Hyderabad, October 2023: The three-day 9th Annual Conference of Association of Surgeons of India – Telangana State Chapter (TS ASICON); being hosted by Apollo Medical College and Apollo Health City Hyderabad; was formally inaugurated by the Chief Guest Dr Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group; today at JRC Convention Centre, Jubilee Hills. Guest of Honour Prof. Shiva Kant Misra, Vice-President, National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences; graced the occasion. Also, present on the occasion were Dr. Prashanth Gunde, President, Association of Surgeons of India, Telangana State Chapter (TS ASI); Dr. Umakanth Goud, Secretary, TS ASI; Dr. Pratap Varute, Honorary Secretary TS ASI; Dr. L Sridhar, Organising Chairman, TS ASICON; Dr. Faiz Hussain, Organising Secretary, TS ASICON; Dr. Rohit Phadnis, Organising Treasurer, TS ASICON and Dr. Rajnesh Reddy, Chair – Scientific, TS ASICON; were present on the occasion. Over 1000 surgeons from across Telangana, attended the Conference.
Dr. Sangita Reddy said, Whatever one may achieve in life when one goes to an operation theatre and is lying there under the light knowing that you are going to be operated and a group of people around is going to do whatever your body needs, it’s a very different kind of a thought process and the most important aspect is that you have the trust and faith in the doctor to put yourself in his hands. It is that trust and faith is the bedrock of all development of medicine, that the patient trusts and believes in you. I appeal to doctors, as we evolve and develop, to maintain that trust and faith, because that is really the essence of healthcare. In today’s world, we need to combine online services with the physical and create this new era of medicine, so whether we are looking at Telemedicine, robotic surgery, or Artificial Intelligence in the use of healthcare, each of these is evolving at a tremendous pace, I believe that the future is moving much faster than we ever thought it would. Covid was one accelerator of this transformation, but also one of the big accelerators is truly the need of the people because surgery in all its forms plays an indispensable role in our lives. I must also say surgery is not just a profession, it’s a calling, that comes from within themselves, which says I want to dedicate my life to making somebody’s life better. With that thought process on this stage of evolution or change, I would just like to reiterate number one, that Apollo Hospitals will do whatever we can to partner, will do whatever we can to institute the best of medical practices and ethics, and bring that within the reach of people. The three pillars of medicine, clinical practice, and teaching, so that you learn and continuously share that knowledge and research are the bedrock of bringing ethical professional medicine into day-to-day life. Another aspect, don’t know if it is interesting or disturbing, is that of a hundred students who were looking at their postgraduation only 3 or 4 students opted for tele-surgeries. An important aspect of deliberation for all of us is, whether is it the push for super specialisation and therefore the general surgeons association may choose 15 or 20 surgeries that can be hyper-perfected and do not need super specialisation. Because the patient is automatically saying, ok if I need something in my abdomen, I will go to a particular specialisation. What would be the practice of general surgery in the future, and what positioning does it need, in the meanwhile how do we accelerate the pace of specialised programs so that post five or ten years of general surgery the ability to do fellowships and super specializations is still an option? Some of these modalities are something that I believe would be interesting. I conclude by saying that the future is extremely bright, as mankind is so capable of dreaming and delivering equitable healthcare. It is a very important aspect for us, because thirty years ago when we started we knew some people would get the best of healthcare and many people would be denied. We, by taking the aspects of telemedicine, universal health access, generic medication, and the great number of skilled people in India, can dream of equitable healthcare, which was truly one of the important shifts in our lifetime. The second very critical one is the point of care is shifting from the large hospital to smaller locations, super specialty hospitals, clinics where non-invasive protocols are taking place, and finally at the home. Recognising the fact that all of us are part of that integrated continuous care, our sole purpose should be to keep the patient healthy and not deliver episodic, sporadic surgical or illness-related care, but continued wellness-focused appropriate care. That’s what people will be looking for and I believe powerful and dedicated associations like all of you will lead the way in making this happen.
Prof. Shiva Kant Misra said, that as National Board Vice President, I want to acknowledge that the National Board has the largest partnership with Apollo, we have approximately 700 postgraduates being trained from the Apollo Group, every year. The Apollo Group is playing a critical role in the post-graduate medical education. The National Board is involved in entrance-to-exit exams, curriculum setting, and more to produce well-qualified specialists for the country. We will also focus on aspects not engaged by the Medical Council of India, like establishing an E-library not only for post-graduates but also for faculty members. We are organising web-based E-Lectures by specialists. There is also a mega project shaping up in a year, the National Clinical Skills Lab, which will focus on technical skills training and skilling, in addition to training in non-technical aspects. I want every general surgeon to be empowered, there was a question, of why a lesser number of post-graduates are joining in surgery, it needs retrospection. We need to empower general surgery as an attractive and lucrative branch, which I feel is the mother of all surgeries, which is rewarding and satisfying. National Board has started quite a few two-year fellowship programs, a postgraduate in surgery can choose a years fellowship program in a specialty subject of his choice.
Dr. Umakanth Goud said, this year we are starting Venugopal Oration for the first time. I propose hands-on training for a limited number of post-graduates under senior surgeons in various specialties, so that they are exposed to different surgeons for a short period along with being exposed to different theatres at different hospitals. A mentor-based training for postgraduates will be introduced from next year onwards.
The annual conference served as a platform for deliberations on a wide array of issues relevant to Surgery. The themes ranged from emerging innovations, technical advances, learning opportunities, notable cases, and challenges faced in the field of Surgery. The conference served as a nurturing environment for young Surgeons to expand their knowledge, network with peers, and engage with seasoned professionals to catalyze collaboration and the exchange of ideas that will shape the future of Surgery.
The first day of the annual conference was attended by 400 Postgraduates of Surgery from Across Telangana, who participated in the hands-on workshop, Paper, and Poster Presentation at Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences Hyderabad.