Interview: Prof. Laura Oleaga, chair of the ESR Education Committee

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For this month’s ESR News interview, we spoke to Prof. Laura Oleaga, from Barcelona, Spain, who serves on the ESR Executive Council as chair of the ESR Education Committee. She gave us an insight into the workings and recent achievements of her committee, as well as her own background within the ESR.

ESR News: What is the overall purpose of the ESR Education Committee and how does it operate?
Prof. Laura Oleaga: The purpose of the ESR Education Committee and its subcommittees is to promote education in radiology to achieve homogeneity in radiology education throughout Europe. To achieve this, the committee acts as a consultative body for all educational activities within the ESR and works closely with the European School of Radiology (ESOR), the European Board of Radiology (EBR), which organises the European Diploma in Radiology (EDiR), and the ESR’s e-Learning platform. The main objective of the committee is to achieve maximum quality in radiology training across Europe.

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Prof. Laura Oleaga, chair of the ESR Education Committee

ESR: The committee interacts with a number of other groups and subcommittees. What roles do the European Training Assessment Programme Subcommittee (ETAP) and the Undergraduate Education Subcommittee play?
LO: Following the aim of harmonising the standards of radiology training in Europe, ETAP gives radiological institutions the opportunity to have their training programmes objectively assessed by external assessors nominated by the ESR, to guide their training in radiology according to the standards of the ESR European Training Curriculum for Radiology (ETC).

Moreover, it is important to promote the specialty of radiology in universities. In this regard the ESR Undergraduate Education Subcommittee is responsible for all activities aimed at the promotion of radiological education among medical students. The subcommittee has developed the paper Becoming a radiologist and is currently working on a guidance paper for all those interested or engaged in teaching radiology to medical undergraduates.
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11
Aug 2015
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Interview: Prof. Birgit Ertl-Wagner, chair of the ESR Education Committee

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Many ESR projects fit into the category of education, so it is no surprise that the society’s Education Committee is one of its most active. We spoke to Prof. Birgit Ertl-Wagner, who has chaired the committee since March 2012, to find out a little more about its activities.

ESR Office: What is the overall purpose of the ESR Education Committee and how does it operate?
Birgit Ertl-Wagner: The Education Committee serves as an advisory body for all educational topics within the ESR. Major goals of the committee are the establishment of structures for both undergraduate and postgraduate radiology education and the harmonisation of training in radiology across Europe.

The committee is composed of several subcommittees covering – among other things – training assessment and undergraduate education. Also, the Radiology Trainees Forum is associated with the Education Committee. The committee and the various subcommittees hold meetings on a regular basis, mostly online. We also always meet in person during the ECR.

Prof. Birgit Ertl-Wagner, chair of the ESR Education Committee

Prof. Birgit Ertl-Wagner, professor of radiology and section chief for magnetic resonance imaging at the Institute of Clinical Radiology, University of Munich – Grosshadern Campus, and chair of the ESR Education Committee

ESR: What is your background within the ESR committee structure and what motivates you to be involved?
BEW: I first became involved in the ESR committee structure as a member of the audit and standards subcommittee. Subsequently, I chaired the European Training Assessment Program (ETAP), which is a subcommittee of the Education Committee. Since March 2012, I have chaired the Education Committee.

My motivation to be involved in the ESR stems from my firm belief that a strong cooperation and collaboration between European radiologists will help us to better serve our patients and to augment radiology and healthcare as a whole. Moreover, I am also convinced that an outreach beyond the borders of Europe also enhances the manifold benefits that radiology brings to our societies. Last but not least, education is an ideal vehicle to shape the future of radiology and to create a “Radiology without Borders” – to quote the motto of ECR 2015.

ESR: What are the main issues currently on the committee’s agenda, and how are they being tackled?
BEW: There are many activities currently on the committee´s agenda. One of the priorities of the Education Committee is the harmonisation of radiology in Europe. To reach this end, a detailed European Training Curriculum (ETC) for radiology training levels I and II has been developed, which will serve as a model for the development of national curricula. The ESR encourages a five-year training period in radiology with three years allocated to level I and two years for level II. Together with the subspecialty societies we are currently developing a level III curriculum for full subspecialty training after the completion of radiology training. Moreover, we are developing a U-level curriculum as a model for teaching curricula in radiology for undergraduate medical education. In addition, many other projects such as the accreditation of training schemes in radiology are currently underway.

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15
Jul 2014
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New York schools celebrate day of awareness for radiology

Following the launch of the first International Day of Radiology in November last year, the field of radiology now has another special day to celebrate. During the opening session of an annual science day in New York, USA, marking its tenth anniversary, organiser Prof. Hedvig Hricak and her colleagues were presented with a proclamation officially declaring April 19, 2013, Radiology/Science Careers Awareness and Exploration Day for High School Juniors.

Proclamation certificate presented to Dr. Hedvig Hricak and colleagues

Proclamation certificate presented to Dr. Hedvig Hricak and colleagues

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16
May 2013
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Record participation for diploma examination at ECR

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The increasingly popular European Diploma in Radiology (EDiR) attracted a record number of candidates from all over the world to the ECR. As many as 62 residents and radiologists travelled to Vienna to sit the examination, a 50% increase in participation from last year.

This rise reflects the growing quality and recognition of the diploma, according to Dr. Éamann Breatnach from Dublin, scientific director of the European Board of Radiology (EBR), which organises the examination. “People start to see that the diploma is a qualification agreed to by both the EBR and the European Society of Radiology (ESR). There is more recognition of the value of the diploma, which people see as useful for their individual career paths. Holding the diploma shows your employer that you are enthusiastic and have a good knowledge base, and ultimately you can use it to look for employment elsewhere,” he said.

Mariana Jakubowicz and Santiago Andrés from Buenos Aires, Argentina, were amongst the candidates at the European Diploma in Radiology exams which took place Wednesday to Friday during the ECR.

Mariana Jakubowicz and Santiago Andrés from Buenos Aires, Argentina, were amongst the candidates at the European Diploma in Radiology exams which took place Wednesday to Friday during the ECR.

The diploma is officially recognised by the European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS), and its reputation extends well beyond Europe. Candidates from the Gulf countries have come in large numbers since the introduction of the diploma two years ago, and Americans are beginning to show an interest as well. Furthermore, the Argentine Society of Radiology paid for two young radiologists to take the diploma exam, and covered their travel and accommodation costs. Dr. Mariana Jakubowicz and Dr. Santiago Andrés, residents at the Deutsches Hospital in Buenos Aires, found it to be a great experience and acknowledged the quality of the examination.

“The exam really covered every aspect of general radiology. The written part was tough. There were lots of questions and little time to answer them. Cases were not the simplest. The examination was challenging because of the language, but I know the examiners take that into account. I felt more comfortable during the oral exam though and could comment on the images. Besides, the examiners were very friendly and helpful,” Andrés said.

“One difficulty is that we do things differently back home. For instance I would never do an MR examination for appendicitis but rather an ultrasound or abdominal CT scan, so I am not used to seeing this pathology on MRI. That was a bit confusing. But having a mock exam beforehand could help in this regard,” said Jakubowicz, who confirmed the huge interest among young Argentinean radiologists in working abroad.

Andrés and Jakubowicz also presented papers through EPOS™ – on mammography, usual metastatic sites in PET, whole-body PET-CT examination and on the selection of biopsy sites with PET-CT. Part of the reason why they took the exam in Vienna was so they could also attend the ECR, and diploma candidates were given free access to the congress this year. Conveniently, the examination started a day before the beginning of the ECR, to enable candidates to attend sessions afterwards. Furthermore, the examination was split over three days, sparing candidates long waiting times between the written and oral tests.

This time, diploma organisers invited a panel of observers to attend the orals, in order to train them to become examiners next year. Organisers also announced that they would include a list of recommended literature for the next examination, after candidates requested this option.

“We would like to encourage people to be familiar with the ESR publications, which include the publication on the revised training charter and curriculum, the journals European Radiology and Insights into imaging, and the case material available on Eurorad. But this list is not exclusive and we are aware that there are very good books in languages other than English, so I want to stress that point, and also insist on the European nature of this examination, which is not a language test,” Breatnach said.

In the future, organisers would like to see the diploma become accepted as equivalent to some national qualifications, and negotiations are currently underway.
The examination will also be held during the annual meeting of the Turkish Society of Radiology in November. Candidates will have the option of taking the oral test either in English or in the local language.

Success in the examination will certify a standard of radiological knowledge deemed appropriate by the ESR for independent practise in general radiology. The examination is open to radiologists and radiology residents in their fifth year of training. Examination costs are €500 for ESR full members and members in training, and €1,100 for ESR corresponding members.

Radiologists need more time and know-how to train doctors of tomorrow

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Watch this session on ECR Live: Thursday, March 7, 16:00–17:30, Room F1

Postgraduate radiology training is high on the agenda in Europe, with a great deal of attention in recent years being given to the harmonisation of educational standards across the continent, but there is a growing feeling within the discipline that radiology should not lose sight of the equally important issue of undergraduate education. Exposing undergraduates to radiology not only serves the obvious and vital purpose of inspiring potential radiologists, but also ensures that students who go on to follow careers in other disciplines are well versed in what radiology can offer and how it operates. In broad terms, the net result is a combination of helping to secure the discipline’s future and making life easier for its practitioners.

However, making sure undergraduates are given sufficient contact with radiology is no easy task. The competing clinical, managerial and academic demands on radiologists’ time and skills, which increase with every year, mean that any additional activities run the risk of being excluded. The time and resources needed, not just to teach, but also to carry out the necessary preparation for effective teaching, can often make it impossible to fit in to an already hectic schedule.

Professor Stephen J. Golding (left) from Oxford will chair today’s Professional Challenges Session on undergraduate teaching.

Professor Stephen J. Golding (left) from Oxford will chair today’s Professional Challenges Session on undergraduate teaching.

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07
Mar 2013
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