Year : 2007 | Volume
: 12 | Issue : 1 | Page : 3--4
President's address at the Annual Conference of IAPS 2006 at Goa
26 Convent Road, Richmond Town, Bangalore - 560 025, Karnataka, India
K R Srimurthy
26 Convent Road, Richmond Town, Bangalore - 560 025, Karnataka
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Srimurthy K R. President's address at the Annual Conference of IAPS 2006 at Goa.J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2007;12:3-4
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Srimurthy K R. President's address at the Annual Conference of IAPS 2006 at Goa. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2007 [cited 2023 Jun 9 ];12:3-4
Available from: https://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2007/12/1/3/31080
28th September 2006
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me a great pleasure in welcoming you all in this memorable occasion, the 32nd Annual Conference of I.A.P.S, co-hosted by the pediatric surgeons of Goa and Maharashtra states.
This association is almost four-decade old, started by the pioneering pediatric surgeons of the 1960s, just to name a few are Prof. R K Gandhi, MSR, TDR, I C Pathak, Subir Chatterjee. They have done yeoman service in nurturing this infant association through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. They have left a long history of tradition and a sense of moral responsibility for the younger generations to carry.
What have we achieved?
Recollecting about the growth of this association by leaps and bounds in the last four decades, Thanks to the forethought of the founding fathers, a system of preceptorship, which was introduced in the 1960s, have helped to create a stream of well-trained pediatric surgeons from the medical colleges and institutes. On an average 40-50 well-trained pediatric surgeons join the community. As the cities are getting crowded, a good number of them talented in skills migrate to other districts and imparting state-of-the-art surgical treatment at affordable cost. The association has spawned new sub-specialties such as urology, minimal invasive surgery, and so on. I find that wherever I have attended the meetings, there is a lot of enthusiasm in the learning of new skills. Workshops are well attended and interactions are healthy.
About 800 pediatric surgeons have enrolled in our association and according to my secretary 2-300 more have not registered but are actively practicing. They cater to the pediatric community of India, which is about 40% of the population. Unfortunately, the majority of the pediatric population cannot afford medical services. Most of them are catered for governmental hospitals, which have finite budgets. Cost of equipment and medicines have gone up enormously leaving very little to pay for professional services of the pediatric surgeons. It is only in the fitness of things that it is mandatory on our part to do the community service freely for professional satisfaction along with our private practice to keep home and hearth together.
Until recently, congenital diseases were not included in the insurance coverage. However, my predecessor
Prof. Ramkumar Raghupathy with his strong persuasive powers obtained the insurance to the unborn child. We must also influence the I.R.D.A that children's surgery must be performed by qualified pediatric surgeons wherever they are available.
I am happy to note that a number of our members have been working abroad in prestigious institutions, and adding to our stature Prof. Prem Puri has been recently awarded the prestigious Dennis Browne medal. I am also happy to note that a large number of scientific articles are being published in refereed international journals by Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP). Even though we come across with the variety of cases, still much of works have not been published.
What is the future of pediatric surgery?
There was an unbiased discussion by the heads of prestigious pediatric surgical departments in the year 2000 ( Journal of Indian Academy of Pediatrics , July-September issue) whether the superspecialty of pediatric surgery was a dying specialty? A number of senior professors were although skeptical of the future, and of the view that in spite of enormous infrastructural handicaps it is still a worthwhile specialty to pursue. Interestingly, the study also pointed out that pediatric surgeons working in the districts were professionally far more happier than their colleagues in metropolitan cities pursuing non-teaching private practice.
Another major issue, which I find is that we have become aloof from our pediatric colleagues. In the bargain, surgical referrals from the pediatricians have dried out. They would prefer to send their patients on an organ basis to adult urologists, plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, and thoracic surgeons. We must interact with them closely at the local, state and at the national level to provide a comprehensive care to the child.
Regarding creating awareness of the pediatric surgery, MCI has recommended a set of lectures to the undergraduate students. Unfortunately, in most of the medical colleges general surgeons conduct the lectures. We, as an association, must insist that qualified pediatric surgeons deliver lectures. We should also insist that post-graduate medical students undergoing MD, DCH, DNB in medicine, and MS or DNB in surgery should at least rotate through the department of pediatric surgery for a period of 6 to 8 weeks, so that they can get acquainted with the common pediatric surgical problems.
The newly promulgated thought of our secretary,
Dr. Sarin and Dr. Ravinthiran that pediatric surgery like pediatric medicine should have direct entry without going through a general surgery residency training programme is an interesting concept. Subsequently, the candidate can undergo superspecialty training in pediatric urology, cardiothoracic, plastic, and MIS. This concept has many advantages and worthwhile to pursue.
Recently, there has been a proposal from the health ministry to have a national exit examination for all post-graduate students irrespective of whereever they have done their MD or MS or DNB, something similar to the Royal College of Surgeons. This move will provide uniformity of standards throughout India and facilitate international recognition.
As pediatric surgeons, we are responsible for the critical care of the child and our knowledge must be continuously up-dated. A re-certifying examination once every 10 years must be the minimum standard required achieving this goal.
Forgive me if I may have repeated some of the appeals of my predecessors in the past from the same platform. Let me assure you, our association though one of the smallest has the smartest people on board caring for those infants and children, in rectifying complex surgical problems and rendering them useful to the community for seven to eight decades thereafter.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my secretary Prof. Yogesh Sarin and the EC members who have given me unstinted co-operation in guiding this association.
Thank you for the privilege of sharing my views with you.