In recognition of his tremendous contribution to improving the working lives of radiologists, Doctor Richard FitzGerald from Wolverhampton, United Kingdom, will receive the ESR Gold Medal at ECR 2020.
Richard FitzGerald was a consultant radiologist at the Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust in Wolverhampton, UK, between 1986 and 2017. He completed his undergraduate medical education in Cork, Ireland, and his radiology training in the West Midlands, UK.
Dr. FitzGerald has had a major influence on the Royal College of Radiologists’ (RCR) publications and professional standards for 20 years, initially as a regional chair, and subsequently as a member of the RCR Radiology Faculty Board, Standards Committee, Professional Support and Standards Board, and Council. He was vice president of the Royal College of Radiologists Faculty of Radiology between 2014 and 2017.
Dr. FitzGerald has consistently emphasised that it is not enough to set professional standards, however well worded, but that optimal performance for patients requires safe staffing levels and working conditions as well as an inclusive, supportive culture.
His major publications are on the regulation of radiologists and teleradiology, optimising radiologists' working lives and performance, supportive peer feedback and learning from reporting discrepancies. He has lectured extensively in the UK and across Europe to raise awareness of these issues.
He served as a UK General Medical Council radiologist assessor for twelve years and has also spent two decades providing mentorship to help radiologists in difficulty. His commitment to improving doctors’ working lives, and thereby their service to patients, also included membership of various British Medical Association committees for almost 14 years.
As RCR Vice President, Dr. FitzGerald promoted international recruitment of radiologists and support for radiologists new to the UK. He also represented UK radiologists within the Union of European Medical Specialists and the European Society of Radiology between 2002 and 2014, and was a member of the ESR Management in Radiology Subcommittee from 2010 to 2014.
In 2011, he encouraged the Jo Li Trust to establish an annual European School of Radiology Scholarship for Chinese radiologists to spend three months at University Hospital Birmingham.
Dr. FitzGerald has provided advice to the ESR on teleradiology regulation and EU legislation such as the EU Professional Qualifications Directive 2004–2005, the EU Directive on the application of patient’s rights in cross-border healthcare 2008–2011, and the EU-USA negotiations on a proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership 2013–2015.
He has received many awards for his work, including Honorary Membership of the British Society of Interventional Radiology, the Exceptional Contribution Award of the Royal College of Radiologists, and Honorary Fellowship of the Faculty of Radiologists, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.