Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
Journal of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons
                                                   Official journal of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons                           
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87--88

Pediatric surgery: Is it growing?

Dhananjay Basak 
 Department of Pediatric Surgery, Park Medical Research and Welfare Society, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Dhananjay Basak
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Park Medical Research and Welfare Society, Kolkata, West Bengal

How to cite this article:
Basak D. Pediatric surgery: Is it growing?.J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2019;24:87-88

How to cite this URL:
Basak D. Pediatric surgery: Is it growing?. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2019 [cited 2019 Sep 15 ];24:87-88
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Full Text


Dhananjay Basak

A symposium entitled “Pediatric Surgery – A Growing or A Sinking Specialty” was held at the 27th Annual Conference of Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons at Thiruvananthapuram in 2001. Different speakers spoke about the development of Pediatric Surgery during the last 40 years and discussed the infrastructural facility available for training, teaching, and research. The important short comings were as follows:

Poor Pediatric Surgical facility in rural areas Poor job opportunities for newly trained pediatric surgeons Lack of development of organ and tissue specialists in our specialty Limited development of neonatal surgery and intensive care service.

The Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons approached the Central Government to expand the Pediatric Surgical facilities to all the Central Government Hospitals and rural areas, to create job opportunities for new pediatric surgeons. There is little initiative by the Central Government to develop the Pediatric Surgical services due to fund restrictions. However, the Pediatric Surgical services have been developed in rural areas in Kerala and Chennai by the State Government. IAPS also approached the Medical Council of India (MCI) to develop Pediatric Surgical units in all Medical Colleges to teach Pediatric Surgery in undergraduate curriculum by Pediatric Surgeons. However, MCI has not made any such recommendation till date. Moreover, Pediatric Surgery is taught by General Surgeons in most of the undergraduate curriculum. Even we have failed to ensure that Pediatric Surgery is practiced and taught by Pediatric Surgeons in all institutions teaching for MBBS, DCH, MD (Ped.), and MS (Gen Sur.).

There are 80 MCh Pediatric Surgery seats in different post graduate institutes, but 40% seats remain vacant. DNB (Pediatric Surgery) are trained in 10 private institutions. It is surprising that so many seats are unutilized in spite of demand for more Pediatric Surgeons for the management of Pediatric Surgical cases in our country. Insufficient remunerative work in private and public sector undertakings and in private practice results in less initiative from students. Probably, this can be the cause of less students taking Pediatric Surgery as a specialty.

Neonatal surgical services and neonatal intensive care services have been developed in both Government and private Specialty Hospitals in Metropolitan cities. Neonatal surgical emergency services have improved the mortality and morbidity of surgical diseases. However, referral service has to be developed so that neonatal surgical patients can be transferred from rural to neonatal intensive care unit.

Surgical specialties such as transplantation surgery, microvascular surgery, minimal invasive surgery, and urosurgery are growing very fast. Pediatric Surgeons have acquired art and expertise in urology, minimal invasive surgery, and oncosurgery. Such specialties have been developed in all major centres. Pediatric Surgeons should explore to develop expertise in transplantation surgery, microvascular surgery, and plastic surgery. Otherwise, organ specialists will invade the Pediatric Surgical specialty eating some of the pie.

Our Association should set up a teaching center accreditation and improvement committee to raise the standard of the Pediatric Surgical training and infrastructure and should work in association with the Universities so that more postgraduate students are available for the Pediatric Surgery specialty. MCI should modify its regulation to develop Pediatric Surgical unit in all Medical Colleges. Government should also take initiative to develop Pediatric Surgery unit in different Government hospitals so that all Pediatric Surgical diseases can be managed by Pediatric Surgeons, as per recommendations from the World Federation of Pediatric Surgeons.[1]


1Basak D. Editorial. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2001;7:101-2.