Medical education in Varanasi, the oldest living city of the world, dates from the days of Sushruta 500 BC. Infact this is also the history of Medical education in India. The great treatise - Sushruta Samhita is a living testimony of contributions to Medical education that originated in Varanasi, Sushruta was the first to perform cadaver dissections and described a number of operating instruments and surgical operations.
Perhaps it is a continuation of this historical perspective that Medical education in Banaras Hindu University took roots in 1920 with the establishment of Department of Ayurveda under Faculty of Oriental Learning and Theology (1922-1927). Under the influence of Pandit Madan Mohan Malviyaji, Seth Mathuradas Vissanji Khimji of Bombay donated a large some of Rs.1.5 Lacs for the Ayurvedic College. This was further augmented by donations from Shri Daya Shankar Dev Shankar Dave of Kathiawar and Bombay.
In the year 1924-25, Ayurvedic Aushadhalaya was established to 1. prepare medicines, 2. teach Ayurvedic students the formulations, and 3. make the Ayurvedic formulations available to general public at affordable price. To help in this arrangement a large Botanical Garden was created for raw materials that still continue to discharge its purpose.
In the next series of developments, Maharaja Sir Prabhu Narayan Singhji of Banaras laid the foundation stone of the Ayurvedic Hospital on 19th January 1924.
Years later, in 1960 the Ayurvedic College was converted to the College of Medical Sciences with Professor K.N. Uduppa as its founder principal. The College of Medical Sciences then had 10 Departments - 9 in Modern Medicine and 1 in Indian Medicine. In 1963, MBBS training was recognized both by General Medical Council, U.K. and Medical Council of India. The Post Graduate Institute of Indian Medicine (since 1963) was merged with Institute of Medical Sciences established in 1971.
The postgraduate medical education, started as in-service program in 1963 (3 years after establishment of Medical College), took the form of a formal training program in 1971 after due permission from the Visitor of the Banaras Hindu University i.e., the President of India. This upgraded College of Medical Sciences to Institute of Medical Sciences in 1971.
Further growth of postgraduate education continued with approval of DM and MCh courses in 10 Superspecialties in 1976. In 1978, the existing Faculty was bifurcated into the Faculty of Ayurveda and Faculty of Medicine to facilitate their independent growth.
Department of Anatomy
The department has adequately equipped research laboratories and provides facilities for undergraduate and postgraduate training. Anatomy museum is the prize possession of the department. A radiology museum, an annexe of the main museum, was developed later in the new building. Several WHO consultants have been actively associated with the anatomy department and contributed several suggestions for improving research activities and integrated teaching.
They include Prof. WH Kinsley, Director of Institute of Biology & Medicine and Ex-Chairman of Anatomy, Michigan State University, USA, Dr. RCGrenell, Medical School, Baltimore, USA, Prof. Hamori (Romania), Prof. Mehdi Hasan (AMU, Aligarh) and Prof. Reinhard Andreesan (Germany). Several research projects are being conducted in areas like Teratology, Anthropometry, Cytogenetics and Neuro-Anatomy. The departmental laboratory offers karyotyping for genetic disorders.
Sir Sunderlal Hospital
There was a simultaneous development of Sir Sunderlal Hospital and it grew from a 96 bed hospital in 1924 to a 927 bed hospital in 1978. The hospital is well equipped with state-of-the-art modern facilities under the care of a dedicated competent faculty overall. The SS Hospital is now a premier tertiary care referral center catering to the medical needs of an approximate population of 15 crores of the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pardesh, Chattisgarh, and neighboring countries of Nepal and Bangladesh. It provides expert facilities to patients in this region of our country.
The courses offered by Faculty of Medicine include MBBS (59 students), MD/MS (87 students in 22 subjects), DM/MCh (22 students in 11 subjects), MSc in Health Statistics (10 students) and PhD in all the subjects. The Faculty of Ayurveda imparts courses of BAMS (50 students), MD/MSAy. (25 students) and PhD in all Ayurvedic subjects. The Faculty of Dental Sciences offers MDS in Prosthodontics and Operative Dentistry (one student each).
Teaching and Research
In a national survey published in the British Medical Journal (7:414, 1991) and the National Medical Journal of India, the Institute of Medical Sciences was rated as the third best amongst 128 Medical Colleges in the country in terms of research output and publications in International medical journals of the time. This high level of competence has been consistent over the last 15 years as corroborated by several national surveys, till date.
The Institute has research projects supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), National Institutes of Health, USA, Rockefeller Foundation (USA), Department of Sciences & Technology (DST), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Biotechnology (DBT), University Grants Commission (UGC), Council for Sciences & Technology (CST), Uttar Pradesh Government, different pharmaceutical houses and other intramural research grants.
Some of the important broad fields of research include Molecular Biology, Teratology, Electron Microscopy, Nanosciences, Oncology, Immunology and Immuno-cytochemistry, Hematology, Malnutrition, Neurosciences, Infectious diseases including Kala-azar, Sports Medicine, Community Medicine and Epidemiology, Ayurvedic Medicine, Medicinal Chemistry, Behavioral Sciences and clinical research in different disciplines. The Molecular Biology Unit of the Institute has been selected for special assistance program by the Government of India.
The Faculty of Ayurveda has also been recognized as WHO Collaborating Center for research in the traditional system of Medicine and there is regular flow of foreign visitors keen to learn and know more about this system of medicine. The Institute of Medical Sciences is credited to have started the first Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) Center in the state of Uttar Pradesh sponsored by NACO. The first Laser machine in Uttar Pradesh for treatment of cancer was established in SS Hospital in 1990.
Recognitions and Awards
The teachers of Institute of Medical Sciences have been honored for their significant contributions with numerous national and international awards. Some of the awards received by the faculty over the years include Padma Shri, Professor B.C. Roy Awards, Ranbaxy Research Award, Glaxo Oration, Dr. Sharma Singh Oration, Colonel Pandalai Oration, Shakuntala Amir Chand Prize and Oration of the National Academy of Medical Sciences, Hari Om Ashram Awards, INSA Awards, Boyscast Fellowship of DST, Commonwealth Fellowships, Heinz Fellowships and Fellowships of the UICC and many more. A number of teachers have been conferred the coveted Fellowship of National Academy (FNA), Fellowship (FAMS) and Membership (MAMS) of National Academy of Medical Sciences and International Academy of Medical Sciences (FIMSA).
Many faculties of Institute are members of Advisory Committees of research bodies such as WHO, ICMR, DST and DBT, Govt. of India Expert Committees, Institute Body of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Chairman Academic and Selection Committee of AIIMS. They have served as Presidents or Secretaries or Members of Governing Councils of their respective National or Regional bodies such as the Indian Association of Surgical Oncology, Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, Indian Association of Plastic Surgeons, Indian society of Anesthesiology, Urological Society of India, Endocrine Society of India, National Neonatology Forum, Association of Surgeons of India, Indian Society of Hematology and Transfusion Medicine and many more.
One of the members has also received the honor of being the President of World Federation of Surgical Oncology Societies (WFSOS). The bright faculties of the institute have penned down many books and are editors of reputed National and International scientific journals.
The Institute of Medical Sciences is undergoing a sea change in advancement of clinical research and training capabilities for the last 1and Half decades and more so recently. The developments, as under, outline the deep commitment and wide visionary path that is taking the Institute to new heights of the Indian medical sky.
Several new clinical departments have been created like the Department of Surgical Oncology (2004) and Units of Neonatology (2004), PICU, NICU and Faculty of Dentistry. In a significant development UNICEF has sponsored Comprehensive Child Survival Program- the first in the country- to impart training to the trainees themselves with the aim to control infant mortality. New academic courses of national importance have been started such as MCh in Surgical Oncology in 2006 and 11 Diploma and Certificate courses in Ayurveda, Radiotherapy, Dialysis Therapy, Hospital Management, Lab Technology (Pathology), Naturopathy and Yoga in 2007.
The academic infrastructure of the Institute of Medical Sciences has been augmented with the construction of KN Uduppa multipurpose modern conference auditorium just next to the Institute, to meet a long pending demand of providing an ambient and inspiring space for frequent national and international scientific congresses, conferences, workshops, seminars, public extension lectures and group discussions.
The infrastructure of the SS Hospital is developing at a fast pace- the existing blood bank has been upgraded and modernized to cater for blood requirements by the hospital patients 24 hours a day, provide blood component therapy to patients of hematological conditions and cancer. This is in prelude to ultimate establishment of bone marrow transplant and stem cell therapy. The initial bed strength of 927 has been upgraded to 1200 at present to provide the ever increasing needs and demands by various medical units.
There is plan to increase this number to 1600 in near future. The Accident and Emergency Services of SS Hospital have been upgraded to now accommodate 40 patients (from 10 patients in 2000) in a fully air-conditioned set up with in-house operation theatre and X-ray facilities. This important wing of the hospital is fully integrated with 16 bedded ICU for mutual support. An Oncology wing has been created with the generous grant of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for multidisciplinary treatment of cancer.
Growth and Development
The Institute draws monetary support for growth and development from various sources. A modest grant (of 18 lacs) was received from the Japanese government (JICA) in 1990's and was fully utilized to upgrade the operation theaters and basic investigation facilities of Sir Sunderlal Hospital. A grant of 2.5 Crores was received under COSIST program in 1990 to develop tumor immunology and hybridization laboratory.
This grant was also fully utilized and helped to create division of Surgical Oncology and ICMR immunology laboratory of Pathology department. Several new equipments have been purchased with the help of 16 crores grant from the HRD Ministry in the year 2006 and are now operational in SS Hospital such as OR-I in Pediatric Surgery, Navigation equipment in Neurosurgery, C arms in departments of Anesthesia, General Surgery, Orthopedics, combined lithotripsy and C-arm machine for Urology. A new Co-60 machine is now operational in the department of Radiotherapy and a new MRI, head CT, full body scanner in the Department of Radiology.
The Department of Surgical Oncology received a grant of 2.5 crores from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for purchase of OT equipments, Laser, C-arm, Ligasure, Ultrasonic, Mammography machine, site-rite for difficult venesections and panendoscopes. A 120 KV ultra modern Transmission Electron Microscope of FEI has been installed in March 2007 in the Department of Anatomy (sponsored by DBT-UGC) the services of which are available for the entire University. This has facilitated immensely in scientific research and has lead to a publication of several papers in high impact journals such as the work showing the effect of silver nanoparticles in killing dreaded gram-negative bacteria by the Departments of Biochemistry and Anatomy.
Rapid upgradation and development is continuing in SS Hospital and the Institute of Medical Sciences even as this report is being written in October 2007, with the initiation of establishment of 1.5 Tesla MRI, 64 Slice CT, and a 24 hour comprehensive in-house Drug Shop to cater for the needs of its patients at affordable price. A grant of 120 crores has been recently received under the "Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojana (PMSSY)". The thrust of this grant is to construct a fully equipped modern 315 bed 'Trauma Center' at the cost of 53 cores with multidisciplinary departments of Orthopedics, Neurosurgery, CTVS, Cardiology, Burn Unit, Radiology and Blood Bank. This will go a long way in saving lives of the unfortunate trauma victims in the region by an efficient and coordinated management.
In addition the medical education curriculum will be expanded with an increase in the number of MBBS seats from 59 to 100 and introduction of the BDS course for 50 students each year, both are likely to come into effect from 2008. The MDS seats will also be augmented from 2 to 6, MD/MS seats from 87 to 134 and DM/MCh seats from 11:11 to 22:11 (Regular:Sponsored). A BSc course in Nursing will be started as well in the near future. New departments proposed to come up soon include Critical Care Medicine, Medical Oncology, Nuclear Medicine, Transfusion Medicine, Laboratory Medicine, Biostatistics, Wound Management Centre, Prenatal diagnosis & Genetic Counseling Centre, Division of Geriatric Medicine and College of Nursing.
The growth of Institute of Medical Sciences so far has been balanced in all its aspects and constituents of Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Ayurveda, Faculty of Dentistry and College of Nursing through the help of an extremely competent and dedicated faculty. In actual terms, after a long history of establishment, the Institute of Medical Sciences has now achieved a momentum of growth carefully nurtured by the visionary leadership to discharge its duties for efficient patient care, research and training. This has given it a national leadership role in patient care and medical education.
The Institute of Medical Sciences Library was established in 1961 and shifted to present premises on 14th February 1967. It is the only one of its kind in the country holding collection related to modern as well as Ayurvedic System of Medicine and a School of Nursing. On August 16 ' 2003, Padmashree Prof. K.N. Udupa Smarak Ayurveda Granthalaya was inaugurated as an extension of main IMS library in the undergraduate wing of Faculty of Ayurveda. The library is used not only by other departments of the University but also by the students and staff of other medical colleges of U.P., M.P. and Bihar. There is no good library on medical literature in a radius of about 300 Km.
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