Indian Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons organised a two-day hybrid academic programme in association with India’s first free rural private medical college

12 March 2024 – Bangalore: The 9th edition of the IACTS SCORE, organised by the Indian Association of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons (IACTS) in collaboration with the Sri Madhusudan Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (SMSIMSR) at Muddenahalli on 09-10 March 2024, aimed to inspire young medical professionals to specialise in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery (CVTS). With India facing a severe shortage of specialists, initiatives like this are crucial in addressing the healthcare crisis. Despite an annual production of only 65,000 postgraduates, the country requires approximately 15 lakh specialists. The goal of IACTS and SMSIMSR is not only to equip students with the necessary skills but also to encourage them to serve underprivileged communities, especially those in rural areas who struggle to access quality healthcare due to financial constraints.

IACTS SCORE 2024 spanned two days and served as an examination orientation and academic review program for final-year residents pursuing residency in cardiothoracic and thoracic surgical programmes. Led by Dr C S Hiremath, the event brought together esteemed faculty members such as Dr Anil G Tendolkar, Dr Prasanna Simha Mohan Rao, Dr A Sampath Kumar, etc., alongside dedicated students. The programme focused on bridging knowledge gaps, reinforcing core concepts, and emphasising the practical application of skills essential for success in examinations and careers as CT surgeons. Residents benefited from simulation examinations, live interactive sessions, discussions on CPB fundamentals, ECG and imaging modalities interpretation, and live case discussions.

The inauguration of IACTS SCORE 2024 saw the presence of notable figures including Sri Madhusudan Sai, Founder of SMSIMSR, Dr Manoj Durairaj, President of IACTS, Dr C S Hiremath, Secretary of IACTS, and Dr Minu Bajpai, Executive Director of the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences, New Delhi, who served as the Chief Guest. The event also welcomed international faculty, including Dr Ali Zamir Khan, Consultant Thoracic Surgeon from Southampton University Hospital, United Kingdom.

During the inaugural ceremony, ‘Gift of Life’ certificates were awarded to three children from below-poverty-line families who had undergone life-saving surgeries at the teaching hospital of the medical college. ‘Gift of Life’ ceremonies, initiated by Sri Madhusudan Sai, celebrate the lives saved through surgeries.

“Concerning cardiovascular thoracic procedures, we are in a state of transformation and reformation right now. The younger generation needs to step up and carry out successful surgeries in future. They must therefore arm themselves with the newest technologies because they have a crucial role to perform. I find it astounding that SMSIMSR not only delivers world-class healthcare services free of cost but also free medical education to deserving candidates. I would like to work with SMSIMSR and contribute my expertise, and also set up a heart transplant facility here”, stated Dr Manoj Durairaj, President, IACTS Executive Committee.

Dr C S Hiremath, Secretory, IACTS Executive Committee mentioned, “I created this programme nine years ago to standardise CVTS training, and it was my idea. The CVTS residents benefit greatly from it in terms of understanding the material and passing their exams. Today marked the release of the tenth edition of the ‘Sri Sathya Sai Notes’, which is required reading for all CVTS students. This addresses every complex and important idea about the topic.”

Dr Minu Bajpai, Executive Director, National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences, Professor & Head of Department, Department of Paediatric Surgery AIIMS, New Delhi said, “Due to the lack of healthcare professionals, there will be a crisis by the end of 2030. To tackle this issue, from the next academic year, a 6-year course in DNB in paediatric surgery will be started at SMSIMSR by the government as an initiating step. I appreciate the IACTS SCORE programme that follows the American System taking a greater share in enhancing the quality, standards and uniformity in healthcare as a measure to retain quality and quantity. Sri Madhusudan Sai’s institutions have been a paradigm of the ancient system where temples served as the sources of every need without any materialism therefore, I see great potential in SMSIMSR to become a global centre of blended learning in the days to come, because the ethos of Sushrutha and Hippocrates’ oaths are just not read but practised here in this Institute.”

Sadguru Sri Madhusudan Sai in his benedictory message highlighted, “No teacher can hoard knowledge to himself/herself and the more it is shared, it grows and expands. In our ancient Bharat, education, food and healthcare were provided free of cost to all at temples. The commodification of these resources has crippled our sacred system. The sole intention of establishing healthcare institutions is to make high-quality healthcare accessible to everyone irrespective of any differences. We work on the ethos—the entire world is one single family. Individually we can do only so much, together we can do a lot. It is our collective responsibility to serve our fellow beings.”

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