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Dundee Team Visits SBV

Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (Deemed University) welcomes the Experts from the University of Dundee for consultations towards greater collaboration and cooperation in the fields of health professions education, clinical services, post-graduate education and research.

The visiting team from the University of Dundee will include:
  • Dr. Gary J. Mires – Dean of Medical Education., Prof. of Obs.Gyn.,
  • Dr. Mairi G.B. Scott, Director, Professional Development Academy.,  Prof. of General Med. & Med. Ed.
  • Dr. Rami J.  Abboud, Prof & Head, Dept. of Ortho & TS, Director, IMAR
  • Dr. Susie J Schofield, Sr. Lect., E-learning Lead, Center for Med. Ed.
The University of Dundee is a pioneer and world recognized foremost expert on Medical and Health Professions Education. SBV looks forward to forging strong links and collaborations with the University of Dundee in pursuit of its core interest for transformation of health professions education, medical research and clinical care.

Summation and wrap up of deliberations held on 22nd,23rd and 24th of Jan.2015

PRELIMINARIES ( 21st jan., 2015)

The inter varsity Expert Committee comprising of distinguished faculty members from College of Medicine, University of Dundee and Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth met on 22nd , 23rd and 24th of Jan. 2015 at SBV.

However, the preliminary discussion with the liaison Official, Dr. Arvind Singh took place on the afternoon of 21st Jan. 2015.  At the preliminary meet, the respected Vice -Chancellor of SBV Prof. K. R. Sethuraman while welcoming Dr. Arvind Singh hoped that the deliberations during the next three days should be fruitful and culminate in meaningful and effective plans for fostering collaboration in the realms of academics, research and patient care.  Dr. Arvind Singh remarked that the facilities available at Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth are par excellence  and comparable with any other premier institute.   He also complimented the video depicting SBV, with reference to its qualitative and quantitative calibre and congratulated the think-tank of SBV for presenting such a wonderful video that was rich in contents and presentation.  This provided the fillip and acted as a shot in the arm.  Dr. Arvind Singh also expressed hope that at the end of the penultimate day of the deliberations i.e. on 23rd Jan. 2015, we could possibly arrive at a much more comprehensive and decisive conclusion and that pertaining to processes from SBV that could be transmitted to Dundee and vice versa.  To a query on the uniqueness of the ensuing discussion, Dr. Singh wanted to suggest comprehensive models for curbing infant and maternal mortality, besides other endeavours aimed at developmental initiatives in the vistas of academics and patient care. The Hon’ble Chancellor Prof.Rajaram Pagadala drew the attention by stating the availability of the  immense treasure at SBV, namely the clinical materials. Prof. Sethuraman then elaborated on the itinerary and schedule and expressed gratification that the Skype meet in the October of 2014 has had eventually culminated in this landmark meeting.  The Hon’ble Chancellor Prof. Rajaram and respected Dean (R & PGS), Prof. N. Ananthakrishnan also expressed hope that positive developments during the next few days would usher in novel collaborative approaches in more than one avenue.

Day 1 , 22nd Jan., 2015

The distinguished team from Dundee University that had in its ranks Prof. Gary J Mires, Dean of Medical Education and Professor of Obstetrics,  Prof. Mairi G B Scott, Professor of General Practice and Medical Education, Director of the Professional Development Academy, Prof. Rami J Abboud, Head of Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery / Director of Institute of Motion Analysis and Research and Dr. Susie J Schofield, Senior Lecturer / e-learning Lead arrived from Chennai, on 22.01.2015 around noon and immediately left for their hotel, accompanied by Mr. Joseph Naresh, Dy. Registrar, SBV.  At 2.15 pm, the team reached M.G.M.C. & R.I, following an impressive reception at the foyer. At the Conference Hall, Hospital block, the respected Vice-Chancellor accorded a warm welcome and stressed upon the importance of this key meeting.  Prof. Rajaram Pagadala, Hon’ble Chancellor of SBV in his opening remarks extended a warm and hearty welcome to the distinguished delegation from Dundee University.  Prof. Rajaram also told the august assembly that he savours nostalgic memories of his visit to Dundee and hoped that this fresh and renewed endeavour would help promote mutual interests pertaining to academics, research and patient care. The Hon’ble Chairman of SBECPT Mr. M. K. Rajagopalan participated in the deliberation avidly and interspersed the discussion with his valuable observations and clarifications.

The self-introduction made by the distinguished team from Dundee University portrayed charm, dignity and immediately set the tone for friendly and meaningful deliberations.

Prof. Gary Mires said that he was overwhelmed by the hospitality. He told the   assembly that Dundee University would be launching a unique endeavour within the next few years and the College of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing would soon emerge as a leader in healthcare knowledge and promulgation. We could explore collaborative endeavours in this regard.

Prof. Mairi Scott echoed the sentiments of Prof. Gary and told the functionaries  of SBV that her interest as a General Practitioner and Medical Educator had enabled her to realize the uniqueness and sanctity of the patient – doctor relationship.  All of our endeavours must be essentially aimed at fostering this healthy relationship and that the Dundee University and Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth could work on joint endeavours in patient care delivery.

Dr. Susie Schofield elaborated on her interest in Basic Sciences and how it could be effectively utilized in the realms of medicine and medical education.  She unequivocally expressed her passion and solidarity for education and faculty development. Her interests largely centre around e – learning and opined that this particular mode of Teaching – Learning has come a long way, ever since its inception and has now assumed a pivotal role in promoting meaningful, productive and objective learning.


Prof. Rami Abboud began by saying that India is his third home.  He told the assembly that his interests and expertise in Biomedical Engineering has paved the way for exploring newer vistas in Orthopaedics and trauma care.  He also expressed hope and desire that the deliberations would effectively metamorphose into a distinct plan of action and especially in view of the fact that hitherto many a grant or tie-up in patient healthcare is with institutes from India.


Dr. Arvind Singh, the Liaison Official complimented the activities of SBV and opined that the link with the Dundee University would be mutually beneficial.


This was followed by an elegant and comprehensive presentation on SBV which included power point slides and video clips. Prof. Sethuraman apprised the august gathering of the rapid strides that SBV had made, ever since its formation in 2008 when it was accorded the Deemed University Status and also with reference to the growth and development, ever since the establishment of the MGMCRI way back in 2001.  The respected VC made a presentation on the various courses, fellowships and unique academic programmes that are being offered at SBV and the vision and mission of the Hon’ble Chairman and also how they are being translated into reality at MGMCRI, IGIDS, KGNC and SSSMCRI – the off campus centre located near the Chennai airport. Prof. Sethuraman reiterated that SBV focus is almost identical with the Dundee School of Medicine, namely providing affordable, safe, efficient healthcare, health profession education transformation, Health Sciences Research etc.  The facets of Medical education, Research and quality governance in clinical care deserve mention in this regard.


Prof. Gary Mires sought a clarification on the total number of students who are inducted into the respective courses every year.  Prof. Rami wanted the VC to throw some light on the details pertaining to the award of the Deemed – to – be University status by the regulatory agency , namely UGC.  Prof. Gary also checked with Prof. Sethuraman as to what would be the time frame needed for SBV to depict itself as a full fledged University. The answers to all of these questions were provided by the respected VC and reinforced by the observations and comments of the Hon’ble Chairman and Chancellor.


Dr. Susie Schofield lauded the efforts of the administrators in portraying so beautifully the activities of SBV in the form of a video and advised that the video should be uploaded on You Tube.


Prof. N. Ananthakrishnan ,  the respected Dean of Research  & PG  studies, SBV began his presentation by mentioning the stellar role played by the Dundee University in nurturing medical education.  Prof. Ananthakrishnan drew the attention of the assembly to the fact that SBV has committed itself to developmental activities during the last six years, but well within the boundaries laid down by the regulatory agencies, namely MCI, DCI, INC and UGC.  Innovative approaches based on Complementary and Alternative Medicine has been the major nodal area and SBV is committed to take it up further in order to generate and propagate evidence based research.  The Dean (R & PGS) further told that the requisite knowledge as related to the existing principles of Teaching – Learning has been imbibed by the faculty , thanks to the presence of four senior faculty members of SBV, who were all major policy makers at the National Teacher Training Centre (NTTC), housed at JIPMER, Pondicherry- an institute of national eminence.


Prof. Ananthakrishnan explained the uniqueness of the Academic endeavour with respect to the constitution of three unique and apex academic models, namely

  • SBV AHEAD (Academy of Health Profession Education And Development)
  • SBV MERIT (Medical Research in Informatics & Technology)
  • SBV AIM HIGH (Academy of Integrative Medicine for Holistic Improvement of General Health)


Mention must be made of the emphasis laid on exam reforms, faculty assessment, Internal Quality Assurance Cell, PGDHPE and Ph. D. in Medical education, besides innovative courses, curricular development etc.


Prof. Ananthakrishnan also cited the interest shown by UG students in Research and also the mandatory submission of a paper by the PG student, prior to sitting for  the university exams.  He also told that the Central Inter disciplinary Research facility            ( CIDRF) has been largely instrumental in help enabling and sustaining the interest in research shown by the students and faculty. Hitherto, more than 100 studentships have been awarded by the Indian Council of Medical Research ( ICMR) in the last five years, which by far would figure among the best in India.  Funded projects ( over 13 million rupees), collaborations with nodal agencies/ institutes and more than 1500 publications in peer reviewed and indexed journals bear ample testimony to the commitment of the learned faculty and the vision of the Hon’ble Chairman, not to forget the leadership provided in this regard by the able administrators.


The uniqueness of SBV is in the establishment of the Centre for Yoga Therapy Education & Research as well as the Centre for Music Therapy Education & Research—both coming under the ambit of Complimentary and Alternate Medicine (CAM). Evidence based Research is the need of the hour, as related to CAM and this is being done at SBV on a sustained note . Prof. Ananthakrishnan told that the development of Medical informatics is yet another thrust area at SBV and already initiatives have  been made in this regard that include the design of wearable sensors, tele health, medical storage and retrieval etc.


Prof.G.Subramanian, esteemed Director, CIDRF presented the facilities available at the comprehensive research facility, yet another brainchild of the Hon’ble Chairman Mr.M.K.Rajagopalan. Dr. Subramanian reiterated the common areas of interest between Dundee University and SBV. CIDRF in its armamentarium is in possession of state – of – the – art instrumentation, clean air facility, imaging and Bioinformatics. The scientists are endowed with the requisite qualifications, expertise and post doctoral experience- enough to propel SBV further. CIDRF is recognized by the Department of Scientific and Industrial  Research ( DSIR), Govt. of India. Research in personalized medicine , regenerative medicine, in –silico therapeutics, developmental therapeutics and evidence based traditional medicine constitute the PRIDE. Prof. Subramanian made a mention of the funded projects being carried out at CIDRF, which include those funds released by the premier scientific bodies of India, namely Dept. of Biotechnology ( DBT) and Dept. of Science &Technology ( DST). Dr.Subramanian made a plea to Dundee University to provide funding to CIDRF or direct such of those Indo UK funding agencies to help SBV.


Prof. Nirmal Coumare, the esteemed Medical Superintendent of MGMCRI provided vital statistics pertaining to the 1200 bedded hospital which caters to the healthcare of the needy and underprivileged. The availability of clinical materials, dedication of the healers and infrastructure are our forte. Dr.Nirmal highlighted a few departments at MGMCRI that could receive the patronage of Dundee University, to set the ball rolling. The focus could be on Transplants, radiation oncology, patient monitors, industrial medicine and special health services. Prof.Nirmal told that more productive discussions would emerge after the visit to the hospital and rural health centres.


The generous and spontaneous gesture of the distinguished team from Dundee in presenting mementoes/ souvenirs to the Hon’ble Chairman and functionaries of SBV won immediate adulation and gratitude. This event would long be remembered, cherished and acceded to the annals of SBV.


Day 2 , 23rd Jan., 2015


The learned team from Dundee University escorted by Prof.Nirmal Coumare, the esteemed Medical Supdt and Prof. S.Ravichandran, the esteemed Deputy Director. made a quick, but comprehensive visit to the hospital, as related to the various departments, wards and operation theatres. The team from Dundee expressed satisfaction at first sight and is hopeful of further positive developments in the time to come.


A visit to the Central library, exhibition and computer centre housed in the Central Library that caters to the  component of e- learning created a favourable impact and won the admiration. The Chief Librarian Mr.Jayaraman and head of Medical informatics Dr.Jaganmohan donned the honours of facilitating the visit. Mr.Joseph Naresh, Dy.Registrar had taken pains to arrange the exhibits in a nice manner which too earned the praise of the distinguished visitors.


The much awaited presentation by the learned team from Dundee University was undoubtedly the  pièce de résistance . The audience comprising of senior faculty drawn  from the constituent colleges of SBV sat glued to their seats. An impressive presentation on Dundee, its history and Dundee University at a glance was well received. The presentation was made by Prof. Rami Abboud. The erudite gathering was apprised of the several unique courses offered at Dundee University – a pioneer in Medical Education. The elaboration on Thiel method as against the formalin embalmed with reference to the cadavers  evoked instantaneous rapport and won the admiration of everyone. This was followed by a lucid and interactive session facilitated by Dr.Susie Schofeld. She laid stress on the principles of assessment and the need to assess the academic performance of the taught. Various facets of assessment including formative, summative and diagnostic were profiled. Prof.Gary Mires provided a compact insight into the aspects governing the delivery of undergraduate medical education in the 21st century. Emphasis was laid on integrated teaching, PBL and self directed learning components. Various learning technologies including simulation, e- learning and virtual mode were delineated elegantly. Prof. Mairi Scott dwelt on the intrinsic and extrinsic components of general practice in the realms of family medicine and community based care. Her clarion call for the immediate involvement of the students in the management of early presentations of cases, ability to highlight the rationale for the benefits of primary care stimulated the minds of the audience. Quality assurance at any cost should be the watchword, said Prof. Mairi Scott. It is only appropriate that Quality assurance should carefully be managed with creativity in health care delivery. The concept of Tomorrow’s Doctors should permeate in letter and spirit. Prof. Rami occupied the platform once again  to complete the information on the variety of courses being offered at Dundee. A brief, but thought provoking interaction followed.


The presentations made by the learned members from Dundee University were held under the auspices of Internal Quality Assurance Cell ( IQAC) of SBV, spearheaded by Dr.Pazhanivel, Prof. of Pulmonary Medicine. Dr.Partha Nandi, Prof. of Community Medicine nicely compered the proceedings. The pre-lunch session thus came to an end.


Following a wholesome lunch served in the Banquet hall, C 1 Block, the dignitaries embarked on their visit to the College block. They were escorted by the respected Dean of Administration Prof. S.Krishnan. The visit to the Anatomy museum, CIDRF, Skills lab, Medical education Unit elicited good response. A brief interaction with the select band of student researchers was received quite well. Prof. Rajasekhar, Prof. G.Subramanian, Dr.Balanehru Subramanian, Prof. J.Shanmugam, Prof. M.Ravisankar and Prof. K.A. Narayan were also there to explain in detail about the activities related to Anatomy, CIDRF, Skills lab and Medical Education respectively.


This was followed by a brainstorming session wherein a few avenues were earmarked for possible collaborations. However, more inputs would be provided on the final day. Medical education, student and faculty exchange as well as interdisciplinary research  figured among the possibilities of promoting mutual benefit.


The cultural extravaganza that followed in the evening was a treat in itself. Prof. Gary profusely complimented the staff and students for their efforts and expressed gratification on the contents and presentation of the cultural show. A lovely dinner that followed at Mahindra provided quiet comfort, besides the culinary delights.


Day 3, 24 th Jan., 2015


Visit to the rural and urban health centres was undertaken. Prof.Seetharamn, HoD, Community Medicine  escorted the dignitaries from Dundee University.


The team from Dundee expressed great satisfaction  at  the facilities available in IGIDS and KGNC. Prof. Carounanidhy Usha and Prof. Renuka, the respected Principals of IGIDS and KGNC explained in detail the activities of the institute. Prof. Usha explained the common areas of interest including cariology. Prof. Renuka explained  about the courses and how they prepare budding nurses to render nursing care with empathy and sincerity.


The esteemed Dean of Research and PG studies, Prof. Ananthakrishnan explained the need for and value of CAM in integrative medicine. The uniqueness of the academic diplomas in Yoga and Music is synonymous with SBV. Prof. Sumati Sunder, HoD Music Therapy and Dr.Meena Ramanathan, Coordinator Yoga therapy escorted the delegates to their respective centres and explained the utility of this unique endeavour. Faculty and students of Yoga and Music therapy were also present.


This was followed by the PLANNING ENDEAVOUR wherein the delegates from both the Universities introspected and deliberated on possible areas of mutual cooperation and benefit. More details can be generated once the distinguished delegates from Dundee University consult their peers and hierarchy.


A brief press meet was also arranged. Special correspondents from local ( vernacular) and national dailies facilitated the meet.


Following a quick lunch, the delegates from Dundee University were seen off by the functionaries of SBV. The esteemed Dundee University team would then head towards, the off campus centre of SBV, namely SSSMCRI.


SBV knows that DUNDEE UNIVERSITY is head and shoulders above. But, SBV humbly states that it has the requisite potentials to move ahead and adds further that it is immensely hopeful that the visit would culminate in resourceful and strong collaboration in nodal areas in the years to come.