INTERVIEW WITH AN UNDERGRADUATE MEDICAL STUDENT


1.    How did you learn about the ESR Rising Stars Programme and ECR student abstract submission?
I was in my last year of medical school in 2010 and I was doing a student internship in a radiology department. My tutor told me about the ECR student abstract submission, and he really motivated me to participate.

2.    What was your motivation to present your work at the ECR?
I was really curious about the fascinating world of medical congresses and my curiosity was even more stimulated by the possibility to speak and present in a dedicated session as a student.

3.    Did you find the instructions on the ESR website easy to follow?
Definitely, yes. The instructions were clear and Robert Gruenkranz, from the ESR Office, helped every time we needed it.

4.    Tell us about your experience gained by participating in the congress.
I had my first public presentation at the ECR in 2011, which was even before my graduation thesis, thus, it was a unique chance to become confident with public speaking and data presentation. I was definitely more self-confident after the congress. I also learned a lot by attending several basic lectures on different topics and was truly enthusiastic about the knowledge I acquired. Lastly, I met new friends and I am still in contact with many of them; this was a great opportunity to build an international network for future purposes.

5.    Did participating in the congress change your view about radiology?
Absolutely, yes. As a student I had limited and mostly theoretical radiological knowledge. I met very interesting people and extensively visited the technical exposition during the ECR, where I discovered new machines and technologies. I went back home even more curious about the field of diagnostic imaging. The congress gave me the certainty that radiology was the right choice for my future career.   

6.    Did participating in the congress help you in the decisions about your future?
Yes. Although I was already oriented towards becoming a radiologist, participating in the congress reinforced my choice.

7.    Would you like to participate in the ECR next year again?
After my first ECR in 2011 as a student, I participated in every following ECR as a resident until 2017 and I will probably continue to attend ECR also after completing my residency.

8.    What would be your advice to students willing to present their work at the ECR?
Presenting at ECR is a unique possibility for students regardless of the future directions of their own medical career. It means challenging yourself in a new field with the support of a big organisation like the European Society of Radiology.

9.    Do you have any suggestions, comments and ideas how to improve the student sessions at the ECR?
Students need to be encouraged by senior radiologists to take part in student sessions. Speaking in front of many people is something that definitely motivates someone even more when young. I would suggest combining student presentations with basic lectures such as those of “Beauty of Basic Knowledge Sessions” in order to increase the number of residents as well as senior radiologists attending the student sessions.