Farewell Prof. Gourtsoyiannis

by Prof. Bernd Hamm, Chairman of the ESR Board of Directors
March 4, 2018
Thank you Prof. GourtsoyiannisProf. Gourtsoyiannis and Prof. Hamm

Dear Nick,
Dear Friends,

I will not start with a big thank you – that comes later. Rather, I here begin with some catch words for which you are famous, namely: vision – creativity – empathy.
We all have repeatedly heard these words from you – the last time at our executive council meeting here in Vienna just a few weeks ago. And you kept demanding these qualities of all of us who are active in the European Society of Radiology.
And you do not only expect us to be visionary and creative and do our job with empathy – you are our role model in living these values.  

I remember so many of your visions that I would run out of time trying to mention them all – and I think it is not necessary. Rather than now praising all your achievements I would like to take a clue from the poster of ECR 2003, which was your congress.

We all know Greek mythology, and the story of Zeus, who fell in love with the beautiful Europa and transformed himself into an impressive white bull to attract her attention and to finally carry her off across the sea. What then has all this to do with you? Well, you are very charming, have the empathy, and the power of a bull to make your visions come true. You have seduced the European Society of Radiology many times, inspiring us to follow your vision and leading our society to growing success. 

Yes, once you had a vision, it was hard to stop you. I remember a very vivid discussion we had in London with Helen McCarthy and Ian McCall about the future of the European Association of Radiology (EAR) and the ECR. At that time, the EAR, which acted on the political level, was rather weak and not very efficient. In contrast, the ECR was on the rise, becoming more and more successful.

And if I recall the situation correctly (though I may be biased here), you rather quickly took up some ideas from Ian McCall and me – ultimately resulting in the vision of different columns under a common roof to unify European radiology. This is the idea ultimately underlying the European Society of Radiology. For this ECR, I did it the other way round: that is I took up an idea you mentioned some time ago – namely that of the ESR Awards Red Carpet Dinner. And from what I have heard so far, it appears to have been a very good idea.  

Getting back to your imagination and creativity, I well remember what many colleagues said when you first came up with your idea of a European School of Radiology: “Just let him do it. It won’t work.” But you were not deterred and turned your vision into a success story.

The numbers speak for themselves:
625 Scholars/Fellows have profited from ESOR until today.
There were over 19,000 participants
288 courses were held in 129 cities in 42 countries and on 5 continents
620 faculty members were involved in these courses.

Under your leadership, ESOR became the major provider of complementary radiological education in Europe and worldwide. 

And coming to an end, I wish to thank you in my new function as Chairman of the Board and also on behalf of this assembly and all members of the European Society of Radiology.

I sincerely hope that you will continue to be at our side with your sense of humor, helpful criticism, and empathy.

Bernd Hamm

Farewell group photo

About ESOR

... an established and growing institution, fulfilling the mission of the European Society of Radiology (ESR) in the field of education.

                     Anastas Doreski, Skopje/MK

            Enrique F. Garces-Inigo, Albacete/ES

         Bruno Hochhegger, Porto Alegre/BR

            Saulius Rutkauskas, Kaunas/LT
ESR Contact
  • ESR Office:
  • Am Gestade 1
  • 1010 Vienna, Austria
  • Tel: +43-1-533 40 64
  • Fax: +43-1-533 40 64-448
  • www.myESR.org
The European School
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