Beard talk comes to ECR courtesy of Parizel's new look

By Philip Ward, AuntMinnieEurope.com staff writer

March 4, 2021 -- When the camera focused on Prof. Paul Parizel and his awesome beard during Wednesday evening's opening ceremony, the gasps of disbelief from thousands of online ECR attendees might well have been felt across Europe and beyond.

Prof. Dr. Paul Parizel, PhD
Prof. Dr. Paul Parizel, PhD.

"So Paul, the talk of the town yesterday was not about my singing, but about your wonderful beard!" said European Society of Radiology (ESR) President Prof. Dr. Michael Fuchsjäger in a chat with Parizel broadcast by Channel N° 1 on day 2 of the congress. "Is there any story behind it?"

"Only to say that Australia is quite a sunny country and it is to prevent sunburn on my chin!" replied Parizel, a former ESR president who moved from Antwerp, Belgium, in 2019 to become inaugural David Hartley chair of radiology at Royal Perth Hospital and University of Western Australia.

Parizel is an ESR gold medalist at ECR 2021.

"There is an expression that says sometimes even a blind pig can find a truffle," he said during the opening ceremony. "But perhaps that's not appropriate, since I feel that this gold medal is rightfully mine, and anyway, I find it reassuring that you like me enough to give me this!

"It's a great honour and it's extremely encouraging for my future career, but this moment is not all about me but about all of you. It's been my privilege to work with you all and learn from you," he added.

Parizel said he dedicated the gold medal to his son Maxim, who works as a pathologist with AZ Rivierenland in Belgium and "has always been my pride and joy." He also dedicated the award to "the countless unnamed but brilliant radiology trainees who are diligently doing their duty in imaging centres all over the world."

During the chat with Fuchsjäger, Parizel said he welcomed the work being done by the Lancet Oncology Commission on Medical Imaging and Nuclear Medicine. At ECR 2021, the commission will present the findings of its effort to quantify imaging and nuclear medicine resources worldwide and highlight inequalities in access to these resources.

"The report of the combined commission between radiology and nuclear medicine oncology imaging is politically very important," Parizel said. "I was involved in the beginning of that, and I think it's very important that radiology and nuclear medicine should come together on this because we are on different sides of the same coin.

"The political importance is that this will reach out to clinicians and show that we are not just purveyors and interpreters of images and that we can have a very significant input in the clinical process," he said.


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