President’s letter

Antwerp, December 19th, 2021

Dear colleagues and friends,

At the end of last year, I expressed my hope that 2021 would be ‘annus mirabilis’ but sadly COVID 19 with recurring “waves” have most definitely thwarted this aspiration. The omicron variant is holding the world in its grip with potentially grim prospects ahead of us. Let us hope that booster vaccines, social distancing and isolation measures will allow us to get control over the situation and that we will get past this difficult winter without too much trouble. Above all, let us not lose hope and belief in a bright future.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, ESHNR and the Executive Committee have continued efforts in developing and promoting head and neck radiology worldwide.

The mentorship programme has proven to be a major success with a positive impact on the dissemination of good practice, knowledge and ideas in head and neck radiology. The immense benefits of guidance to a mentee by a mentor cannot be underestimated particularly given the global circumstances. So far, the programme has enrolled 33 mentors as well as 27 mentees and the encouraging results of this project have been described in a recent paper by Steven Connor and Soraya Robinson in the latest issue of “Insights into Imaging”.  Let us hope that this will continue to have a prosperous future ahead and if you are interested in becoming a mentor or a mentee, please do review the ESHNR website for more information.

ESHNR has also succeeded in further developing its educational output and has been able to organise several online events.

We have continued our successful series of webinars during 2021. The monthly ESHNR webinars will continue in 2022 with an interesting programme that can be reviewed on our website with speakers from 4 continents. From January 2022 onwards, the ESHNR webinars will be granted formal CME points accredited by the EACCME. The joint ASHNR-ESHNR webinars will continue but in a different layout and configuration… stay tuned and keep following us for more information about this. The back catalogue of all of these webinars is accessible to all ESHNR members via your personal ESHNR login. They have evolved into a “treasure trove” of scientific knowledge in head and neck imaging. Special thanks go to Salman Qureshi who has been the driving force behind the webinar programme.

Our 2021 annual congress had been switched to a complete online version under the supervision of our Congress Presidents Soraya Robinson and Christian Czerny. They both succeeded in developing a well received, attractive and interesting programme. Even the sachertorte was on the “virtual” menu.

With reference to our next annual congress, the dates for your diary are 6th – 8th October 2022 to be held in Tallinn, Estonia under the stewardship of Congress President Riste Saat. Make sure to block out those dates in your diary and further information will be advertised in due course… with our “fingers crossed” for an in-person meeting!

The first ever ESHNR Masterclass took place earlier this month and was a tremendous success with the course completely booked out. The feedback has been excellent and therefore this will definitely be repeated at some point in 2022 covering different areas of head and neck radiology. The combination of lectures and small scale workshops via the Collective Minds Radiology platform proved to be a great success.  It has allowed us to teach in real time scrolling through a large database of cases and to develop a “lively” discussion with participants from all over the globe. I would like to give my sincerest thanks to the faculty, in particular to Berit Verbist as Course Director as well as co-organisers Davide Farina and Elizabeth Loney.

The ESHNR Educational Committee has successfully organised the European Board of Head and Neck Radiology (EBDiHNR) examination twice as an online version in March and September 2021, with the latter being highly successful resulting in more than 20 new ESHNR fellows. This will continue in 2022 with the next online examination planned for 28th February, just prior to the online 2022 ECR meeting. The Educational Committee is making tremendous efforts in further developing this online format for which I am grateful to Steve Connor and all the members.

I am also delighted to announce that our membership numbers continue to rise. Coming to the end of 2021, we have 697 active members for which I would like to thank all of you for your continued support. Membership applications for 2022 are already open so please spread the news and invite your friends and colleagues to become a member of our lively society.

I would like to express my sincerest thanks to Professor Minerva Becker who has left the ESHNR Executive Committee during the year to become the ESR Education Committee Chairperson. Minerva has served many years as ESHNR Executive Committee member and has been both ESHNR President as well as ESHNR Congress President organising one of the most successful ESHNR meetings ever in Geneva in 2008. She has been one of the cornerstones of our society as ESHNR Education Committee Chairperson for many years and I am convinced that her experience in this matter will benefit ESR and ESHNR going forward.

I would also like to take this opportunity to also thank all my colleagues and friends of the Executive Committee for all the hard work they have been doing for our society. In addition, I would also like to thank Ricarda Posch and the rest of the ESHNR office for their tremendous efforts to keep everything on track in this new challenging era of a nearly complete online world.

For all information of our activities, please visit our website but also, please follow us on Twitter @ESHNRSociety. Heading towards the end of 2021, we have nearly 3400 followers since inception of the account less than 3 years ago making it the fastest growing social media account of all the European subspeciality societies. Many thanks to the social media subcommittee for their hard work in maintaining this conduit of communication.

2021 has been a busy year for all of us and it has proven to be a tremendous year for our society. Let us hope that we will be able to continue on this path of innovation, building and consolidation for our society and for head and neck radiology. Long live head and neck radiology!

Allow me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a fruitful, prosperous and healthy 2022. Stay safe!!

Yours Sincerely,
Bert De Foer
MD PhD
ESHNR President