Improving education is one fundamental way of ensuring more patients around the world have access to safe and affordable anaesthesia when they need it. Over the past month, we have spoken to young anaesthesiologists who have been trained through WFSA Fellowship programmes. However, it is important to think about the wider team that make these education programmes successful. Why do they give their time to teach the next generation? What are their views on education, anaesthesia and global health?
This week the WFSA spoke to the wonderful Dr Subramani Kandasamy who is the Programme Head of the Intensive Care Fellowship in The Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, India. The Christian Medical College is a 2600 bed post-graduate University teaching hospital, a status that makes the hospital a hub for training in the region. Dr Kandasamy explained;
“In India, there are still pockets, especially in rural areas, where safe anaesthesia and intensive care is not available. In my opinion, the situation is the same in several countries, and is in fact worse in many of them.”
Dr Kandasamy is extremely passionate about Intensive Care and its importance as a specialty around the world, clearly enjoying working with young anaesthesiologists and sharing his knowledge with them.
“The overall aim of the Fellowship is to impart training to these deserving doctors in Intensive Care. Intensive Care is still a very young specialty in many parts of the world and it has become quite evident in recent years that this specialist group makes a positive difference to the outcome of critically ill patients,” Dr Kandasamy shared.
“As this specialty is still budding, there is a shortage of specialists in many countries. We aim to change that and work with the WFSA to bring about a change in these countries, and the world population at large. The Christian Medical College is privileged to be part of this change.”
The doctor also shared his enthusiasm about the international nature of the Fellowship, considering it one of the most important elements of the programme.
“Training programs like this are very important to spread the knowledge and experience to areas where trained doctors of a particular specialty are not available. Such programs and specialties are not available in many countries so we target such nations and provide the opportunities.”
“On returning, these doctors can establish a department and train more people locally. We get feedback from our former fellows, they are doing well and some of them have started new ICU’s, developed new ICU’s and are in fact starting their own training programs. This creates a “multiplication effect” rather than us remaining the sole training body. Therefore such programs and policies are important in benefitting institutions and their medical staff, rather than just the individual doctor,” Dr Kandasamy explained.
International training is not new to Dr Kandasamy. After completing his own training in Vellore in 1997, he went for further training in the UK and began focusing his attention specifically on Intensive Care when he returned to India.
“I felt a need in this specialty, as there were only two ICU trained doctors in the whole hospital. Thanks to my previous heads of the department, I was able devote more time to Intensive Care and in fact now I devote all my time to Intensive Care!”
“My training abroad has helped me personally, and more so my institution, to carry forward the experience I acquired abroad. All faculties in CMC spend a few years abroad [through study leave and sabbatical leave] and bring new knowledge and experience back home which has helped our institution grow to where it stands now in the sphere of global health. Now it is important to share this success with other institutions.”
For more information about Fellowship programmes currently open for application please click here.