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Q&A with ESR president, Lorenzo Derchi

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | February 26, 2019
European News
Lorenzo Derchi
From the January/February issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

The annual gathering of the European Congress of Radiology will take place this year from February 27 to March 3 in Vienna. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Congress being held in Vienna with the event spanning just over three decades in total. We spoke with European Society of Radiology president, professor Lorenzo Derchi to learn more about this year’s event, get the updates on the society and his take on the challenges and advancements in radiology.

HCB News: With ESR representing such a wide range of countries, are lots of different methods/processes introduced to the society or does ESR act more as a singular guide for radiologists to look to?
Lorenzo Derchi: Europe comprises a number of different nations and each of them has its own healthcare system; therefore, the ways of practice are somewhat different from each other. Additionally, because postgraduate training systems are different in many of the European nations, i.e., driven only by universities, by teaching hospitals (or by both of these institutions), the length of residency programs is therefore not homogeneous (although programs are quite similar and postgraduate certification obtained in one nation is valid throughout the entire EU).

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I do believe that the most important goal of ESR is probably the “harmonisation” of radiology in Europe and we have a number of initiatives working to achieve this goal. We published the “European Training Curricula” (for undergraduate teaching, for residency programs and for sub-specialization level), which are endorsed not only by national radiological societies, but also the UEMS (European Union of Medical Specialists).

We have developed the “European Diploma of Radiology” (EDiR), which does not substitute the certification in radiology provided by the national authorities, but is a certification that demonstrates that the holder has reached the competencies, attitudes and skills outlined in the curricula. We are working, again together with the UEMS, on the “European Training Assessment Program” (ETAP) and the “Accreditation Council for Imaging” (ACI), harmonising the assessment of residency programs and the accreditation of European meeting and educational activities.

We run an office in Brussels that closely follows the activities of the EU, works on increasing the profile of radiology within the European institutions, and contributes to shaping European health policies and standards. The European Institute for Biomedical Imaging Research (EIBIR) established by the ESR helps radiologists and related professionals obtain research funds from the European Commission to advance biomedical imaging research in Europe. EuroSafe Imaging is an ESR initiative aimed to support and strengthen medical radiation protection across Europe following a holistic, inclusive approach.

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