ECR: Beets-Tan admits times are tough but insists future is bright

By Philip Ward, staff writer

March 2, 2022 -- The world faces many challenges right now, but the global radiology community must stand close and be more united than ever, European Society of Radiology (ESR) President Prof. Dr. Regina Beets-Tan told virtual attendees at the opening ceremony of ECR Overture on 2 March.

"Our thoughts go to those who are suffering at the moment," she said, echoing the sentiments of the ESR statement on Ukraine and Russia issued on 1 March.

Regina Beets-Tan wears read at the opening ceremony to symbolize good fortune
Prof. Dr. Regina Beets-Tan chose to wear red -- a symbol of happiness, success, and good fortune in Chinese culture -- for Wednesday's opening ceremony.

Music is always an integral part of ECR opening ceremonies, and the choice of John Lennon's "Imagine" provided a poignant introduction to this week's meeting. As the song rang out, images of major international cities were shown on the big screen, starting with Paris, Rome, London, Madrid, New York, and ending with Vienna and the banner "Hello World!"

The ECR will continue to promote unity and create friendships, Beets-Tan promised. As the ECR has always done, the 2022 congress will put an emphasis on vibrancy, style, and innovation, as well as diversity and inclusivity.

"When we share, we can perfect our performance," she said. "I realize that sharing our expertise with others can feel threatening to our own livelihoods and income and can take us out of our comfort zone, but this must not prevent us from building bridges."

Multidisciplinary coordination inside and outside of radiology is essential for the future of good patient care, and collaboration with other medical disciplines is more important than ever, she continued. For this reason, nonradiologists will be valued participants at ECR Overture, particularly in roundtable discussions.

"Industry partners will be given a more central role too, and I urge you to attend their sessions and see what they are offering," said Beets-Tan, who also singled out the involvement of radiographers for a special mention.

Look ahead to July

Beets-Tan urged attendees to view ECR Overture as preparation for the onsite congress.

"Like a movie trailer, I hope this week's event will inspire you to join me in Vienna in July," she said. "Together we will build bridges."

Beets-Tan hopes ECR Overture will inspire everybody to come to Vienna in July for the real ECR experience
Beets-Tan hopes this week's ECR Overture will inspire everybody to come to Vienna in July for "the real ECR experience."

Radiology is undergoing a "crucial transformation" at present, and this process of change will not be easy or quick, but it's essential to grasp the opportunities and fully engage with colleagues in "a buzzing environment," she noted.

Beets-Tan, who is chair of radiology at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, did not take any questions, but attendees could post their comments on a live feed.

"[It was] a great opening ceremony speech, thank you so much! So true, we need real multidisciplinarity and interactivity in radiology," commented Dr. Kirsi Härmä, head of women's imaging at the Institute of Diagnostic, Interventional and Pediatric Radiology, Bern University Hospital, Switzerland. Härmä is both a radiologist and gynecologist.

ECR 2022 Overture runs until Sunday. Sessions are available on demand via the ESR website. Our editorial team is covering the meeting, so look out for updates on

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