Doctor with roots in city brings home a specialty

Medical education may have seen a sea change since 1960,the year he passed out of B J Medical College. But he is driven by an urge for further improvement.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune | Published:January 20, 2009 1:20 am

Medical education may have seen a sea change since 1960,the year he passed out of B J Medical College (BJMC). But he is driven by an urge for further improvement.

“I am committed to improving medical education,” says US-based Dr Navin Shah,who is also the former president of the American Association of International Physicians.

It was with this commitment that Shah contacted government officials and persuaded them to start specialty courses in the country. Thanks to his efforts,government officials and the Medical Council of India have given the go-ahead for starting a postgraduate course in infectious diseases for the first time in the country.

Shah,who visited his alma mater on Monday morning,is excited about being able to ensure the course is introduced. India has 50 million patients suffering from infectious diseases and 48 per cent of the deaths in the country are due to such diseases,says Shah. It’s not just about malaria,TB or HIV; these infections could be due to any prosthetic implant in the body or injuries that have not been treated.

This specialty has improved patient care in the US by decreasing mortality and morbidity in patients suffering from infectious diseases,says Shah who met Union Health Secretary Naresh Dayal and other experts to finalise the course proposal.

“The MCI has approved the programme and will work out further details,” says Shah who also plans to arrange visits of US infectious disease specialists to lend their expertise to training programmes in India.

Shah met BJMC Dean Dr Nirmala Borade and was impressed with the library open round the clock. Shah was happy that the donation of Rs 48 lakh made by the US-based alumni of BJMC had been effectively used to update the library. Around 500 students,teachers and doctors visit it every day. Shah had also met the Maharashtra Health Secretary,Bhushan Gagrani,to pursue the ongoing Emergency Medical Services and trauma centre project in Mumbai. “We have support from Dr Wayne Meredith,trauma director of the American College of Surgeons and the US consul general in Mumbai to train three Mumbai surgeons in US trauma centres,” says Shah.

Gagrani is said to have assured him that a legislation will be made to allow paramedics to administer medical treatment to trauma victims.

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