In April 2017, RCSEd Office Bearers, examiners and staff travelled to Delhi for the MRCS OSCE Examinations and preparation course, and found there was a very good reason to celebrate. Not one, but two, of our International Surgical Advisers had recently been conferred the prestigious Dr B.C. Roy national award. The Medical Council of India instituted the Dr B.C. Roy National Award in 1962 to perpetuate the memory of Dr B.C. Roy, a prominent Indian physician, politician and freedom fighter. The award is presented in a number of categories including ‘Creation of a new department in the field of medicine’ for which Professor Pawanindra Lal was conferred the award, and ‘Outstanding service in the field of Socio Medical Relief’, for which Dr Raghu Ram Pillarisetti was conferred the award. The doctors were presented with their award by Mr Pranab Mukherjee, Honourable President of India, on 28 March 2017 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. Dr Raghu Ram is the youngest surgeon from the Southern Indian States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to be bestowed with this coveted award.
Dr Raghu Ram Pillarisetti (right) is President of the Association of Breast Surgeons of India, Director, KIMS-USHALAKSHMI Centre for Breast Diseases and CEO of the Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation in Hyderabad. The award recognises Dr Raghu Ram’s significant contribution towards improving the delivery of breast health care in India, and raising awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer in the Southern Indian States through a number of innovative initiatives, which has resulted in transforming it from a taboo, thus saving many lives. He has overseen the implementation of South Asia’s largest population based breast cancer screening programme in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, which has served as a benchmark screening programme for the entire country. In April 2016, Dr Raghu Ram was invited to be part of a Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Group (TAG) set up by the Indian Ministry of Health. He played a pivotal role in getting clinical breast examination (CBE) incorporated into National Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines, and is currently providing training material and guidance to implement the programme across the nation. Dr Raghu Ram conceived, designed and established South Asia’s first purpose built breast health centre at KIMS Hospitals in Hyderabad. Named after his mother, KIMS–Ushalakshmi Centre for Breast Diseases has made a meaningful difference to the lives of many for over ten years. In 2015, Dr Ram achieved the unique distinction of becoming the youngest surgeon ever from the Southern Indian states of Telangana & Andhra Pradesh to have been conferred 'Padma Shri', one of the highest civilian awards of the land from Shri Pranab Mukherjee, Honourable President of India.
Professor Pawanindra Lal (left) takes a keen interest in skills training of doctors and minimal access surgery. He was instrumental in setting up the first Clinical Skills Centre at Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) in 2006, which was the first of its kind in any medical college in India teaching simulated hands-on skills based training to undergraduate and postgraduate students. The centre was awarded the FICCI Healthcare Award for Skills development in 2014. More than 8000 doctors and paramedics have received training at this centre. In 2011, he was instrumental in starting the two year FNB Programme in Minimal Access Surgery (MAS) at MAMC from under the Indian National Board of Examinations, and is the Chair of the Division of MAS in MAMC. This is the only such course running in any government institution in the country. Professor Pawanindra Lal has had more than 90 publications in national and international journals, and more than 200 paper presentations. He is a member of all Indian national surgical bodies as well as ELSA (Asia), ALS (UK) and SAGES (USA).
Professor Pawanindra Lal’s father, Professor Jogindra Lal Gupta (pictured with Professor Pawanindra Lal right), who was a fellow of the college of 1956, and was a student of Dr B C Roy from 1948-1954 when Dr Roy was also the Chief Minister of Bengal, was a recipient of the same award in 1978. History repeated it for Professor Pawanindra Lal 39 years later in 2017. Dr Raghu Ram’s father Dr P. V. Chalapathi Rao, ad hominum Fellow of RCSEd was also conferred the Dr BC Roy award in 1995.
Congratulations to both Professor Pawanindra Lal and Dr Ram, and their families, from all at the College.
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