ECR 2018: uniting radiologists to show diversity of discipline

An exclusive interview with the incoming ESR President

ECR Today spoke with the incoming ESR President, Prof. Bernd Hamm, from Berlin, Germany, to learn about his ideas for next year’s congress.

ECR Today: You were already ECR Congress President in 2015. How did you come to be president again in 2018?

Bernd Hamm is professor of radiology and chairman of all three merged departments of radiology at the Charité, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Freie Universität (Campus Mitte, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, and Campus Benjamin Franklin). He is also clinical director of the Charité Center, which includes radiology, neuroradiology, nuclear medicine and medical physics.

Bernd Hamm: This is not the first time that I have been asked: “why are you president again?” It was a great pleasure and responsibility to be the ECR President in 2015. For many years, we had two presidents – one to manage the affairs of the European Society of Radiology (ESR) and another to organise the society’s annual congress (ECR). And frankly, in my opinion this was a good division of labour. However, “the times they are a changin’ …” and, therefore, our society changed its statutes, and now we only have one president, who is both President of the ECR and President of the ESR.

This new combined ESR/ECR President begins his or her term of office at the end of each ECR by organising and chairing the next ECR and then the following year, as Chairman of the Board, focuses on professional and administrative business of the ESR. For me, this means a double honour and double responsibility. When I was elected to be the congress president for ECR 2015, I made a great effort to make the ECR a success and I will do my best to make ECR 2018 a success too.

However, I wish to underline that the ECR is a team effort and that the Programme Planning Committee with its brilliant members is a major asset in compiling an attractive scientific programme and that the organisation of a congress like the ECR is not possible without the highly professional staff of the ESR Office. Working together with many colleagues from many countries and different fields of radiology is very inspiring and is what ultimately underlies an attractive congress. This joint effort is rewarding and enlightening.

ECRT: As a motto for ECR 2018 you chose ‘Diverse and United’. Could you tell us a little about this?

BH: Radiology is such a diverse specialty, ranging from more and more refined diagnostic options to image-guided minimally invasive treatment options. Our specialty has something to offer for all of us and also for future generations of physicians, radiographers and students. However, like in a mosaic, it is the connection of all the pieces that create the big picture. By using this metaphor I wish to express my sincere wish and hope that, despite these different and interesting facets and subspecialties, radiologists should see themselves as a community and join forces to strengthen our specialty in the best interest of our patients.

In 2015 we also had a motto – ‘Radiology without borders’. In the beginning of 2015, none of us would have expected to see new fences being erected in Europe and borders becoming important once again. In view of these tendencies, it is even more important for our scientific community to practice radiology without borders and to advance our specialty through free academic discourse and by benefiting from a diversity of ideas.

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Mar 2017
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Prof. Bernd Hamm introduces ECR 2015

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Dear Friends of the ECR,

With the European Congress of Radiology 2015 now just around the corner, I hope you are looking forward to it as much as I am. As an attendee of every ECR over the last 25 years, I have seen the meeting evolve significantly. I have watched the crowds in the entrance hall and the audiences in the lecture rooms swell to a point where the ECR now regularly attracts more than 20,000 participants. I am confident that this year will be no exception, because the ECR’s deserved reputation is not only for high scientific quality but also for constant innovation in science, education, interactivity, and networking.

Many of you will already have received your congress badge in the post and will be patiently waiting for the moment you can proudly display it as you walk into the Austria Center Vienna. A lot of you have hopefully also made use of the Interactive Programme Planner to browse the sessions and posters on offer at ECR 2015 and to start planning your visit. If you’re not attending in person, you can still use it to start planning your online viewing, as most of the sessions will again be available on our streaming platform, ECR Live.

Bernd Hamm, professor of radiology and chairman of all three merged departments of radiology at the Charité, Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin and Freie Universität (Campus Mi e, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, and Campus Benjamin Franklin).

ECR 2015 Congress President, Prof. Bernd Hamm, from Berlin, Germany

An important development this year, which I hope will help to make that planning even easier, is the restructuring of the session formats. Most of the educational sessions at the ECR are now grouped under the heading of E³ – European Excellence in Education, and they are now arranged according to the different levels defined by the European Training Curriculum for Radiology. Here, I would like to introduce you to the five branches of the E³ programme, which reflect the different levels of education in radiology, as well as the different stages of an individual’s professional career:

Rising Stars
The Rising Stars programme is already well established at the ECR; it is a series of sessions prepared especially for residents, medical students, and radiographers in training. This year there are six basic sessions, four student sessions and four different hands-on workshops on ultrasound within the Rising Stars programme.
View the Rising Stars programme in the Interactive Programme Planner > here

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ECR 2015 will place emphasis on clear programme structure and youth initiatives, says congress president

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Sessions will look different at ECR 2015, to help participants make the most of the scientific and educational programme. ECR Today spoke with Professor Bernd Hamm from Berlin, Germany, who will preside over the congress next year, to find out what the biggest radiological meeting in Europe and the most modern one worldwide will look like in 2015.

ESR Office: What will be the main highlights of ECR 2015’s teaching programme?
Bernd Hamm: One of the major changes will be a restructuring of the session categories. Over the last few years, we kept adding new types of sessions, making it difficult for participants to find the sessions they are interested in and compile an efficient individual schedule. Apart from the Refresher Courses, which have become well established and accepted, we now offer most teaching courses under the heading of E³ – European Excellence in Education. These courses are now structured according to the different levels defined by the European Training Curriculum for Radiology. The E³ programme consists of the following five branches, which reflect the different levels of education in radiology, as well as the different stages of an individual’s professional career: Rising Stars, European Diploma Prep Sessions, The Beauty of Basic Knowledge, ECR Academies, and ECR Master Classes.

Bernd Hamm, professor of radiology and chairman of all three merged departments of radiology at the Charité, Humboldt- Universität zu Berlin and Freie Universität (Campus Mi e, Campus Virchow-Klinikum, and Campus Benjamin Franklin).

Prof. Bernd Hamm, professor of radiology and chairman of all three
merged departments of radiology at the Charité, Humboldt-
Universität zu Berlin and Freie Universität (Campus Mi e, Campus
Virchow-Klinikum, and Campus Benjamin Franklin).

The Rising Stars programme is directed at medical students with an interest in radiology, residents, and radiographers in training. The European Diploma Prep Sessions aim to provide preparatory sessions for future European Diploma in Radiology (EDiR) candidates. The content of the programme reflects level I and II of the European Training Curriculum. These courses are held in close cooperation with the European Board of Radiology (EBR). The Beauty of Basic Knowledge programme focuses on knowledge essential to the daily practice of radiology and is best suited to residents and board-certified radiologists. The ECR Academies consist of a series of sessions relevant to a particular area of radiology, and may be suited to general radiologists and radiologists with a subspecialisation. The content of ECR Academies mostly corresponds to level III of the European Training Curriculum. The ECR Master Classes are designed for participants and subspecialists seeking cutting-edge information in specific field of interest. During the ECR, one ECR Master Class is offered for each subspecialty in radiology (level III and beyond). This new structure of a major part of the teaching courses offered at the ECR results from intense exchange and excellent cooperation between the Congress Programme Planning Committee members.

ESR: What will the ECR Academies focus on?
BH: The ECR Academies in 2015 will focus on the new hot issues, such as hybrid imaging, image-guided interventions in oncology, and modern imaging of the GI tract. In addition, there will be sessions covering genitourinary radiology and our popular interactive teaching sessions focusing on different aspects of radiology.

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New faces on the ESR Executive Council

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As every year, the ESR presidency changed hands at the European Congress of Radiology in March, with the new president, Prof. Guy Frija, from Paris, taking the reins from Prof. Gabriel P. Krestin. At the same time, the ECR 2014 Congress President, Prof. Valentin E. Sinitsyn, from Moscow, took over from Prof. José I. Bilbao as chairman of the Congress Committee.

In addition to these regular changes, a number of other positions on the Executive Council have been filled by new faces. First, Prof. Bernd Hamm, from Berlin, has moved up the chain into Prof. Sinitsyn’s position as 1st Vice-Chairperson of the Congress Committee, with Prof. Katrine Åhlström Riklund, from Umea, Sweden, elected to the role of 2nd Vice-Chairperson.
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