Q&A with ECR President, Michael Fuchsjäger

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | March 03, 2021
Business Affairs European News
Michael Fuchsjaeger
Like ECR 2020, this year’s congress, taking place March 3 to 7, will also be virtual due to the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic. With the experience of last year’s congress to build on and a full year to prepare, ESR President, Professor of Radiology, and Chairman of the Department of Radiology at the Medical University of Graz, Michael Fuchsjäger, believes the event will raise the bar and exceed the expectations of its virtual attendees. HealthCare Business News spoke with Professor Fuchsjäger to learn more about his background and the latest about ECR.

HCB News: What inspired you to pursue a career in healthcare?
Michael Fuchsjäger: In my family, there are several doctors – among them my mother, my father and my grandfather. Therefore, it has always been a part of my life and, even when I was young, I could envision what my job would be like. I think I am also an empathic person, so it fits together well.

HCB News: Can you tell us about your personal background with the European Society of Radiology?
MF: I started my scientific career rather young, out of an intrinsic motivation and interest in research and science. And because it is something you have joy doing, you go along with it without having a predetermined goal in mind.

During my residency at the Medical University of Vienna, I took the chance to submit an abstract to the European Congress of Radiology – and it got accepted. That is how I started and over time, also through my personal growth as an expert in breast cancer, I advanced within the society until I was invited to serve on the Programme Planning Committee of ECR 2012. That is how it all began – I guess I performed well.

I have always had fun working on committees, trying to build something. Once I started taking part in ESR agendas, I gradually got involved and became a member of the ESR Executive Council, the second highest committee within the ESR. For three years now, I have been on the Board of Directors and currently I am President of the society. After this period, I will become Chair of the Board and in my final year on the board, I will serve as past president.

For all this, you really must be driven intrinsically. You cannot simply set the goal, “I want to become the president of the society” and that is it. You must have the interest, must be able to perform and then there is, of course, a certain kind of luck, the right subspecialty at the right time, in order to be considered for the Board of Directors. After all, members are electing candidates from all over Europe!

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