AIMS OF THE SOCIETY
The European Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology (ESGAR) is a not-for-profit, educational and scientific organisation founded by radiologists working in close association with gastroenterologists, hepatologists, abdominal surgeons, pathologists, and other allied specialists. Its members have a special interest in the imaging and treatment of patients with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and associated abdominal organs.
The aims of the Society are:
- To advance the study of gastrointestinal and abdominal imaging and intervention, in Europe, by encouraging radiological and clinical excellence, teaching, research and further education in the subspecialty,
- To encourage the harmonious interchange and integration of all European radiologists with an interest in this field,
- To create links with abdominal radiologists from other continents and with other Societies in the fields of abdominal surgery, gastroenterology, hepatology and other allied specialties.
ESGAR is registered as a not-for-profit organisation in Vienna, Austria. The Executive Committee of the Society is structured to consist of members from countries throughout Europe.
The income of the Society is derived from membership fees, surplus from annual meetings and workshops, donations, corporate membership and sponsorship from industry.
ANNUAL MEETING AND POSTGRADUATE COURSE
The annual meeting, the most important event of the Society's calendar, is held in a different European country each year. The Postgraduate Course covers a specific topic each year but all annual meetings are devoted to the main theme of "Abdominal Imaging and Intervention".
The meetings consist of invited educational lectures, workshops, scientific presentations and satellite symposia structured in conjunction with our industrial partners. They are organised by the Central ESGAR Office together with a local committee chaired by the meeting president. The scientific programme of the meetings is developed by the Programme Committee, a sub-committee of the Executive Committee.
In realising the objective of creating links between continents and other Societies the 1st Joint Meeting with the Society of Gastrointestinal Radiologists (SGR) took place to general acclaim in Orlando in 2002 and was followed by the 2nd Joint Meeting in Greece in 2006. After the political changes in Eastern Europe, the Society has been actively promoting exchanges across the old divide since its foundation. The first meeting in Eastern Europe took place in Budapest/HU in 2003. In 2014, the meeting will be organised in Salzburg/AT. The venue for 2015 will be Paris/FR. ESGAR 2016 will be held in Prague/CZ and ESGAR 2018 is organised in Dublin/IE as confirmed by the General Assembly in Barcelona/ES in 2013.
CONSTITUTION AND STRUCTURE
The Society is regulated by by-laws. The supreme authority of the Society is the General Assembly which consists of all members holding voting rights and is convened at the annual meeting. The Executive Committee and its standing sub-committees are elected by the General Assembly. The Executive Committee meets at least twice a year. Day-to-day management of the Society is carried out by the Executive Board consisting of the President, the President-Elect, the Vice-President, the Secretary and the Treasurer. Day-to-day administration is implemented by the Central ESGAR Office established in 1999 in Vienna.
EDUCATION, TRAINING AND RESEARCH
Since its foundation the Society has been closely associated with the European Association of Radiology (EAR) and the European Congress of Radiology (ECR). The members of the Society have played a central role in the evolution of European radiology, the establishment of their sub-speciality and the development of a specific educational curriculum. In March 2007 both EAR and ECR agreed to integrate all their functions into the newly founded European Society of Radiology (ESR). The President of ESGAR is a member of the Subspecialties Committee of the ESR.
The Education Committee is responsible for co-ordinating education and training aspects of the Society's work. Annual meetings of the Society generally attract a large number of scientific presentations and exhibits leading to an excellent reputation for its scientific content with presentations at the forefront of radiological research.
The Postgraduate Course is the main educational tool of the Society. The Society has endeavoured to take advantage of modern educational methods and theory to improve the quality and effectiveness of both teaching and learning. During the annual meetings this has been seen in the development of interactive tutorials and teaching and the change to electronic posters opening up an extensive potential for e-based self learning. An Ad-hoc sub-committee of the Programme Committee has led this work and the innovation of a new workshop structure.
The Society has developed a strategy to promote teaching across Europe in specific aspects of its discipline by means of peripatetic hands-on workshops with a high teacher to student ratio. The first series of workshops commenced in September 2003 in Amsterdam/NL, where an expert ESGAR faculty taught two groups of 40 students the technique and interpretation of CT Colonography (CTC). The format proved to be extremely popular with both radiologists starting this important technique and with our industrial partners. The workshop, refined each time by feedback from participants, subsequently took place in Rome/IT, Bruges/BE, Edinburgh/UK, Pisa/IT, Nizza/FR, Malmö/SE, Vigo/ES, Berlin/DE, Harrogate/UK, Stresa/IT, Amsterdam/NL, Lisbon/PT, Gothenburg/SE, Dublin/IE, Rome/IT, Valencia/ES, Copenhagen/DK and will take place in Vienna/Austria in October 2013. In 2014 the CTC Hands-on Workshops will be held in Oslo/NO and Leeds/UK. Furthermore an Advenced Workshop on Ct-Conography was held for the first time in Rome/IT and will be repeated as part of the CTC Workshop in all future CTC workshops.
Additional series of workshops have been developed in 2007. An interactive, hands-on workshop for small groups on the evolving image-guided ablation (IGA) took place in Pisa/IT for the first time and was repeated in 2008 in Geneva/CH and in 2009 in London/UK.
Furthermore, a workshop series on liver imaging focused on clinical application and complemented with interactive case discussions has been organised in Amsterdam/NL in October 2007, in Szeged/HU in April 2008, in October 2008 in Munich/DE, in May 2009 in Verona/IT, in November 2009 in Antwerp/BE., April 2010 in Barcelona/ES, in September 2010 in Vienna, in June 2011 in Dublin, in November 2011 in Taormina, in April 2012 in Porto/PT, in November 2012 in Athens/GR, in February 2013 in Tel aviv/IL and continues in September 2013 in Stockholm/SE. Future workshops will take place in Basel/CH in April 2014 and in Bologna/IT in September 2014.
In 2012 a new workshop series on Hot Topics in Abdominal Imaging was introduced. The first workshop was a Pancreas Workshop that took place in Verona/IT in March 2012. Due to the success of this workshop it was decided to organise a second Pancreas Workshop that was successfully held in Lisbon/PT in May 2013. Now the new workshop series is established and the third Pancreas workshop is scheduled to take place in Dublin/IE in May 2014.
Also in 2013 ESGAR successfully applied for the UEG training support of a new workshop. This bowel imaging workshop will take place in October 2013 in Amsterdam/NL and is organised in cooperation with the European Society of Coloproctology (ESCP).
The officers of the Society believe that the founders' aims and ambitions have been fulfilled. Today, the Society represents a major forum for all European radiologists interested in this subspecialty. It has succeeded in transferring knowledge and information across Europe, has generated integration and friendship amongst radiologists in this particular field and encouraged close multidisciplinary co-operation with gastroenterologists, surgeons and pathologists. Regarding its future, the Society is committed to create closer links with other groups involved in gastroenterology.