Dr David Wilson reflects on the progress and achievements as President of the British Institute of Radiology.
As I come towards the end my two years as President of the BIR, writing for the BIR blog gives me the opportunity to review what has happened to our Institute during that period.
My predecessors, Dr Stephen Davies and Professor Andrew Jones, had worked very hard to prepare what I now see was very fertile ground.
With the senior administrative team and Chief Executive, Jacqueline Fowler, not only had they resolved the problems of a building that was no longer fit for purpose and was a drain on the organisation’s resources, but they had set up new offices, a streamlined administrative system and a new team who were working very effectively together.
Special interest groups had been established and it was recognised that as an organisation we needed to move out into the different regions. The sale of the building and careful financial management meant that we had the resources to start these and other projects.
Over the last two years we have developed and opened regional groups in the Midlands, and the south-west of England. These have been met with great enthusiasm by local imaging professionals and are now developing a drive of their own which we can use to create new regional groups over the next few years.
Investment in educational technology with the appointment of e-learning technologists has allowed us to start what is a very successful series of webinars with a steady increase in members connecting online. This project will continue and I can see many opportunities for educational development in the future. The BIR continues to invest not only in electronic education but also in delegate-attended courses. The BIR Annual Congress has undergone modernisation, with a new format of parallel streams, e-posters and an event app to increase delegate engagement. It also boasts internationally acclaimed keynote speakers. The annual general meeting (AGM) is now an online meeting and has proved very successful.
The education committee is to be congratulated on the expansion and success of the teaching and learning opportunities that we provide. We were concerned that the standards of education are hard to define and therefore we set up an independent accreditation committee whose duty it is to assess all the teaching that we provide against recognised educational standards. This team led by David Lindsell provides assurance that our courses and electronic learning are of the highest standard and they are also working with corporate members to assess other organisations’ events. Our collaborative work with UK Radiology Congress has led to very successful meetings in Liverpool and I’m glad to say that both UKRC and UKRO are flourishing.
We have expanded our breadth of corporate members and reached out to other societies in the UK and overseas including the Royal Society of Medicine, IPEM and the Institute of Physics as well as becoming a member of the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS) Global Partner Program which has extended benefits on offer to our members.
The BIR will only flourish if membership increases and we remain active and innovative. I’m glad to say that the membership numbers have increased substantially over the last two years and continue to do so. We have created new packages of membership and several healthcare organisations have now joined on behalf of large groups of their employees. I believe this is an excellent measure of our success in providing valued membership benefits. The great news from our publishing arm is the establishment of a case report-based online journal, BJR|case reports. This fills a gap in the market and gives an opportunity for young clinicians and scientists to present their work. The standards offered by BJR have been maintained and indeed improved as judged by external measures.
The management team and the trustees of the organisation continue to provide sterling service and governance. We remain in a strong financial position despite external pressures.
I’m honoured to have been the warden to an excellent provision of service within an organisation that is increasing in size and has very exciting prospects for the future. I am very pleased to be handing over to Andy Rogers with whom I worked for a number of years and I know will be an excellent President of the British Institute of Radiology.
Dr David Wilson
Images (top to bottom)
- With Dr Stephen Davies
- At my inauguration with my predecessor Professor Andrew Jones
- With Jonathan Lewin MD, President of ARRS
- With Editor of BJR|case reports, Professor Giuseppe Guglielmi
- With Andy Rogers, President of the BIR from September 2016