On the occasion of the publication of the latest versions of the ESR European Training Curricula in Radiology, Levels I+II and Level III, ECR Today spoke with Professor Carlo Catalano about the most recent changes and the significance of the ETC.
Currently Professor and Chairman of the Department of Radiology of Sapienza University of Rome, Carlo Catalano has been an active radiologist involved in education and training for over two decades. He has been involved with the ECR Programme Planning Committee for many years and, with an array of experience in multiple radiological societies, he took on the mantle of ESR Education Committee Chair in 2018.
ECR Today: What is the ESR European Training Curriculum in Radiology?
Carlo Catalano: The ETC is designed to provide a valuable template for trainee radiologists and to enhance the quality of care for patients throughout Europe. It is continuously revised by the ESR Subspecialties and Allied Sciences Member Societies in order to keep up with the current developments and knowledge in the field of radiology.
ECRT: What does the ESR hope to achieve through the publication of the curriculum?
CC: The ETC defines the contents of training and expected learning outcomes for trainees in radiology and its ultimate goal is to achieve, throughout all European countries, a standardised system of education in the field of radiology, which will enhance the quality of radiological care for patients.
ECRT: What have been some major updates for this year’s revision?
CC: The ETC is a living document that is continuously updated, and this is necessary because of the characteristics of our discipline, the most innovative one in modern medicine. Chapters have been updated and homogenised but, above all, new topics, such as medical imaging informatics and artificial intelligence, have been introduced.
ECRT: How important is knowledge of AI in radiology for future residents?
CC: AI is very rapidly entering our daily lives and sometimes we do not even understand the huge changes and progress we are facing. Medicine is also facing huge changes, and many innovations we have seen in radiology in the past few years and months depend upon AI. Therefore, all radiology residents must know the basics of AI and comprehend the potential of innovations by utilising AI in the best way possible, as in the coming years most improvements will depend on it.
ECRT: Have you received any feedback from countries or institutions on the implementation of the ETC?
CC: Many countries have officially adopted the ETC and most European institutions use the ETC as the basis for their training curricula. In some countries, the ETC has been translated to help it to be even better accepted. We receive continuous feedback, sometimes informal, which helps to improve the ETC.
ECRT: From your own experience, how has radiology training changed over the years?
CC: Training has very much improved over the years and is becoming more and more homogenous with significant improvements in countries where less importance was previously given to education. We are now seeing a leveraging in quality throughout Europe. Very interestingly, the ETC format is being utilised more and more in non-European countries and there is greater interest from other medical disciplines that utilise the ETC as a format.
ECRT: Given the opportunity to go through training again, would you still pick radiology? If so, why?
CC: I think not only I, but also most of the more than 120,000 members of the ESR would pick radiology again. Training is so well structured that it makes all of us able to face the most difficult situations and ready to start working worldwide. Homogenous education really opens borders and allows well-taught radiologists to become central in the management of patients in any country.
ECRT: Finally, what are some of your goals as Education Committee Chair and for the European Training Curriculum?
CC: The aim of the Education Committee is to improve the quality of training throughout the continent, possibly exporting the format. At the same time, it is vital to attract medical students, possibly the best ones, into radiology and show its role in the era of patient-centred medicine.