Radiologists told to subspecialize at International Summit

Subspecialization in radiology is needed, according to reports presented at the European Society of Radiology (ESR) International Summit, organized during ECR 2015 by the ESR.

A summary of the proceedings from the summit were recently published in Insights into Imaging on 11 January. The summit is held once a year by the ESR and its national and international radiological partner societies from outside Europe with the aim to address and discuss selected subjects of global relevance in radiology.

In 2015, the relationship between general and subspecialist radiologists was analyzed with the finding that the situation differs immensely between developed and developing countries. In developed countries, a considerable proportion of radiologists are subspecialty-trained. Also, subspecialty radiologists practice mainly in large and academic departments, and many radiologists practice as multispecialty radiologists.

In many developing countries, only general radiologists -- if available at all -- practice radiology, and imaging interpretation is often performed by physicians with very limited relevant training or, in some cases, even by nonphysicians, according to the report.

Other findings were that subspecialization is needed in large departments, providing the basis for innovation and research; subspecialty sections should preferably remain within the overarching radiology department; shared facilities, efficient use of resources, and common organizational structures are beneficial; and a multispecialty radiologist model is an option to build robust academic and private practices.

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