March 2015

ESR to launch support initiative to help trainees from low-income countries.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 (ECR) – In many ways, ECR 2015 will be a milestone for its organiser the European Society of Radiology (ESR) – first and foremost because it marks the society’s tenth anniversary. Over the course of a decade, the ESR has grown to serve an increasing number of radiologists, explained ESR President Prof. Lorenzo Bonomo, Chairman of the Department of Radiological Sciences and Bioimaging at the A. Gemelli Hospital in Rome, ahead of ECR 2015 Opening Press Conference on Wednesday.

“The ESR has taken enormous strides since its creation, growing to become the largest community of imaging professionals in the world,” he said. Very early on, the society made a commitment to invest in the future of the discipline. Its iconic Invest in the Youth programme, for example, has enabled over 4,000 trainee radiologists and radiographers from all over the world to attend the ECR free of charge since 2003.

The popularity of the programme has grown exponentially and the ESR has increased the number of places available from 360 to 700 to help more trainees to attend ECR 2015. More than 3,500 students have attended the congress over the last three years, and that number is expected to rise this year.

To assist future radiologists further, the ESR has just launched a new social responsibility project called the ESR Support Initiative. The aim is to improve access to training, education and resources for radiologists and related scientists in less affluent regions, thereby improving healthcare standards for patients, focusing on one country or region each year.

“As the economy continues to struggle in many parts of Europe, the ESR Support Initiative comes at exactly the right time to help alleviate major shortages in radiological resources and training,” Prof. Bonomo said.

Benefits will include a number of Invest in the Youth places reserved for residents from the chosen country or region; a number of scholarships and fellowships within initiatives of the ESR and the European School of Radiology (ESOR); free access to ECR On Demand throughout the year; and fellowships at European hospitals and institutes, among others.

Eligibility criteria for the ESR Support Initiative include factors such as the official length of training in the country, the average salary of trainees, the number of trainees per year, the total number of radiologists and the amount of equipment available. All national radiological societies who are ESR Institutional Members are invited to apply.

Bulgaria will be the first country to benefit from the initiative. Prof. Bonomo, who founded the ESR Support Initiative, hopes it will translate into increased participation of Bulgarian radiologists in ESR activities, and that the project will become a long and successful one.

“I am delighted that we now have the chance to share our resources with colleagues in Bulgaria. For me, this is just the beginning of the ESR Support Initiative’s great work, as we will continue to serve our community so that they can better serve their patients,” he said.

Lorenzo Bonomo: Chairman of the Department of Radiological Sciences and Bioimaging at the Catholic University of Rome, A. Gemelli Hospital, Italy; ESR President