ECR Travel Bursaries - experiences of previous recipients


ECR 2016

Dr Antonia Timmis - St George's Training Programme

I attended several educational sessions that formed part of the ECR European Excellence in Education (E3) programme. In particular, I tried to attend those aimed at radiology trainees: The Rising Stars programme and European Diploma Preparation Sessions. The ‘musculoskeletal trauma’ and ‘thoracic emergencies’ sessions included in the ECR Rising Stars programme were highly educational, pitched to my level, and gave me useful insights that I will be able to use during my general radiology on calls.  The European Diploma Preparation Sessions – as implied in the title – are designed to facilitate preparation for European national board examinations.These examinations require similar knowledge to that required for the Royal College Part 2A examinations, which I am currently sitting. I attended the head and neck and paediatric sessions, which provided a solid overview of head and neck anatomy, and pediatric neuro, chest and GI radiology respectively. Attending these sessions aided my preparation for the relevant FRCR 2A modules.

The ‘Beauty of Basic Knowledge’ series of talks on chest radiology focused on knowledge essential to the daily practice of radiology. The sessions offered a broad range of insights into chest radiology, including a refresher on useful signs in chest radiology, a session aimed at avoiding misdiagnosis in chest radiograph interpretation, and sessions on reporting interstitial lung disease and pleural disease. I very much hope to use the information covered in these sessions to improve the accuracy of my chest radiograph reports.

I also attended both the junior and senior Imaging Interpretation Quizzes. As well as being entertainment highlights of the conference, I found attendance at these sessions a useful educational opportunity.

The conference gave the opportunity to speak to other radiologists who had completed fellowships overseas. This was very useful as it allowed me to learn about the fellowships that are available, the logistics involved in obtaining a place on fellowship programmes and the costs involved.  Attending ECR also allowed me to explore Vienna, a city I hat not been to before. As well as attending the ECR party at the lavish Rathaus (Viennese Town Hall), I was able to attend a piano recital at the Wiener Konzerthaus, and eat traditional Viennese meals at  Viennese restaurants including at Café Mozart and Zum weissen Rauchfangkehrer.

Dr Bhavna Batohi - King's College Hospital Training Programme

I would like to express my gratitude to the Royal College of Radiologists (RCR) for granting me a travel bursary for my visit to Vienna for European Congress of Radiology (ECR) 2016.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to present my work on A Four-Year Review of Screen-Detected Discordant Breast Cancers which I have been working on for much of my radiology training. ECR was a great opportunity to get more insight into recent developments in breast screening and the implementation of new imaging modalities in the future.

I particularly enjoyed the Refresher Courses and Interactive sessions as they were a good way to update my knowledge. The online access to watch lectures is also a fantastic way to get the most out of the conference.

Although I didn’t see much of Vienna on my short visit, it is definitely a city that I hope to return to, especially for another visit to ECR.

Dr Christopher Williams - South Wales Training Programme

ECR 2016 was my first experience of a large radiology conference. The venue is fantastic and the sheer size of the conference allows an individually tailored experience. I found the conference engaging and rewarding.  The way the programme is set out – especially with regard to having presentations aimed at different levels - together with the ECR app, allowed me to complete some joint ESR/RSNA courses in emergency radiology, some basic lectures on subjects where I am weak as well as attend sub-specialist/new horizons presentations on areas which I intend to specialise in.

The opportunity to talk to leaders in radiology from all over the world about their approach to the problems we see in our day to day practice is very valuable.

I would recommend the conference to all radiologists in training together with Vienna which is a beautiful city as well as cheap and easy to get around thanks to its excellent transport infrastructure.

Dr Usman Raja - Imperial Training Programme

ECR 2016 provided me with a unique insight into the thought process and working practices of fellow radiologists across Europe, with various talks streamed simultaneously covering the majority of the radiology curriculum. The refresher talks provided a good blend of established knowledge base and more recent updates in the literature, with the speakers often sharing experiences from their own individual institutions.

There was very much a virtual presence at the conference, ranging from online streaming of talks available for viewing at a later date; interactive voting during talks; and real-time newsfeeds and posts via the ECR app. It all added to the experience and worked seamlessly.

Vienna itself is a beautiful city, second only to Melbourne in terms of quality of living according to The Economist Group, and this is reflected in the friendly demeanor of people on the streets and in coffee shops. The city is very easy to navigate and it is well worth hopping onto the Metro and seeing where it takes you.

Overall, ECR 2016 was a great conference to attend and I am grateful to the Royal College for affording me a travel bursary.


ECR 2015

Dr Phey Ming Yeap - East of Scotland Training Programme

I would like to thank the Royal College of Radiologist (RCR) for awarding me the Travel Bursary to assist towards expenses for my trip to Vienna for this year’s European Congress of Radiology (ECR).

The ECR is the largest medical imaging meeting in the Europe, which attracts more than 20,000 delegates from all around the world. The sheer magnitude of the conference is way beyond my expectations, being held at Vienna Internal Centre with numerous halls and countless presentation rooms.

Every year, the venue attracts renowned speakers from across the world, providing us with an array of options of different talks covering all subspecialties of Radiology. I focused my attendance on ‘Refresher’ courses, specifically in Musculoskeletal, and ‘Essentials’ in imaging which I thought would best suit my knowledge level as a fourth year registrar.

Vienna itself is an attractive, culturally diverse and vibrant city. It has a good, lively mix of cafes, galleries, shops and street markets, which has made my trip even more enjoyable.

Overall, the ECR was an unforgettable experience and a fantastic platform that allowed me to present my work to "the world". I strongly encourage trainees across the UK to strive to get their research presented at the ECR.

Dr Lalani Carlton-Jones - Imperial Training Programme

This is the first time I have travelled to ECR and was impressed with the overall setup.  There are a great deal of scientific and educational sessions occurring that there is almost always something you would want to attend at any given time. The programme planning online was easy to navigate and made choosing ones timetable relatively effortless.

I delivered an oral presentation relating to CT lung and airway morphology pre and post bariatric surgery. Feedback from the session chairs and other audience members was very positive.

I chose to concentrate the rest of the time on educational sessions relating to my subspecialty training in neuroradiology and head and neck. World-renowned speakers in both fields delivered excellent, often interactive lectures. Particular highlights were the future uses and potential of structured reporting in neuroradiology as well as Anne Osborn’s keynote lecture on molecular insights in brain tumour imaging.

I would like to thank the RCR for this bursary. Overall, ECR is an excellent conference with plentiful learning opportunities whilst being manageable in size. There is also ample time to explore the multiple cultural highlights of Vienna, which are a great additional bonus to attending ECR. 

Dr Brahman Dharmarajah – Northwick Park Training Programme

This was the first time that I had attended ECR and having been recommended it by many friends and colleagues it did not disappoint. This year there were over 20,000 delegates in attendance and I was very impressed with the diversity of the programme to cater for everyone.

I was fortunate to have an oral presentation in one of the Vascular Scientific Sessions as well as a poster presentation as part of the EPOS programme which provides DOI referencing for accepted posters at ECR. The Scientific Sessions provide useful peer review and feedback which can be used to refine research studies prior to subsequent manuscript submission for publication. This year the outcomes of Scientific Sessions were decided by an audience vote via the ECR mobile app or ECR webpage which kept sessions attentive and lively.

In addition to the Scientific Sessions, trainees can gain a huge amount from the enormous numbers of workshop sessions such as the ECR Academies to gain focussed, contemporary teaching in particular subjects. The provision of a lounge area specifically for trainees and residents also facilitates sharing of ideas and experiences of Radiology training from across the world.

The venue is perfect for the scale of the conference whilst Vienna provides a stunning backdrop steeped in history. I am very grateful to the Royal College of Radiologists Specialty Training Board for this Travel Bursary to attend this impressive conference.      


ECR 2014

Dr Derfel ap Dafydd - Imperial Training Programme 

This is my second consecutive ECR attendance. To me, ECR is an obvious choice, being a fairly local international general conference, relatively affordable, good quality and a manageable size. Chances of having a poster or talk accepted are also good.

This year I gave an oral presentation relating to airway abnormalities in obese individuals on CT and I presented three posters. The conference offers sessions in a variety of mediums. A delegate can attend up to four sessions a day - in total I attended 13 sessions this year. My preferred approach is to concentrate on the ‘refresher courses' in a particular sub-specialty, specifically Neuroradiology on this occasion. This way it is possible to cover a discipline's main topics over the course of the conference. Such a strategy should make a worthwhile contribution to exam preparation if applicable.

With a wealth of culture and beauty, Vienna itself makes for a very pleasant trip.

Dr David Little - Severn Radiology Training Programme

ECR 2014 was my first international conference and, on arrival, it was a little overwhelming; I was surprised just how many attendees there were. Having said that, the venue works well and the organisation is excellent.

I mostly attended educational rather than scientific sessions as these were more relevant to my stage of training. I thought the quality was generally very good and despite the European flavour of the event, the sessions were all relevant to UK practice. Particular highlights included hearing about radiology training in other European countries and a mini-course on basic musculoskeletal imaging which ran over the whole 5 days.

Vienna itself is a pleasant city with excellent public transport which makes getting around very easy. There was ample opportunity to explore the city around the conference.

My advice to future trainees attending ECR would be not to try and pack too much in, be selective about the sessions you attend and try and go with someone you know.

I would like to thank the Royal College of Radiologists for providing this travel bursary which helped me to attend what was an excellent conference.

Dr Fiona Pathiraja - University College London Hospitals Training Programme

ECR 2014 was the first large-scale radiology conference I have attended. Overall, it was an enjoyable experience and I am grateful for the award of the RCR travel bursary. I had several posters accepted for presentation at congress this year and one was awarded a Scientific Exhibition committee Cum Laude award. I enjoyed the opportunity to network with various European radiologists and attended several of the mini courses and refresher lectures on a range of topics from stroke and bone tumours to interstitial lung disease. Several UK registrars also attended, making the congress a very social event.

I was enormously impressed by the social media capacity of the conference: the virtual networking on Twitter led to many tangible opportunities for collaboration and one could plan a schedule based on the high quality ESR iPhone app. All the lectures were also recorded for viewing at a later date, which was of great use if you were unable to attend one due to a scheduling clash.

ESR seems like an exciting organization, and offers so much more than just the ECR congress. I look forward to exploring more of the specialty conferences (e.g. Management in Radiology in Bologna) later this year.