Two days that brought together the leading experts in medical education

International Conference On The Future Of Medical Education, Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli – November 21 & 22, 2021

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has revealed a critical need for reforms in the current medical education system with the primary objective of providing affordable, accessible, comprehensive, compassionate, and culturally sensitive healthcare to all, especially to underserved populations. This International Conference on the Future of Medical Education brought together the leading experts in medical education from different countries to share ideas and develop programmes that can facilitate the much-needed national and international reforms in the format, scope, structure, funding, evaluation, and access to medical education and postgraduate training.

The two-day International Conference on the Future of Medical Education was hosted by the Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence in conjunction with medical experts from Standford University School of Medicine in California, USA and was inaugurated in the presence of Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai, Founder of Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence; Dr Kanwaljeet Sunny Anand, Professor of Paediatrics, Anaesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Stanford School of Medicine, USA; Padma Shri Awardee and Founder-Chairman of Pallium India, Dr M R Rajagopal; Padma Shri Awardee and President of the Medical Assessment and Rating Board, Dr B N Gangadhar; World Health Organisation Officer for Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine, Dr G Geetha Krishnan; Former ViceChancellor of Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Dr S Sacchidanand; Chairman of Sri Sathya Sai Health and Education Trust, Mr C Sreenivas; Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence, Mr B N Narasimha Murthy; and Vice-Chancellor of Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence, Dr Srikanta Murthy.

Facilitating national and international reforms in the format, scope, structure, funding, evaluation, and access to medical education and postgraduate training.

Four technical sessions over the two days

The Conference was attended by over 745 registrants. About 21 Speakers and seven Session Chairs that included physicians, surgeons, educators, specialists or general medical practitioners, researchers, health policy experts, medical school administrators, and allied health professionals—participated from all over the globe to share their insights on the following topics as four technical sessions over the two days:

    1. Undergraduate Medical Education and Training
    2. Postgraduate Medical Training and Research
    3. Integrative Medical Education and Training
    4. Social Aspects of Medical Education and Training

Session Chairs:

1. Dr Hiramalini Seshadri, MD Department of Rheumatology, Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital, India

2. Dr Jorge Luis Berra, MD Director of Fundacion de Salud Ayurveda Prema, Argentina

3. Dr Namita Bali, MD, FRCOG Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital, India

4. Professor Navakanta Bhat, Ph.D. Dean, Division of Interdisciplinary Sciences Professor, Centre for Nano Science and Engineering

5. Dr Saritha Purushothaman, MD, DCH, MRCPCH Department of Paediatrics, Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital, India

6. Dr Satish Babu, MD, MRCP, CCST Head of Department of Endocrinology, SPARSH Hospitals, India

7. Dr Shaun P Setty, MD Head of Department of Cardiac Surgery, Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital and the Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, California, USA

Speakers:

1. Dr Bipin Nair, PhD Professor, School of Biotechnology Dean, Faculty of Science, Amrita University, India

2. Padma Shri Awardee Dr B N Gangadhar, MD, D.Sc., FAMS, FACS President, Medical Assessment and Rating Board, National Medical Commission, New Delhi, India

3. Dr Geetha Krishnan Gopalakrishna Pillai, BAMS, MD Technical Officer for the Traditional, Complementary and Integrative Medicine (TCIM) Unit, WHO, Geneva

4. Professor Kesavan Esuvaranathan, MD, FAMS, FRCS, FRCS Senior Consultant and Professor of Surgery, Department of Urology, National University of Singapore (NUS)

5. Dr Lars Osterberg, MD, MPH Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine Co-Director, Stanford School of Medicine Teaching and Mentoring Academy, USA

6. Padma Shri Awardee Dr H R Nagendra, ME, Ph.D. Chancellor, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana (S-VYASA), India

7. Dr Nandini Tandon, BA, Ph.D. Co-Founder and CEO of IndUS Setu Global Foundation, USA

8. Dr Nitin Gangane, MBBS, MD Dean, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sevagram, India

9. Dr Pawanindra Lal, MS, DNB, FIMSA, FCLS, FRCS, FACS, FAMS Executive Director and CEO, National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

10. Dr Prithika Chary, MD, DM, Ph.D., MNAMS, MCh Senior Consultant Neurologist and Neurosurgeon, Kauvery Hospital, Chennai, India

11. Dr Raj Shah, MD Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Temple University and Drexel University; President and CEO, SmartCareDoc, Philadelphia, USA

12. Padma Shri Awardee Dr M R Rajagopal, MD Founder-Chairman of Pallium India, Kerala, India

13. Vaidya Rajesh Kotecha, MD Secretary, Ministry of AYUSH, New Delhi, Government of India

14. Dr M K Ramesh, MBBS, MS President, Postgraduate Medical Education Board, National Medical Commission, New Delhi, India

15. Vaidya Dr P Rammanohar, BAMS, MD Research Director, Amrita School of Ayurveda, India

16. Dr Seema Malhotra, BSc (Hons), D.HOM. Co-Director of Advanced Postgraduate Course in Homeopathy, Allen College of Homeopathy, UK

17. Dr Solomon Chellaih, MBBS, MD Former Physician and Medical Superintendent, CSI Basel Mission Hospital, Gadag-Betageri, Karnataka, India

18. Dr Teresa Cutts, Ph.D. Research Assistant Professor and Faculty, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, North Carolina, USA

19. Dr Vinod K Paul, MD, Ph.D., FAMS, FNASc. FASc. Member, Niti Aayog ; Former Head, Department of Paediatrics, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

20. Dr (Col) Vishal Marwaha, MBBS, MD Principal, Amrita University School of Medicine (AUSM), Kochi, India

21. Dr William W Pinsky, MD, FAAP, FACC President and Chief Executive Officer, Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG); Chair, Board of Trustees, FAIMER Foundation

The inaugural event began with a welcome address by Mr C Sreenivas, who is at the helm of affairs of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centres for Child Heart Care across three States in India – Chhattisgarh, Atal Nagar Nava Raipur; Haryana, Palwal; and Maharashtra, Kharghar. He explained how the World Health Organisation advocates not only cure and prevention but also promotion of wellness and well-being, which has been the aim of the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Chain of Child Heart Care Hospitals.

Dr M R Rajagopal in his Keynote Address remarked that the need of the hour is to transform the healthcare system in the Country and it is in the hands of medical students who can be potential change-makers who can implement this change.

The second day of the Conference witnessed the presence of numerous dignitaries including, Dr K Sunny Anand – Professor of Paediatrics, Anaesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, USA; Mr P L Tapadiya – Vice President, Kasturba Health Society, Sevagram; and Dr B S Garg – Director, Professor in the Department of Community Medicine and Director of Dr Sushila Nayar School of Public Health, MGIMS, Sevagram.

Celebrating the gifting of lives, Chiranjeevi Bhava — The Gift of Life

Chiranjeevi Bhava — The Gift of Life

The two-day Conference celebrated its valedictory event in the most appropriate manner by celebrating Chiranjeevi Bhava – ‘gifting lives’ to 23 children who suffered cardiac defects. These 23 children in the age of 6 months to 12 years from various districts of Karnataka and North India, were identified with congenital heart defects during the health screening that was conducted by the Divine Mother and Child Health Program, and have been successfully operated at the Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital at Sathya Sai Grama, Muddenahalli in the Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka. For the first time in the history of Chikkaballapur district, the Sri Sathya Sai Sarla Memorial Hospital, a multi-speciality hospital fully equipped with high-end facilities, hosted a team of surgeons to perform 23 paediatric cardiac surgeries over the last eight days.

Abhishek, one of the beneficiaries of the free paediatric cardiac treatment at the Sri Sathya Sai Sanjeevani Centre for Child Heart Care spoke thus: “This mission of service gave me a new lease of life. I am currently studying at the Sri Sathya Sai Loka Seva Gurukulam Group of Institutions and I will give life to a 1000 more children when I grow. I want to serve in this mission of service.”

Dr K Sunny Anand spoke from his heart about the magic of compassionate healthcare when he said, “In medicine, during the process of attending to patients, the doctor and patient disappears. Only care, love and compassion remains! There is no feeling of having done something.”

Dr K Sudhakar – Minister of Medical Education, Health and Family Welfare of Karnataka joined the valedictory function along with the other dignitaries. He remarked, “Today, Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai has done what the Government is not able to do. This is no joke – to conduct free heart surgeries! This mission is the only one that offers free healthcare. To me, this is nothing less than a miracle. The Government has to learn from this mission and replicate the Sai’s model. Children with congenital heart defects generally succumb to their struggle and die within a year of birth. This mission of service has reached out to such children, especially the ones below poverty line, and provided free services across three paediatric cardiac care hospitals in the last few years.”

Two days that brought together the leading experts in medical education

Sri Sathya Sai University for Human Excellence and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Wardha exchanged a MOU to facilitate knowledge sharing, diversify research, enrich academia, continue education programmes and joint tertiary care programmes.

Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai elucidated the true essence of healthcare by saying: “The most important part of medical education should be to teach our doctors, nurses and paramedics to become better human beings with compassion at the core. It cannot just be a commercial transaction between a patient and a doctor. The only way to make healthcare universally accessible, is by providing health education to all, thereby making it easier to study medicine. Many students who have completed MBBS, have difficulty in obtaining a seat for Postgraduate studies. Therefore, the Diplomate of National Board (DNB) is doing a wonderful work in providing accreditation to numerous hospitals which are not necessarily medical colleges but are capable of training and teaching. This will help a lot of students. This Conference is a path-breaking event which will change the course of history, especially in health-care delivery systems. Dr K Sudhakar asked me how it is possible to carry out this mission of service, completely free of charges for all. My only answer is – Love does it all! Love is enough to solve all the problems of the world. Love has all the power. Love will guide the steps – how, when, where, and why. We must choose to love people unselfishly. Moreover, we have the most committed team of doctors, nurses, and paramedics for whom only the child is important. In our hospital, patient is God! This makes everything happen. 23 free paediatric cardiac surgeries have been done to celebrate the 96th Birthday Celebrations of Sri Sathya Sai Baba on 23 November 2021, and this gives me utmost satisfaction.”

The November 21st and 22nd evenings transported all the participants to another plane of divine joy by the sounds of the mandolin, the veena, and the violin. A fusion music concert by Mandolin U Rajesh and Mr Dimitris Lambrianos; and Carnatic Classical Instrumental Music by Dr Jayanthi Kumaresh (veena) and Sri Kumaresh (violin) were a befitting treat to the health of all, much beyond their physical existence.