Interview: Dr. Catherine Owens, chair of the ESR Subspecialties and Allied Sciences Committee


Organisations that represent professionals working in radiological subspeciaties and allied sciences are vital parts of the ESR community. The ESR has its own body – the Subspecialties and Allied Sciences Committee – that is dedicated to discussing and highlighting issues that affect these groups. We spoke to chairperson Dr. Catherine Owens to find out about her role, the committee’s functions and some of the items on its current agenda.

ESR Office: What is the main purpose of the Subspecialties and Allied Sciences Committee (SASC) and how does it operate?

Catherine Owens: The SASC was formed to unite all of the important subspecialties within clinical radiology, and the important allied healthcare professionals. The committee is made up of the presidents of each of the ESR’s Subspecialties and Allied Sciences Member Societies. This provides a forum to highlight the common issues within radiology and to try to empower the individual groups to understand and help find joint solutions. As a united group we are more able to increase our powers to lobby national and EU groups to solve some of the current challenges facing radiologists.

Dr. Catherine Owens, chair of the ESR's Subspecialties and Allied Sciences Committee

Dr. Catherine Owens, chair of the ESR’s Subspecialties and Allied Sciences Committee

Practically speaking, the committee coordinates initiatives related to pertinent issues within all subspecialties in radiology and allied disciplines, in cooperation with the Education Committee for specific educational issues and with the Quality, Safety and Standards Committee for specific professional issues. In addition, the committee assists the European Congress of Radiology Programme Planning Committee in the preparation of the educational and scientific programme for the annual ECR meetings.

Specific tasks and responsibilities of the group include revising detailed curricula for subspecialty training in liaison with the Education Committee; devising Strategies to support the provision of subspecialist radiology; providing liaison between European subspecialty societies, allied sciences societies and the ESR; and contributing to the overall strategies of the ESR related to professional issues, training harmonisation and research collaboration.

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ECR 2013 Focus: Justifying CT in Paediatric Radiology


The optimisation and justification of procedures is vital when using CT as an imaging modality; particularly on children, who are more sensitive to ionising radiation than adults. Therefore, it is crucial that all those who use CT understand the physics behind the equipment and ultimately use this understanding to minimise the potential risks while maximising the potential benefits to each individual patient. Patients should also be informed of the risks and benefits of undergoing a CT scan. World-renowned experts will explain these issues in detail during a Special Focus Session at ECR 2013.

“Not all radiologists and technicians are aware of the latest dose reduction strategies. Some are not necessarily so well-informed and perhaps do not realise how important this is. We believe that it is a question of trying to get everybody to a certain level of knowledge and expertise,” said Dr. Catherine Owens, paediatric radiologist and CT unit lead at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital in London, U.K.

Paediatric MDCT  Chest Imaging Techniques

Fig. 1

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