Neuroradiology as Division of the U.E.M.S. We have managed it! – Martin Schumacher (ESNR). September, 2008.

Neuroradiology as Division of the U.E.M.S. – We have managed it!
The European Union of Medical Specialists (UEMS) is increasingly important in the design of specialties in Europe. It regulates important areas of our professional life, like standards for training and education, accreditation of training centers, European qualification standards in Neuroradiology or the CME-credits system. More and more, the basis for national implementation is also prepared by the UEMS and it was therefore justified that the ESNR strove for more than10 years to become a member of this important organization. We have now achieved this and founded the Division of Neuroradiology in the Section Radiology in Brussels on September 13th 2008. The work already begun in the European Board of Neuroradiology can now be continued and Standards and Guidelines for Neuroradiology in Europe further developed.

I would like especially to thank all of those, who have supported the work of the European Society of Neuroradiology and the European Board for so many years. Those who have worked directly over the years to get Neuroradiology anchored in the UEMS know very well that we would not be here today, had they not met with openness and willingness to cooperate from the President of the Radiology  Section, Prof. Peter Pattynama and the Secretary General of the U.E.M.S. Dr. Bernard Maillet.

The pathway to the founding of a Neuroradiological Division is long and not without detours. More than 12 years of constant effort to achieve this goal lie now behind us. The aim was always to convince their counterparts within Radiology and the Neuroscience Specialties, that the specificity of Neuroradiology requires individual education and training to equip this part of radiology professionally with the best expertise.

We met in the past with the greatest understanding in the neuro-disciplines, which regularly invited representatives of the ESNR to attend their meetings as guests. We especially have to thank Prof. Hans Reulen, President of the Section of Neurosurgery who supported us in an outstanding way and great trustworthiness.

The neighboring clinical disciplines have always supported our opinion that the best way to achieve training as a neuroradiologist can be realized within an independent specialty. On their part, it was always accepted as a legitimate wish of Neuroradiology that it be permitted the possibility of achieving European harmonization of the training programs, education, organization, examination etc. independently as a specialty. This of course, leaves open a wide range of cooperation, not only with neuroscience disciplines but also with radiology.

A synergism of individual factors often requires new decisions. The offer from Neurosurgery coupled with a change of leadership in the Radiology Section brought new flexibility and willingness to question old positions. At the important Rotterdam Meeting between the Radiology Section and representatives of the ESNR on April 2007 we could observe that the positions of Radiology and Neuroradiology are not so far apart, and that cooperation similar to that, originally discussed with Neurosurgery, is also plausible. All present agreed to the necessity to develop subspecialisation within Radiology. It was taken as especially positive that Radiology considers the demands of Neuroradiology to be adequately represented at the European level as justified, in order to cope with its tasks for the development of a European Neuroradiology in future. The partners came to the conclusion that these tasks would be well-positioned within the Radiology section and that there is no hindrance to the likewise necessary intensive and good relationship to the clinical neighbor disciplines, especially Neurology and Neurosurgery. On October 27, 2007 at the meeting of the UEMS/POC-Delegates in Berlin, the application of the ESNR for establishment of a Division of Neuroradiology within the Section of Radiology was discussed in detail and a positive vote was given.

I think we are well prepared for the work facing us in the Division. The ESNR and EBNR have worked for several years to prepare standards for Training and Education in Neuroradiology, Accreditation of Training Centers, European Examination for achieving the European qualification in Neuroradiology, CME/CPD credits system etc. These must be made more precise, expanded, and brought in line with the many national European Standards. They are a good basis for the work in the next years, which will be mainly done by the Board elected at the founding meeting: Prof. Olof Flodmark as the president of the Division together with Prof. Massimo Gallucci as the Secretary General and Prof. Peter Barsi as treasurer. We see our tasks in the implementation of a high medical standard in all aspects of Neuroradiology and can therefore identify easily with the UEMS proclamation: «The UEMS is the most comprehensive and representative European Medical Organisation for those areas proclaimed as its areas of knowledge and expertise at the European level».

I wish the Division of Neuroradiology along with the ESNR an efficient and meaningful shaping of Neuroradiology in Europe.

Martin Schumacher, ESNR
September 2008