The organization hopes to attract a total of 50,000 members by the end of 2007. As of early August, the tally had reached 27,496. The ESR currently offers three categories of membership, including full membership for European Union (EU) radiologists, corresponding membership for non-EU radiologists, and associate membership for non-radiologists. Associate members do not have voting rights but do have free access to the full online version of European Radiology, plus the option to receive the print version for an extra fee of 70 euros.
The membership drive was launched and promoted heavily during the 2007 European Congress of Radiology (ECR) in Vienna, with signs throughout the venue urging attendees to join, with offers of a 10-euro annual membership fee and a joining bonus in the form of a laptop computer case.
In addition, the ESR has embarked on a program to offer membership to members of several international radiology societies, including those from China, Israel, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia. Fees collected from new members go into the general revenue fund.
Radiologists who have membership in a national society can register with ESR for free, provided their local society is willing to offer a link to the ESR application, according to Isabella Grabensteiner, ESR senior manager of committee and board affairs. The ESR membership fee will then be covered by the national society. However, membership in a national society does not automatically mean a person becomes an ESR member; he or she must still complete the ESR application process.
"It is important to underline that all individual members have to confirm their willingness to become ESR members, thus making them 'real' individual (ESR) members as they could also choose to opt out (of ESR membership)," and maintain only a national membership, noted Grabensteiner.
Peter Baierl, ESR executive director, began planning the campaign six months before the 2007 ECR after considering the economic feasibility of expanding membership. "As in any other field of life, radiology professionals have a wide range of income," he said. "Some can't afford the RSNA fees."
The Oak Brook, IL-based RSNA currently charges $355 for active and associate membership in North America, while free membership is extended to members-in-training (who do have to pay for a subscription to the print version of Radiology). Corresponding (international members) pay $355 or $455 with print journal subscription. As of March 1, 2007, total RSNA membership was 40,973.
Dave Fellers, RSNA's executive director, said they are aware of the ESR's membership drive. "The ESR is a wonderful organization and one that RSNA enjoys a close working relationship," Fellers told AuntMinnie.com. "We wish ESR the best in their membership campaign."
According to the ESR, the discounted membership fee will remain at 10 euros for the foreseeable future.
By Brenda Tilke
AuntMinnie.com contributing writer
August 13, 2007
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