Международного межуниверситетского семинара по диагностической и терапевтической радиологии
Минск, 20-21 октября 2003 года
Diagnostic Imaging in Europe.
Hans G Ringertz, MD, PhD
Department of Radiology and Paediatric Radiology, Karolinska Hospital Stockholm, Sweden.
(Радиология в медицинской диагностике [современные технологии] 2003: 49-52)
Radiology in Europe is divided into Diagnostic Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Radiotherapy. The European Association of Radiology (EAR) represents Diagnostic Radiology and was founded on December 15, 1962 by the German Boris Rajewsky and the French Charles Marie Gros.
When the organisation was formally registered in 1964, the member societies represented nine European countries. Since then it has expanded substantially. Right now there are 38 member societies. Thus, EAR goes far beyond the current borders of the political European Union (EU) and is representative of over 36.000 radiologists in Europe.
Aims The European Association of Radiology (EAR) is the common forum of the
national radiological societies representing diagnostic and interventional radiology
and medical imaging in European countries.
EAR promotes and coordinates the efforts of radiologists in all European countries in order to further the progress of radiology and related sciences by fostering research. EAR has a scientific, educational and professional mission. Among the principles of EAR, the unity of Radiology is certainly one of the most important ones in our speciality.
The structure and bodies.
In order to attain its objectives, the EAR has an Executive Bureau. The Executive Bureau of EAR consists of 11 members. Traditionally, the outgoing president of ECR is appointed president of the EAR. In order to have more flexibility a second track for presidency was now created which allows to include also candidates from the EAR bureau and committees.
There are several EAR committees like the European Congress of Radiology (ECR), Educational committee, Professional organisation committee, and Subspecialty committees. In addition, there are working groups on computer science applications, cost-effectiveness, management and radiation protection, and Pathologic-radiologic correlation etc.).
These bodies report to the Executive Bureau and the General Assembly of the EAR. EAR has also established a joint committee with the Coordination Committee of the Radiological and Electromedical Industries (COCIR) which, among other things, is important for the technical exhibitions of the congresses. There are also close relations with EFOMP (European Federation of Medical Physics).
There are important links to the Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) in Europe via the POC. UEMS is the European representative organisation of the various National Associations of medical specialists in the member countries of the EU. Its structure is of an Executive and Management Council responsible for, and working through 36 Specialist Sections, each with its own European Board. It is thus representative of over one million specialists in all the different specialities.
The objective of UEMS includes promotion of quality in patient care through the harmonisation and improvement of quality of specialist medical care in the countries of the EU. There are important links with EU statutory authorities (Advisory Committee on Medical Training)
Coming back to EAR.
The European Congress of Radiology (ECR) is the mainstay of the European Association of Radiology and its shining star. The first congress was held in Barcelona in 1967. Joseph Lissner in Vienna created a new type of congress in 1991 with the congress being held every two years from then on. Since 1999 the congress has become an annual event with an increasing number of participants amounting up to 11.000. Since the meeting place has proved to be very convenient for East and West, Vienna will remain probably the congress venue in the foreseeable future.
In view of the historical initially separate development of EAR and ECR, it can be explained that ECR has got individual membership, which allows free subscription the JOURNAL and reduced participation fees.
The journal «European Radiology» is the official organ of EAR and the journal of ECR. Since 1991 the Journal has expanded considerably and under its current editor Albert Baert it is very successful. From 6 issues per year, European Radiology moved to 8 issues in 1997 and to 12 issues in the year 2000. The Circulation of the Journal amounts to 7000 monthly copies in the year 2000 and the impact factor increased to .897 (in 1999). European Radiology has the largest circulation of among all radiological journals published in Europe and is now the journal with the third largest circulation in Radiology worldwide. European Radiology cooperates closely with several subspecialty societies.
During the past years the most important task of the EAR has been building up the identity and unity of European radiology by an well-organised modern European Congress of Radiology and by integrating eastern, central and western European members. While these activities have been very successful, they will continue to require great efforts in future.
In parallel, EAR – in cooperation with the Radiology Section of UEMS (the European Union of Medical Specialists) – is closely involved in planning and adapting European regulations, such as those for radiation protection (Medical Exposure Directive 97/43 EURATOM) or quality improvement (for example, quality criteria for computed tomography). European research projects, such as the framework programmes of the European community, have been under-utilised by radiologists, and EAR will try to improve radiologists’ access to upcoming programmes.
Education is one of the most important functions of EAR and covers a broad
spectrum, from the training of medical students in radiology and radiation protection
to continuous medical education for the specialist and sub specialist radiologist.
EAR, through its different bodies and with the help of associated organisations
(for example, the European Federation of Medical Physicists), has defined training
recommendations to harmonise education in Europe and to help its members to
find their national, European-compatible solution, to adapt to new legislation,
and to face the fast changes in technical development and medical research.
Several documents have been finalised or drafted such as
- pre-graduate training in radiology in Europe;
- guidelines for training in general radiology
- continuing medical education (CME) guidelines of the EAR/UEMS radiology section
Aside from these educational recommendations and from its major educational event (the European Congress of Radiology), EAR is co organising, coordinating and sponsoring a number of teaching activities.
A new initiative was started in 1998 to build up a European database of digital
teaching case studies: EURORAD, which is available on the Internet and provides
characteristic state-of-the-art case studies of the most important pathologies.
Integrating the Health Care Enterprise (IHE) is another promising initiative that, in close cooperation with the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), will be realized on a European scale together with the industry. IHE is a vision for optimal patient care using all available information. Finally, only recently a Global Radiology Network was suggested by ECR and EAR as a portal to Radiology worldwide.
Research and Science.
Education has been one of most important functions of EAR, but science has been and will be equally important. EAR has decided to install a special committee on radiological sciences. So our goal for the future will be to concentrate also on research and research policy by creating new structures under the umbrella of EAR.
In comparison with radiology in North America, European radiology and the European Association of Radiology are young, growing entities, far from perfect, but with a great potential for cooperation. The political changes in Eastern Europe have created the unique chance to bring radiologists from all of Europe together.
Radiology is now more than ever facing stiff competition. In order to meet the great challenges ahead of us, it is necessary to unite our forces and to search together for solutions and sound structures within a Europe united in its purpose and determination.
Nearly 40 years after it’s founding, the European Association of Radiology is looking forward with confidence to the challenges in the future and the changes within a United Europe.