School of MRI in its 11th year
- a long term success of ESMRMB
It may seem strange to you that the cover of the brochure for the School of MRI programme has been redesigned. The reason is that the School of MRI of ESMRMB has joined the European School of Radiology (ESOR). In accordance with our strategic orientation to strongly involve ourselves in educational activities, we naturally support this initiative of the European Society of Radiology (ESR). So far, the concept of ESOR has been not only to establish its own course and fellowship programmes but also to act as an umbrella, coordinating various teaching programmes of organ and methodologically oriented societies, such as ESMRMB. Within this initiative we cover the part of applied MRI and MRS, and hereby ensure our technology a place in the spotlight among European education concepts. Overall, we are obviously happy to join this initiative of ESR and wish ESOR all the best in its pursuit of excellent radiological education!
Besides ESOR, many other education programmes have been established in the last couple of years using the title ‘School of…’, which reassures us in our focus on education and encourages me to highlight the history of our ‘School’ activities more in detail. Prof. Milan Hajek takes the credit for founding the ‘European Magnetic Resonance Permanent School’ (EMRPS) in 1996. Under his direction, and with the kind support of Bracco, three courses on MRI were held in Prague in 1996 and 1997. In accordance with educational needs, in 1999 the course was transferred to Italy, and Prof. Bartolozzi was kind enough to host an amended course in Pisa. However, despite enormous success, our sponsor was not willing to continue the support, for their own strategic reasons, thereby putting a temporary end to the EMRPS.
But we didn’t give up. A new didactical concept was devised, comprising interactive teaching elements. Moreover, a continuous structure was established for the entire programme, suitable for different levels of expertise, from the physical and technical basics to highly specialised clinical applications. This, coupled with the excellent course organisation from our office, convinced a new sponsor to support our activities. We would like to thank Bayer Schering Pharma AG for their continuous support since 2000. To begin with, they provided us with funds for four courses and then augmented their support to ten courses per year, thus financing about 50% of the total costs of all courses.
Meanwhile, the School of MRI has become well established within the growing education market, especially due to the very personal way of teaching in small groups with experienced international experts, and the long standing commitment of the course organisers, continuously improving the quality of the courses over the years. We are very happy with the number of attendees who make use of and cherish our programme every year. 65 courses have been held since the reestablishment of the School of MRI in 2000. Since the programme was extended and upgraded in 2003, we have been able to welcome about 500 participants each year, which adds up to a total of about 2500 physicians, radiographers and physicist over the past five years. The strict evaluation of our courses has not only shown excellent results concerning our quality, with values between 1,0 and 1,9 on a five point scale, but it also facilitates continuous improvement of the courses and the entire programme. This was realised through the extraordinary commitment of our course organisers as well as carefully selected course faculties.
Another aspect I am very proud of is that the School of MRI is a truly European Education programme. Clear rules ensure an international composition of all course faculties. Since 2000 we have been able to hold our courses in 18 European Countries, from Kupio (Finland) in the North to Heraklion (Greece) in the South, from Madrid (Spain) in the West to Moscow (Russian Federation) in the East. In 2005 we dared to cross European borders for the first time and have since then held very successful courses in Cape Town (South Africa) and Cairo (Egypt). I would like to take this opportunity to thank all course organisers for their extraordinary hospitality.
Our international orientation is also reflected by the national composition of our teaching classes. Since 2001 we have welcomed delegates from 72 nations from all continents, from Argentina to Thailand. Every year the variety of countries our participants come from is increasing. Traditionally the majority of attendees originate from European countries, with Scandinavians at the top, follow by participants from Spain and Germany, but we were also able to register some participants from Brazil, Cuba, Georgia, Ghana, Jamaica, Panama, Sierra Leone and Sri Lanka. All of them have been and will always be welcome to participate in our School of MRI.
Prof. Wolfgang Steinbrich
Director of the School of MRI of the ESMRMB