ECR offers trainees opportunities to expand knowledge base

February 27, 2006

The last decade spawned great changes throughout Europe affecting junior radiologists as well as those in many other specialties. New technical and subspecialty developments increase demands on junior radiologists but also create entirely new opportunities.

The last decade spawned great changes throughout Europe affecting junior radiologists as well as those in many other specialties. New technical and subspecialty developments increase demands on junior radiologists but also create entirely new opportunities.

The inclusion of more countries in the European Union offers many radiologists new possibilities to work abroad. The introduction of PACS also offers great potential. But other modern radiology trends, such as teleradiology and outsourcing, present concerns for radiology trainees. A survey by the Radiology Trainees Forum Board of radiology teaching centers from 30 European countries found that in 7% of centers, outsourcing impinges significantly on training and that in 13% of centers the training deficts are beginning to show. It is therefore very important that good quality training be integrated with outsourced modalities.

With all these changes it is important to understand the perspective of junior radiologists and to reassess training on a regular basis. That is why national and European junior representative forums are so important. The Royal College of Radiologists in the U.K., for example, includes junior representation on all important boards and committees. Radiology trainees are asked for their opinions on training and their comments are seriously considered.

European trainees are organized by the Radiology Trainees Forum (formerly the Junior Radiologists Forum) where all national representatives meet annually at the European Congress of Radiology general assembly. The assembly is open to all trainees wishing to attend and provides an opportunity to discuss training issues.

At the ECR, the forum will present results from its recent survey on teleradiology and outsourcing, provide information on grants and fellowships throughout Europe, and discuss new initiatives such as exchange programs and workshops for radiology trainees. In addition, a program on Saturday, March 4 will highlight advances in ultrasound and an interactive session on near misses in radiology, in the Austria Center, from 16:00 to 17:30.

Trainee attendance at the ECR has risen sharply over the years with great support from the Investment in the Youth program. Investment in youth is important, as the quality of tomorrow's radiologists can only be as good as the teaching offered to radiology trainees today.

Dr. Nyhsen is vice chair of the European Radiology Trainees Forum Board.