February / march 2019
Dear MARNMP members,
Radiologists and Nuclear Medicine Physicians are at the forefront of the diagnostic process and also play an important part in the decision making and actual implementation of patient management pathways. More so, radiologists and Nuclear Medicine Physicians are playing key roles at the heart of multidisciplinary teams in various fields of clinical practice. In the ever evolving world of modern medicine, medical imagers and interventional radiologists must keep abreast with the changes and innovations that are happening around them and must also be capable to adopt and evolve in order to stay relevant and survive in the professional sense of the word.
Continued medical education is one tool that can help specialists to keep abreast with the changes and updates happening in their field. Never like today has education for radiologists and Nuclear Medicine Physicians been so ready at hand. The traditional conferences and courses, that often require international travel for islanders like us, are now supplemented by a myriad of online material. One can participate in The European Congress of Radiology in Vienna by watching sessions live on PC or tablet, or stream them retrospectively. An innumerable amount of online teaching material is made available by a wide range of international societies. These take form of lectures, webinars, online presentations, journal subscriptions and so on.
Declaration of CME points collected on annual basis is mandatory in many European countries. This may be a stand-alone exercise or maybe part of an annual appraisal exercise, sometimes part of a wider revalidation process. Like other specialists, radiologists and Nuclear Medicine Physicians must demonstrate that they are part of a concerted effort to achieve a high level of clinical excellence and ensure patient safety. Such a responsibility is not only the remit of the individual practitioner, but also the responsibility of national associations, medical imaging departments, hospital institutions and national health departments/ministries. As specialists in our respective fields, we must not only do our part to keep abreast with the developments in our specialties but we must also be seen to be doing so. Documentation of CME therefore becomes an essential exercise in this process.
Radiology trainees keep a detailed portfolio of their educational activities and participate in annual review of competency progression. If education and training are a lifetime process, then such record keeping and appraisal should continue even beyond specialist accreditation and registration. Our national association should play a key role in formulating a reliable structure to allow its members to manifest their CME activity and participate in regular appraisal. Such a process should have the professional development of radiologists and Nuclear Medicine Physicians at its heart; with the ultimate aim of achieving a high level of clinical excellence and ensure patient safety.
During the month of February, MARNMP is inviting its members to participate in an online survey regarding continued medical education and annual appraisal. Results of the survey will be published at a later date.
February is ECR month. As I said above, participation in ECR can be in person or remote. MARNMP members who cannot travel to Vienna because of work commitments are encouraged to find time and log on to live online sessions or watch sessions retrospectively at their leisure. I wish you all a happy ECR!
President of the Maltese Association of Radiologists and Nuclear Medicine Physicians.