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Access to High Quality Education Increases for Nuclear Medicine Professionals

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Training opportunities in nuclear medicine and hybrid imaging will increase as a result of a cooperation agreement signed by the IAEA and the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) on 21 March 2017. (Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

More nuclear medicine professionals from developing countries will have access to training courses and educational materials thanks to a new agreement signed between the IAEA and the European Association of Nuclear Medicine (EANM) today.

The IAEA has had a longstanding cooperation with EANM, one of the largest professional organizations in the field of nuclear medicine, with over 9,000 members and a vast network that reaches beyond Europe. “The arrangement signed today will further expand this cooperation, increasing educational opportunities for professionals in nuclear medicine and hybrid imaging,” said Diana Paez, Head of the Nuclear Medicine and Diagnostic Imaging Section at the IAEA.

In nuclear medicine, imaging tests are used to create visual representations of a body’s interior to diagnose a variety of health conditions including non-communicable or chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Hybrid imaging combines information provided through nuclear medicine studies and anatomical details provided through radiological studies, improving diagnostic accuracy and ultimately patient care.

Under the new agreement, EANM will also provide experts and infrastructure for IAEA training courses and expert missions to low- and middle-income countries, and will work closely with the IAEA on the development of interactive educational materials for the IAEA Human Health Campus.

“The agreement is an incentive for EANM to further improve the quality of education in nuclear medicine,” said EANM President Kristoff Muylle. In response to rising demand for dedicated training in hybrid imaging and new therapeutic applications in nuclear medicine, EANM has recently modernized its educational offering and founded the European School of Multimodality Imaging & Therapy (ESMIT), which will now be open to IAEA-nominated professionals.

(Photo: D. Calma/IAEA)

Benefits the world over

To date, more than 90 nuclear medicine professionals have benefitted from the on-going cooperation between the two organizations, mostly through IAEA-facilitated trainings in Europe. The conclusion of the agreement, called practical arrangements, will make this cooperation easier and expand its scope, Paez said.

Sergei Nazarenko, Head of the Nuclear Medicine Department at the North Estonia Medical Centre, has been among the beneficiaries of the cooperation between the IAEA and EANM. He highlighted the diverse challenges that nuclear medicine professionals in different countries face — and where this cooperation can be of major assistance. “Smaller European countries like Estonia have practical challenges because of their size,” he said. “In order to assure availability of knowledge and competences to our local specialists, we need extensive international cooperation like the one just signed.”

The IAEA/EANM webinars developed under the cooperation so far offer a unique tool and a free teaching instrument, said Augusto Llamas Olier, Head of the Nuclear Medicine Department at the National Cancer Institute in Bogota, Colombia.We hope that this cooperation will ensure that the IAEA and EANM can provide us with ideas and help us increase the impact factor of our research and publications.”

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