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Emergency Medicine Officially Recognised in India

The Specialty of Emergency Medicine Officially Recognised in India!

Emails, SMSes and phone calls within the emergency medicine community in India were communicating only one important news today. The Medical Council of India (MCI) finally recognised the specialty of emergency medicine in Indian healthcare. The amendment notification of the MCI, New Delhi dated July 21st 2009 shows the addition of two new specialties, Emergency Medicine & Infectious Diseases. Emergency Medicine now becomes the 30th specialty to be included in the MD (Doctor of Medicine) list.

PG Courses - Brief Regulations (From MCI), Amendment Notification 21-July-2009

(Note that, in India, MD is a title given only for postgraduates who complete 3 years specialization after 5.5 years of medical schooling i.e. MBBS)

The timeline is very similar to what happened in the United States. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) was the first emergency medicine society to be formed in the US, in 1968. This was followed by the recognition of EM as the 23rd medical specialty by the American Medical Association & the American Board of Medical Specialties in 1979, i.e. 11 years later.

The Society of Emergency Medicine, India held its first meeting in May 1999 during the first ever Indian conference in emergency medicine (EMCON 1999) at Hyderabad. The Society was officially registered in April 2000. The then cohesive body gave its first recommendation to the MCI to include EM as a specialty in postgraduate medical education in June 2000, which was turned down. Reference to this is found in the MCI website at Minutes of MCI meeting on 24-July-2000 Statement No:21. Exactly 9 years later, the realization strikes after much effort by our EM pioneers, and probably by the increasing awareness of high quality emergency care. Emergency Medicine is officially marked as an independent specialty in Indian healthcare.

This event has marked the detonation, which will lead to a chain of events which cannot be predicted due to the extremely diverse nature of emergency physicians currently practicing in India. Rather than jubiliation, there seems to be a hint of worry everywhere. EM physicians who have previously passed out from deemed universities, those who have foreign degrees and those who are currently in unrecognised courses, are having their current & future status questioned.

The same is true with most of the newly planned PG courses, which do not seem to have any EM qualified faculty at this time and will be dependent on non-EM faculty from various specialties, or visiting foreign faculty who do not have the locally derived Indian acumen.

It will be very interesting to see how things will turnout in the next few months. EmergencyMedicine.in hopes for the best to happen, so as to deliver the best to every single patient or victim brought into our emergency departments.

Congratulations to all those who have fought for this recognition! Our work has just begun!

Dr. Imron Subhan
Editor-in-Chief, EmergencyMedicine.in
Update on Sep 2010
EM was recognised in India more than 22 years ago
Update on Dec 2017
Broken links to source documents updated.

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Unauthorized copying or reproduction of this article is prohibited without written authorization.

A New Taj Mahal

The celebrations of the emergency medicine community in India have already begun.
This is the first of the mails we have recieved. From a pioneer in Indian emergency medicine and the senior most emergency physician in India, Dr. Suresh David.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today at 0100 hours, I inscribe a new sentence on the milestone of our specialty in India. The Medical Council of India has recognized the Specialty of Emergency Medicine! This is the beginning of a new era. Yes, this day marks the end of a long walk through the tunnel of uncertainty. The pages, in the book of time, have indeed turned very slowly over the past 15 years. We have waited patiently, so close to the Finish Line, for so long, that we have forgotten the taste of sweet victory!

Some moments in our lives are distinct. This is one such. when we are summoned to the threshold of a new horizon, a new millennium for the fledgling fraternity of Emergency physicians in India; the fraternity, which will carve the image of our hopes and dreams, the fraternity of young lions and lionesses, who will salvage the deplorable state of emergency care in our country and raise it to the high ground which I have prayed for, since 1994.

On this day, let us remind ourselves, not to be torn by divisions of geography, language, pride or ego; not to be wooed or inflated by self-centric agencies that promise more than they can deliver. I pause on this gloomy note, since the shadow of rhetoric darkness descends periodically on our country; a shadow which threatens to splinter our forces and prevent us from being one. Let us lower our voices, strengthen our shoulders, raise our hands and stand together to garner the inner strength which prevails in all us, to address the common goal of advancing our specialty, through our thought, word and practice.

As trainers and trainees, let us learn not to force but to impart, not to transplant but to transform, not to teach but to inspire, the hundreds which are to follow us in the future. Let us balance technology against affordability, forced clinical practice against realism and resources.

Our task is to build a new Taj Mahal, because we can do it; because we have done it, in the past! We have endured the long night of waiting; as we glimpse at the emerging rays of dawn, come, join with me, as I dance with joy, this moment of awe and jubilation!

Prof. Suresh David, MS, FACEM
Department of Accident & Emergency Medicine
Christian Medical College, Vellore, India.

ACET Certified Emergency & Trauma Airway Course

ACET Certified Emergency & Trauma Airway Course
Indo-US Council for Academics in Emergency & Trauma (ACET) certified Emergency & Trauma Airway Course is being organized by Aligarh Muslim University. The first course was held on 8-10 Aug 2009.

Further details can be found at www.etac2009.in

AIIMS to start specialised course in emergency medicine

AIIMS to start specialised course in emergency medicine

In a move that might streamline the patient load in the Emergency Department, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) will soon be starting a new department for emergency medicine.

The authorities at the institute are hopeful of welcoming the first batch of students in January 2010.

Click here to read more of this article from www.expressindia.com

Editorial August 2009 - Academic Emergency Medicine in India

Editorial August 2009
Academic Emergency Medicine in India

With the first hospital based training program in emergency medicine for doctors starting in 1997, we have come a long way. It will be a rollercoaster ride in emergency medicine academics from now on. An MBBS graduate now has a wide choice of EM training programs available in India.

From a cheap 6 month online certificate course in Accident & Emergency Medicine to a 3 year post graduate program costing 18lakh, there are a multitude of 1year, 2 year & 3 year EM residency programs. It is quite obvious that every single of these academic trainings are occurring in private institutes as of today. EmergencyMedicine.in conducted a survey of established Indian emergency departments in April 2009, which showed that there are more than 212 doctors undergoing training in the field of emergency medicine, in private institutes. This number is even higher now.

As mentioned in a number of recent articles, the Medical Council of India (MCI) has still not recognized emergency medicine as a specialty in India. Judging from the activity at www.indusem.com, it seems that AIIMS is all set to start a formal MD in emergency medicine and push this down to all other medical colleges across India. Faculty training is already under way. As per their recent newsletter, the faculty for training new EM physicians will be drawn from other specialties until EM postgraduates in training exit and take over the departments, which has been estimated to take about 25 years!

In sharp contrast, private hospitals started certification programs in emergency medicine way back in the late 90s. The teaching, restructuring & faculty evolution over the past few years has improved emergency care to such a level that the EM resident training at some Indian private institutes & corporate hospitals today is far superior, if not at par, to that available in any other pioneering country in the world. Both clinical & academic emergency medicine is highly dependent on active EMS networks, well organized emergency departments, advanced high end investigations, specialty-superspecialty care, information technology, and most importantly, presence of teaching faculty trained purely in emergency medicine. And this is what makes the private sector more attractive for the ideal EM learning experience.

But still, it is the government hospitals which will be caring for the majority of our sick population and those who have taken the onus of either establishing or learning the specialty of emergency medicine in this segment will certainly have a tough time on the casualty floors even if it has been a cake walk on paper!

Dr. Imron Subhan