On 14–16 October, our annual conference returned to Liverpool for a third year, hosting a packed programme of clinical sessions, workshops, audit and research presentations and hot-topic debates. The new October dates made it easier for our trainee members to attend and we were thrilled to welcome over 700 delegates to RCR19 – a record number to join us at the Arena and Convention Centre.
Following the success of last year’s new sessions for radiology trainees, this year also hosted a dedicated stream for oncology trainees, focused on improved imaging for radiotherapy planning, covering a range of tumour sites. The radiology trainee stream included workshops on cardiothoracic and head and neck imaging, as well as interventional radiology and preparing for the consultant interview.
Artificial intelligence (AI) was once again a key issue running throughout the event, with a dedicated stream on the roles and requirements of imaging AI and the need for radiologist involvement, a theme which was echoed by plenary speaker Professor Lim. AI developments were also covered in a variety of sub-specialty streams, including breast, PET-CT and coronary artery imaging.
This year’s plenary sessions were as diverse as they were fascinating. The keynote presentation on Monday 14 October was delivered by world-renowned radiotherapy expert Professor Marcel Van Herk, who talked delegates through advances in radiotherapy treatment and planning and appealed for ongoing collaboration across the expert cancer care team to improve outlining.
Tuesday’s plenary presentation was given by academic and TV anthropologist Professor Alice Roberts, who gave RCR19 a whirlwind tour of Britain’s ancient burial sites – from the Neolithics to the Normans.
The final plenary session was a thought-provoking exploration of the utility and ethical considerations of radiology AI, delivered by Professor Tchoyoson Lim from the National Neuroscience Institution, Singhealth – Duke National University of Singapore
Other hot topics included the impact of human factors and bullying in imaging departments, as well as the complexities and emerging fallout of the ongoing NHS consultant pensions crisis.
This year’s dedicated oncology stream covered the growing evidence base for using state-of-the-art radiotherapy to treat lung, liver and pancreatic and biliary cancers, as well as opportunities and challenges for UK provision. Monday’s lung stream also focused on the topical theme of lung cancer screening, featuring the experiences of pilot site leads and commentary from NHS England’s chief independent adviser on the issue.
We were especially pleased to be able to give oncology delegates the opportunity to road test our brand new tumour outlining tool as part of a special Wednesday workshop stream.
Alongside our diverse sub-specialty imaging streams covering musculoskeletal, bowel, paediatric, breast and interventional radiology to name a few, particularly popular radiology sessions included a packed ‘pitfalls’ stream and the ever-popular afternoon quiz.
This year’s membership update was delivered by the RCR’s new President, Dr Jeanette Dickson, together with Clinical Radiology Vice-President Dr Caroline Rubin and our new Clinical Oncology Vice-President, Dr Hannah Tharmalingam. The leadership team highlighted many of the workforce, training and member support initiatives that are ongoing across the RCR, as well as our recent engagement with the media and NHS and political leaders, before outlining the RCR’s key priorities for the coming year.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) saw us say farewell and thank you to our outgoing Medical Director for Education and Training for Clinical Radiology, Dr William Ramsden, who has been replaced by Dr Stephen Harden. We are also extremely grateful to past President Professor Nicola Strickland for her leadership over the last three years.
Congratulations to our clinical oncology competition winners: Dr Shefali Parikh, winner of the Wormald e-poster competition, Dr Katie Spencer, winner of our Wormald proffered paper competition, and Dr Paula McCloskey, the clinical oncology audit and quality improvement e-poster competition winner.
Congratulations to our clinical radiology winners: Dr Johnson Chen, winner of the clinical radiology audit e-poster competition, Dr Madiha Hussain, winner of the George and Vera Ansell e-poster competition, and Dr Thomas Geh, the George and Vera Ansell proffered paper competition winner.
A huge amount of work and months of planning go into the conference each year and we are extremely grateful to our programme organisers. The Professional Learning and Development Committees did a fantastic job creating such a fresh and relevant programme.
The majority of RCR19 lectures were recorded and these sessions will be available for Fellows and members to watch for free on the RCR e-learning hub. We will soon be launching our conference podcast series featuring Dr Rowena Johnson in conversation with some of RCR19’s key speakers. The RCR19 ‘case of the day’ questions are also still available for those who wish to earn additional CPD points.
Finally, we want to say a massive thank you to all our delegates, many of whom travelled from all over the UK and further afield to make RCR19 such an exciting three days. Once again, we were really pleased to see so many attendees joining the action on social media. We look forward to seeing everyone again next October for RCR2020!
We are also hugely grateful to 4ways and all our 2019 sponsors.