Professor Helen Fenlon - European Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology (ESGAR) 2018.
"My subspecialty interest is gastrointestinal and abdominal radiology, namely everything to do with imaging of the bowel, liver and pancreas. I initially trained here in Dublin and then went to Boston where I was based for three years. When I came back to the Mater as a Consultant Radiologist in 1999, I became involved in ESGAR, The European Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology, which is a not-for-profit, educational and scientific organisation founded by radiologists. Its members have a special interest in the imaging and treatment of patients with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract and associated abdominal organs.
The annual meeting of ESGAR is held every summer, usually in May or June, and the venue alternates between northern and southern Europe. I've been lucky to have been able to attend these conferences for most of the past 20 years. The meeting has taken place in diverse cities including Athens, Paris, Valencia, Edinburgh, Rome, Amsterdam and Venice. It was first held in Dublin in 2001 before The CCD was built. Bringing it back to Dublin in June 2018 and to the wonderful facility of The CCD was a great honour.
The annual meeting of ESGAR is the largest subspecialty gastrointestinal radiology meeting in the world. So, for my Irish radiology colleagues and me, there was a certain degree of pride in seeing such a major meeting come to Dublin. I am a member of Faculty of Radiologists in the Royal College of Surgeons who supported bringing the Annual Congress of ESGAR to Dublin and acted as an official patron of the event.
For me personally it was nice to have the opportunity to give something back to radiology and to do my bit for ESGAR, because I have benefited hugely from the training I have received at home and abroad and from being involved with the society.
For any future conference ambassadors, my advice is to plan well in advance and to embrace it. I think working with the staff in The CCD and having such a wonderful venue helps enormously because you know that the conference is going to be a success.
During and after the ESGAR meeting in Dublin, so many delegates contacted me to comment on their positive experiences at the meeting, how well The CCD was suited to the event and particularly remarked on the personal touches from the staff at The CCD who went that extra mile. These little personal touches coupled with the beautiful environment of the building made a big difference to this event. It was so nice to see such a highly professional job done with a uniquely Irish touch”.