President's Message
July 2022

Dear all,

As has become customary over the past few years, this Summer begins with yet another heat wave!  Temperatures in the high 30s and even in the 40s were exceptionally rare up to a few years ago, but not any longer.  Global warming is an undeniable fact of our times and environmental sustainability is a subject that we must all take seriously if we want to give our children a better future.  As we scramble to keep up with the ever-growing demand for medical imaging, we should be thinking more about being environmentally sustainable in our niche of clinical practice.  This may include small steps like switching off devices and air-conditioning when not in use and working remotely whenever possible, as well as larger steps like sustainable procurement, limiting use of one-time consumables, separating waste, and promoting greener practices at hospital level whenever possible.   

Summer brings along holidays and we all think a little more about our wellbeing.  As I approach my 50th birthday, I have started thinking more about staying healthy and keeping myself fit in the work environment!  This is an important topic that we should not dismiss, as it will inevitably catch up with us at some point or another.  The everchanging clinical world and the ever-increasing demands that we face on a day-to-day basis may obscure the importance of staying healthy at both psychological and physical levels.  Good communication, empathy, respect, and supportive teamwork form the basis for a healthy work environment.  Radiologists and nuclear medicine physicians should get all the necessary support including the possibility of working from home whenever possible and family friendly measures should be implemented to facilitate a healthy work-life balance.   There are many avenues for future improvement.  Employing trained secretarial staff can help immensely to support Radiologists and Nuclear Medicine Physicians with the logistics of daily clinical practice.  Good chairs with lumbar support and ergonomic keyboard and mouse should be standard in medical imaging departments.  Corridors and workspaces should be devoid of unnecessary clutter and may be embellished with more murals and paintings.  Spacious areas for meeting, teaching, as well as for breaks and socializing, with adequate space and lighting, should not be a luxury.

End of June brings us to the end of another academic year.  The first cohort of trainees that are taking the Masters in Radiology course at University of Malta have just finished their second out of three years of studies – all have been assigned thesis to work on during the third and final year.  Four higher specialist trainees have passed the final FRCR examination, and we have also had a series of passes in the EDiR exam among both trainees and resident specialists.  I want to take this opportunity to congratulate all successful candidates and to encourage all those who are still to sit for their exams.  The interest in a career in Radiology remains high among junior doctors.  We have recently had an unprecedented number of foundation year doctors spending a taster week in Radiology.  Last November we held a one-day online webinar titled ‘Career in Radiology’, for which we had excellent interest and participation – thanks to all who contributed.  We have recently interviewed for a new cohort of Basic Specialist Trainees in Radiology.  An unprecedented number of applicants have placed Radiology as their number 1 interest.  Our future relies on recruiting and training young doctors, and I am sure that the future of medical imaging is bright.

I wish you all a peaceful Summer.  Look after yourselves and your colleagues; work and enjoy yourselves sustainably and never walk away from an opportunity to teach our juniors.

Best regards to all,

Adrian Mizzi
President of the Maltese Association of Radiologists and Nuclear Medicine Physicians.