Gesellschaft für Strahlenbiologie und Medizinische
|Bulletin 3/98 (Dezember 1998)|
(list of contents)
EFOMP in Brugge
The Belgian Society for Medical Physics celebrated their twentieth anniversary during the 14th annual meeting in Brugge, held on 9/10 October 1998. On this occasion our Belgian colleagues also hosted the 1998 EFOMP meetings. The beautiful Hanse town of Brugge was a very interesting setting for this - although most participants would have preferred a slightly better weather : consequently the indoor sights like the Belfry (overlooking the Markt), the City Hall with the famous Gothic Hall, the Renaissance room "Brugse Vrije", the Basilica of the Holy Blood - or one of the many museums were even more attractive. The scientific meeting was held in the new conference centre "Oud Sint-Jan", which fits perfectly into the surrounding old town, and provided a perfect location for the meeting - plus the impressive exhibition "From Memling to Pourbus" in the Memelingmuseum right next door. Apart from the town itself, Brugge is famous for the restaurants - a very special example being "De cleene Verondycke", where we enjoyed our conference dinner.
The main subject of the meeting was "Network and Imaging Processing in Medical Physics" with invited lectures by Pierre Jannin (Rennes) on "Multimodal Data Fusion in Medical Imaging" and Charles Parisot (Paris) on "Dicom 3 : Introduction and Dicom RT". The EFOMP Lecture was given by the Past President, Karl Arne Jessen (Aarhus) on "EFOMP Guidelines on the new Patient Protection Directive 97/43/EURATOM". Proffered papers showed the many applications of both image fusion, and networking - but also some potential pitfalls, and the long way to get the perfect theoretical set-up working in practice.
The EFOMP meetings took place in Hotel du Sablon, where also most of the national delegates stayed : this allowed many discussions also outside the official sessions. The first meeting (on 9 October morning) was devoted to the Scientific Committee (chaired by Alberto Del Guerra) - not the only occasion to point out the importance of the internet for an international organisation like EFOMP. The next EFOMP Meeting will be "Medical Physics '99", organised by the Hellenic Association of Medical Physicists and the University of Patras on 1-4 September 1999, on behalf and with support of EFOMP : this is one of the tri-annual EFOMP Meetings - another one in a nice and warm place (after Teneriffe 1996). This is going to be THE meeting for European Medical Physicists - make sure you don't miss it !
Another important aspect handled by the Scientific Committee is the co-operation with the European Congress of Radiology. The 1999 congress (as usual in Vienna : 7-12 March 1999) is preceeded by an EFOMP Workshop on "Detector Technologies for X-Ray Diagnosis" : this is the first of it's kind, and by attending you would help to make this a success ! Oral presentations are still invited : deadline 12 December 1998 - so you better hurry up ! ECR used to be a bi-annual congress - but from now on it's going to be held annually, i.e. the next one will be held in 2000 already - more time to submit your abstract (deadline : 1 September 1999). For further information you may also mail Alain Noel who chairs the Physics Subcommittee.
A combined effort of Scientific and ETP Committee is the European School of Medical Physics in Archamps, France, closely connected with and near to CERN, organised together with ESI. The fist course on Conformal Radiotherapy (week of 16-20 November 1998) is already "booked out", but for the other courses on Medical Imaging : Detectors (week of 23 - 27 November 1998) and Medical Imaging : Methods (week of 30 Nov. - 4 Dec. 1998) you may still register. Again these courses are a "first" : the location at ESI provides very good teaching possibilities, combined with an experienced organisational team - more courses at different levels of competence are planned for future years. This does not mean, however, that the "traditional" EFOMP Summer Schools are to be abandoned : especially for coutries in Central Europe courses nearer to the participants' homes are envisaged, with a "Physics of Diagnostic Radiology" to be held in Hungary in 2000 being discussed at the moment. Some delegates even felt, EFOMP should start Winter Schools in Switzerland.
The Education, Training and Professional (ETP) Committee (chaired by Inger-Lena Lamm) met on 10 October afternoon. Certainly the most important issue (from the Swiss viewpoint) was the acceptance of our Swiss Registration Scheme ("Fachanerkennung") by EFOMP : as some requirements of the EFOMP Recommendation (especially the requirement to include continued professional development) are not yet fulfilled, the acceptance was provisional only, and will be reviewed in three years time. Revised rules, including these points, are at the moment being drafted and will be discussed during our Annual General Meeting in Luzern. The other national registration scheme being accepted provisionally in Brugge was that of Spain, resulting in a total of 9 national registration schemes being recognised at the moment by EFOMP.
Many other items were also
discussed; let me just mention a review of the 1988 Policy Statement,
following the new "Patient Directive"
: "Radiation Protection of the Patient in Europe -
The Training of the Medical Physics Expert in Radiation
Physics or Radiation Technology"; further comments
on this draft are invited before 1 December 1998.
A nice feature of this year's EFOMP meeting, especially for delegates from smaller countries, was the fact that the two Committee Meetings were not held at the same time (as usual) - this gave "single" delegates a chance to participate in both meetings. As a result of this the Council Meeting on 11 October could be conducted more efficiently as on previous occasions, as delegates were already informed about most issues from the Committee Meetings.
The revised statutes had been put to a postal ballot this summer : of 29 national member societies there were 14 returns - all in favour. An important aspect of the new statutes are two additional membership categories : affiliate and industrial members. Interest in affiliated membership has already been expressed from South Africa and Japan. There are also already 7 industrial members (and a few more showed interest during the Brugge meeting) : industrial members help EFOMP to finance its activities - in return EFOMP will provide additional possibilities to present products or discuss the customers' needs; both sides should be able to profit from this - and therefore you are invited to inform companies you deal with about this possibility.
Talking about finances : EFOMP finances are on sound grounds; the per capita fee had been constant since 1995 - therefore a modest increase from 2.6 to 2.8 ECU (8% - lower than the inflation rate) for 1999 was considered appropriate and approved by Council.
Another important point of any agenda are elections ! In the present time of important developments (e.g. implementation of the new "Patient Directive" into national legislation) it was considered desirable to have Fridtjof Nüsslin stay on as President of EFOMP - after some consideration he agreed to do this. As Karl-Arne Jessen stepped down als Past President, a vacany needed to be filled : Herman van Kleffens from Utrecht was elected as new board member; he had been President of the Netherlands society, and in this position was involved with the European Commission on previous occasions.
This brings me to the final comments - the pleasure to thank two colleagues who have spent (and still spend) a lot of effort on EFOMP, i.e. on our all behalf ! Karl-Arne Jessen from Aarhus has just been mentioned : he had served on the EFOMP board for the last ten years, first chairing the ETP Committee, followed by his term as President and then Past President. He has initiated and led many important policy statements and related documents. The writer of these lines has had the privilege to work in close cooperation with Karl-Arne Jessen during his Presidency : an experience I wouldn't like to miss !
For an even longer time John Clifton was involved in EFOMP. John Clifton began his career as a medical physicist in 1955 and moved to University College Hospital and Medical School, London in 1957. He was appointed head of the Medical Physics Department as early as 1962 and he led and managed it from this time until his retirement : this department is now among the largest departments in the United Kingdom with a staff of more than 150. He was President of the Hospital Physicists' Association from 1976 to 1978; he animated the discussions which led to the foundation of the European Federation of Organisations for Medical Physics EFOMP, and was elected as its first President in 1980. Although retired from his UCHMS post, he continues to be involved in medical physics; amongst other activities he is the representative of EFOMP on the Programme Planning Committee of the European Congress of Radiology and on the EFOMP/EAR/ECR Liaison Group. To honour all these activities, John Clifton was elected unanimously the first Honorary Member of EFOMP.
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
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