‘Research will create a competitive environment’

Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said that greater focus on teaching and research would create a competitive environment in medical colleges.

At the graduation ceremony of the fifth batch of MBBS students at Cochin Medical College, Kalamassery, Dr. Kalam said that a university gets its name by the quality of the research it conducts.

The vision statements of the world’s leading medical universities and associated colleges cite research as one of their top priorities, said Dr. Kalam.

He called for medical students to bring change in society through a higher vision. Citing the stories of medical professionals such as Dr. G. Venkataswamy, the founder of Aravinda Eye Hospital that has the vision to tackle avoidable blindness in people; Dr. B. Soma Raju, the cardiologist involved in making Indian alternatives to imported medical devices to make treatment more affordable; and Dr. H. Sudarsan, who has been recognised for serving tribals through the Vivekananda Girijana Kalyana Kendra.

Dr. Soma Raju, in association with the Defence Scientific Laboratories, had made a coronary stent named Kalam-Raju that has been used to treat many patients since 1996.

Have vision

New doctors could take upon themselves to have a vision to eradicate TB, bring down Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate to zero, evolve methods to control infectious diseases such as AIDS, work towards providing better quality of life to the elderly, or how best to practice preventive medicine.

Taking a dig at the commercialisation of the doctors’ practice, he asked the new doctors not to inflict ‘diagnostic pain’ (the pain when one gets when seeing the bill of the diagnostic tests) on their patients.

Dr. Kalam also gave the Dr. Theja Jose Memorial Gold Medal to Rani Lakshmi U.G., the first rank holder of the final MBBS programme, and certificates to all graduates. At the function Ramachandran Thekkedath, Vice-Chancellor, Cochin University for Science and Technology, led the oath for the graduates.

K. Sukumaran Nair, director, Cooperative Academy of Professional Education (CAPE), welcomed the gathering. Mohan P. Sam, medical director, CMC; Dr. P. G. R. Pillai, chief medical adviser, CAPE; Firas Mohammed Anwar, president, House Surgeons’ Association; and Jilse George, convener of the graduation ceremony, were among those who spoke on the occasion.

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