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ACP Leaders On The Road:
Angeline A. Lazarus, MD, FACP

Association of Physicians of India Annual Meeting

Kesavan Kutty, MD, MACP and I attended the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Association of Physicians of India (API) from January 29-31, 2009 in Greater Noida, India, which is about 70 km (45 miles) from New Delhi. API has an academic wing that is called the Indian College of Physicians. Dr. Ashok Das is the Dean of this section. We had an opportunity to meet him and other leaders of the API on three informal occasions. We discussed topics of mutual interest including publications, educational materials, and dual membership.

The Congress was attended by more than 3,000 physicians from all over India. Dr. Kutty spoke during the scientific session on “Daytime Hypersomnolence”, and I spoke on “Idiopathic Interstitial Pneumonias”. The meeting was conducted in English. There were many outstanding speakers from India, and a few from the USA and England. We were delighted to see many young physicians and their commitment to enhance their knowledge, skills, and professionalism so as to promote excellence in patient care despite the limited resources available to them. Both of us were very thankful for the gracious hospitality and generosity of the API, and in particular Dr. Ashok Das, who hosted us warmly. The guest speaker at their inaugural reception was Dr. Abdul Kamal, former President of India, a scientist and a scholar.

The API meeting began on the 29th; on the 28th, prior to the meeting, we visited three major institutions in New Delhi. The first was the Army Hospital for Research and Referral (AHRR). This is the tertiary and quarternary care institution for the Army, and for that matter, the military medical corps. The Department of Medicine is well staffed and is headed by Brigadier Velu Nair, who was our host as well. Brig. Nair is a well-known hematologist and has brought research and treatment with stem cells into the military hospital. We made rounds with the senior staff and residents in the Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital, which is going full steam into electronic health records. Under the leadership of Lieutenant General Oommen Matthew, this unit has a very fine record and excellent QI data and mortality statistics. It is notable that the Hon. Venkataraman, a former President of India, was cared for at the AHRR before his death following a long, protracted illness on January 27, 2009.

Dr. Kutty at a reception for the Army Hospital for Research and Referral in New Delhi

Dr. Kutty (back row, center) and other guests at a reception for the Army Hospital for Research and Referral in New Delhi

The second institution we visited was the Army College of Medical Sciences, which came into being just two years ago, and for this reason, is yet to see its first graduating class. The institution has a lot of resources, and we made a strong recommendation that they enroll all their students as ACP student members. The Dean of the institution himself took us on an extended tour of the facility.

The third institution we visited was the Army Base Hospital, which is the intake hospital, from where the very sick with complex medical problems are transferred to the AHRR. The Commandant of the institution is Major General Ajit Narula, who became an ACP Fellow about two years ago.

We later returned to AHRR where Dr. Kutty spoke to their medical staff on "Pulmonary Update" for about 40 minutes. There was a lively Q&A period that followed, although it was well past the lunch hour.

Brig. Nair provided us accommodations at the Officers' Mess at the AHRR for 27th and the 28th, and held a reception for us on the 28th that was attended by about 30 physicians and their spouses.

Editor's note: ACP welcomes Dr. Agarwal, President of API; Dr. Bichile, Immediate Past President of API; and Dr. Das as new Fellows.

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