It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to the scientific and educational programme for the European Congress of Radiology 2023 – an exceptional collection of sessions, workshops, plenary lectures, courses, quizzes and an array of additional activities that will take place on March 1-5, 2023.
At ECR 2023, the chosen theme is ‘The Cycle of Life’, intended to reflect the centrality of radiology to healthcare throughout life. Radiology is one of the few medical disciplines that follows a person’s entire life journey from start to finish, facilitating the first glimpse of life inside the womb, and accompanying us through childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Radiology offers us clear images identifying simple and complex injuries and illnesses, diagnostic clues when the cause of illness is unknown, and insights into the progress of treatment when we are sick. Furthermore, imaging can offer physiological assessment of healthy individuals, and can screen for possible sub-clinical disease. Even in death, post-mortem and forensic imaging can provide indications of the manner of death, as well as research opportunities that can help further our understanding of the human body. At ECR 2023, we will use medical imaging to examine all aspects of the human life cycle, from pre-birth to the afterlife.
Beyond traditional medicine, radiological applications have value in many other disciplines, including palaeontology, archaeology, historical investigation, and assessment of art and other artefacts. All of these will be covered in exceptional and unusual sessions during ECR 2023.
If you would like to join us on our journey through the cycle of life, look for this topic tag within the programme. Here you will find many exciting sessions that will touch upon the themes described above, highlighting the great breadth of our specialty.
ECR 2023 will put a priority on interactivity and dialogue. We will see colleagues and friends joining together from around the world throughout this five-day event and I want to encourage the unreserved sharing of different perspectives, ideas and research. To promote this goal, we will once again have Open Forum sessions, each of which will focus on one of three themes – Trainees, Radiography, and ESR programmes and activities. Be sure to check these out if you are looking for a more interactive experience at the congress, with two-way engagement between speakers and audience participants.
A highlight of ECR 2023 will be our Trainees in Focus programme, which will offer young medical imaging professionals a tailored series of sessions aimed at providing them with survival tips and imaging tricks for the long careers ahead of them, and allow Trainees to emphasise topics and issues that are of significance to them. This programme will also have its own unique area within the congress center – please consider it a hub for the next generation of imaging colleagues, and get ready to experience a new side of ECR there.
Alongside these new features, we have also stayed loyal to many of our most beloved session formats. Scroll your way through the programme to find a variety of Advanced Courses, The Beauty of Basic Knowledge sessions, New Horizons sessions, Refresher Courses, ECR Master Classes, Image Interpretation Quizzes, Roundtable sessions, State-of-the-Art Symposia, Multidisciplinary and Professional Challenges sessions, and ESR Meets sessions. These final sessions are particularly close to my heart this year, as we welcome Canada, Romania and my home country of Ireland to share some information about their respective radiological practices and matters of particular relevance to them (from which we may all learn).
Of course, the ECR is not only the official meeting of radiologists in Europe, but also that of radiographers and medical physicists. Both the European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS) and the European Society for Hybrid, Molecular and Translational Imaging (ESHIMT) have worked tirelessly to create specialised programmes for ECR 2023, focussed on their respective fields. Hosting a diverse group of professionals in medical imaging in Vienna each year helps to encourage a multidisciplinary approach to healthcare, which ultimately works to benefit the patient. Additionally, we will have a dedicated Multidisciplinary track of sessions throughout the congress, sharing the podium with other specialties to enhance our collaborative understanding of patients’ needs. Therefore, I would like to extend a warm invitation to all friends from allied sciences and other medical specialties to attend the congress.
As a congress of the future, the ECR has proved itself to be highly resilient and adaptive over the past three years. Part of this adaptation has been the meeting’s ability to deliver a full congress programme to an entirely online audience during the pandemic. ECR 2020 and ECR 2021 were, of necessity, online-only events, but proved to be excellent substitutes to our usual events during the COVID pandemic. Great praise is due to the Presidents, Programme Planning Committees and office staff who pivoted to this new way of doing our work during the limitations of the last few years, and who succeeded in fulfilling our educational mission during these difficult years. After hosting a very successful on-site ECR 2022 in July, we have reverted to our usual March dates for this year’s Congress. Although the opportunity to attend onsite is now again available to all, delivering outstanding online services for those attending remotely remains an absolute priority of our meeting. It is our aim to make ECR as accessible as possible to all, so that wherever you are in the world, you can enjoy the excellent scientific discourse, unmissable education, and memorable moments that make this congress so special. Nonetheless, we fervently hope that as many of you as possible will be able to join us in person in Vienna, to enjoy the unparalleled networking and social opportunities offered by the ECR, in addition to the academic content. Whether you are attending onsite or online, ECR 2023 will be an unforgettable experience.
To finish, I would like to acknowledge the fact that each and every ECR is the product of an incredible amount of effort by numerous groups and individuals. I would like to thank all our abstract submitters, our onsite and online faculty, the ECR 2023 Programme Planning Committee and the entire ESR staff for their relentless work in developing this programme. It is important that we acknowledge that creating and running the ECR is a huge collective effort on the part of many people, most of whom never see the limelight. Their combined efforts have helped to create what I believe will be a truly unique and highly memorable Congress for all, and I’m very grateful for their hard work and guidance through the planning and organising process.
I look forward to seeing you at our meeting, and I hope you’ll enjoy the Congress as much as we enjoy hosting it.