HealthManagement, Volume 8 - Issue 3, 2008

Promoting Lifelong Learning: A Look Back at the International Diagnostic Course in Davos (IDKD)

share Share

Prof. Juerg Hodler

On behalf of the IDKD

Scientifi c Directors

(Christoph Zollikofer,

Gustav von Schulthess,

Juerg Hodler)

Department of Radiology

Orthopaedic University

Hospital Balgrist

Zurich, Switzerland

[email protected]

Lifelong learning necessitates an open attitude towards new ideas, skills and behaviour. In radiology, lifelong learning is crucial. Few other healthcare professions have to deal with such high-paced technological and organisational change. Professional radiological organisations have provided continuing medical education for a long time. The American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) was founded in 1900, the German Radiological Society was founded in 1905, the French Radiological Society in 1909 and the RSNA in 1915. We are also looking at Volumes 246 of Radiology, 81 of the British Journal of Radiology and 113 of the Italian journal Radiologia Medica.


Education is undergoing a transformation, bringing new opportunities as well as challenges. Both the availability of computers and computer skills have increased. Broadband internet is widely available, and nearly 20% of inhabitants in the OECD are broadband subscribers, with percentages above 30% in Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland. On the other hand, the ubiquity of information leads to information overload, which radiologists have to deal with at the same time as an increase in productivity demands.


In the US, workload per hour increased sharply during the last decade, by approximately 15% between 2000 and 2003 alone. Teaching has to adapt both to new opportunities and problems.


The International Diagnostic Course in Davos (IDKD, or “Davos Course”) debuted in 1969, when Swiss radiologists Prof. Alois Rüttimann and Dr. Peter Braun decided to address the increasing debate regarding the need for specificity in lymphographic diagnoses by organising an interactive course in Davos, held in Dr. Braun’s clinic.


Teaching at this time was based on films and slides. However, because there were only a few lightboxes in Davos, the technical support team at Clavadel built viewboxes, and some teachers brought along their own slide projectors. The course was an immediate success and was repeated in the early 1970’s. The courses were then continued annually with changing subjects such as abdominal angiography and lung imaging in combination with lung physiology. Contemporary “big shots” were recruited, such as Ben Felson, Bob Frazer, Elias Theros and Morris Simon.


One of the reasons behind the positive response of delegates was the “spirit of Davos”, which is characterised even today by a highly interested audience, the specific interactive teaching format, the Davos hospitality and also the Swiss Alps. Very early on, methods of continuing improvement were introduced, such as questionnaires for participants. The course grew quickly, and though the congress centre was enlarged twice, its facilities were occasionally supplemented by rented meeting rooms in hotels and schools or the congress centre’s cellars had to be adapted to the needs of a medical meeting.

Author<br> Prof. Juerg Hodler On behalf of the IDKD Scientifi c Directors (Christoph Zollikofer, Gustav von Schulthess, Juerg Hodler) Departm

No comment

Please login to leave a comment...

Highlighted Products