a major stakeholder and contributor to EuroSafe Imaging, the ESR’s flagship initiative to promote medical radiation protection and quality and safety at large.