By Philip Ward, AuntMinnieEurope.com staff writer

October 1, 2013 -- The vital role played by imaging in the detection, diagnosis, and management of a wide variety of lung diseases will be the prime focus of the 2013 International Day of Radiology (IDoR), which will take place on 8 November.

More than 100 societies from across the world are taking part and many are arranging their own events, such as public lectures, departmental open days, national media appearances, and press events. More patient groups will support the initiative this year by informing the public about the importance of imaging in healthcare.

Monica Fletcher
ELF chair Monica Fletcher has a passionate interest in respiratory health.

"IDoR can raise awareness among the public and patients of the different techniques that are available with regards to imaging, which can help determine diagnosis and appropriate treatment of lung conditions," said Monica Fletcher, chair of the European Lung Foundation (ELF). "We are happy to work with other health organizations that are trying to empower patients."

Fletcher has a special interest in respiratory health, having started her career as a nurse and worked in several management and training roles. She was one of the first trainers at the U.K. National Respiratory Training Centre (NRTC), which later became Education for Health, where she is now chief executive.

The European Patients' Forum will also participate in IDoR. This initiative can provide an excellent model for other medical societies to replicate, according to Nicola Bedlington, executive director of the forum.

The European Society of Radiology (ESR) is organizing the event with the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR), and to mark the occasion, it has produced two new booklets.

The first was written in cooperation with the European Society of Thoracic Imaging (ESTI), and will feature interviews with thoracic imaging experts and patient organization representatives, as well as articles written by European and U.S. radiologists. A second booklet on the history of radiology was written with the International Society for the History of Radiology (ISHRAD), following the first volume published last year.

The organizers chose 8 November to commemorate the day Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen discovered x-rays in 1895. The day is being supported by radiographers, who have been marking the day as World Radiography Day for several years. The aim is to improve public understanding of the role played by radiology in healthcare and the expertise required to practice radiology.

Dr. Guy Frija
Public campaigns like IDoR bring substantial benefits, according to ESR President Dr. Guy Frija. Image courtesy of the ESR.

"I think that this day has to be considered as a first step on the path toward awareness. Talking about the benefits is certainly important; but we also have to promote better use of imaging, not only for safety reasons, but also, and very simply, for improving quality of care," said ESR President Guy Frija, who heads the imaging department at the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris. "Previous campaigns conducted in America have shown their usefulness, and I think we have to learn from these experiences. The development of such public campaigns in Europe could be beneficial; however we have to consider European diversity and adapt campaigns."

IDoR is also being supported by the International Society of Radiology (ISR), as well as umbrella organizations such as the Asian Oceanian Society of Radiology (AOSR), the Colegio Interamericano de Radiología (CIR), the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR), the European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS), and the Radiological Society of South Africa (RSSA), which also represents neighboring countries.

Last year, more than 80 societies from five continents joined the initiative, including 43 European national radiological societies, 14 European subspecialty and allied sciences societies, and 20 North American radiological societies. IDoR 2012 focused on oncologic imaging.

Further information about IDoR, including the booklets, can be found on the official website, and through the organizers' Facebook page.


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