Profile of the Deutsche Roentgengesellschaft (DRG)
Prof. Maximilien Reiser
German Society of Radiology(DRG)
On May 2, 2005, the Deutsche Roentgengesellschaft (DRG) celebrated its 100th anniversary. Founded in 1905 in Berlin, its illustrious list of founding members includes Conrad Wilhelm Roentgen. Today, the society has grown to include nearly 6,000 members.
Origins of the Society
The initiative for founding a national society of radiology came from the ‘roentgenvereinigung’ (community of radiologists) in Berlin, which was at that time in existence for seven years. Roentgen’s findings created great enthusiasm and found wide acceptance among the medical community not only in Germany but also worldwide. Since 1896, radiology has already been an exciting science marked by the installation of a ‘roentgen laboratory’ in the surgical department of the famous Charité hospital in Berlin. The plan to invite ‘roentgenologists’ from all over the world to participate in the 1st German Congress was developed in Berlin and was embraced by the radiologic community worldwide.
From Annual Congress to National Society
The initiators of the Congress decided therefore to create a national society in order to organise an annual scientific meeting and thus to improve the exchange of knowledge amongst its members. 180 participants applied onsite for membership. Since then, 87 German congresses of radiology have taken place.
As with other medical fields, specialisation in radiology led to offshoots which then became independent societies. The majority of our members are active in diagnostic and interventional radiology. Close cooperation with radio-oncology, nuclear medicine and medical physics is a necessity that has additionally been cemented by written agreements.
The original ideas of the founding pioneers have not changed during the last century. Our mission is still to encourage and support research in all fields of radiology, to offer a forum for national and international exchange of knowledge and expertise, to support continuing radiological education, to foster the cooperation and interaction with radiological subspecialties, as well as with the medical profession at large, and to offer political institutions the know-how of our experts.
With specialisation and with the rapid development of new technologies, specialist groups have been founded within the framework of our society. Today more than twenty working groups, task forces and commissions are supporting the Board of Directors and promoting radiology wherever possible.
Board of Directors
The board of directors is elected biannually. It consists of ten members and combines radiologists from both university and public hospitals, as well as private practice. As well as myself, the Vice-president is Prof. Dr Bernd Hamm from Berlin and the President-elect is Prof. Dr Michael Laniado from Dresden.
In 1998, our society founded an Academy of Continuing Medical Education in Radiology which became one of the most powerful tools to certify and evaluate seminars and courses in radiology. Participants from all courses certified by the Academy evaluate individual lectures by filling in a standardised questionnaire. The electronic evaluation of the forms allows each lecturer to compare his results with the averaged results of all lectures within the programme of the Academy. This procedure, which has been adapted by a number of other medical societies in Germany, led to an improvement of the didactic quality of the courses and the individual presentations. 3,600 radiologists so far have become members of this Academy.
The Congress Today
As was the case from the very beginning, one of the core activities of the Deutsche Roentgengesellschaft is the organisation of the annual radiology congress in Berlin. It attracts about 7,000 participants annually from Germany and its neighbouring countries. With the introduction of an ‘International Day’ where experts from abroad present state-of-the-art lectures on highly attractive topics, the congress welcomes increasing numbers of participants from colleagues of other European countries. During 2007, the central topics of the International Day will be mammography and prostate cancer.
The international lectures are presented in English, whereas most of the other presentations are in German. More than 1,000 abstracts are submitted annually. Abstracts are evaluated and rated by a reviewing board. The final selection is done by the congress President and his team. Only 55% of submitted papers will be accepted. Since the last congress, all posters are presented electronically within the EPOS system.