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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-91

Synopsis of presidential address by Dr. Ketan Parikh

President, Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons (2017–2018)

Date of Web Publication1-Mar-2019

Correspondence Address:
Ketan Parikh
President, Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons (2017–2018)

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jiaps.JIAPS_29_19

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How to cite this article:
Parikh K. Synopsis of presidential address by Dr. Ketan Parikh. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg 2019;24:89-91

How to cite this URL:
Parikh K. Synopsis of presidential address by Dr. Ketan Parikh. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Mar 6];24:89-91. Available from: https://www.jiaps.com/text.asp?2019/24/2/89/253341

Dr. Ketan Parikh

Honorary chief guest and distinguished guests, my colleagues in the executive committee (EC) of Indian Association of Paediatric Surgeons (IAPS), Dr. Ramsamujh, and his entire committed team of IAPSCON 2018, my teachers, seniors, and dear friends.

At the outset, I offer my congratulations to the organizing team of IAPSCON 2018 for the excellent organization of this event.

Last year, when I took up this presidentship, I had

  • Some thoughts on certain additional activities during the year,
  • Dreams of accomplishing some of my thoughts and wishes and
  • A lot of apprehensions as to how would I accomplish the same.

I have a deep sense of gratitude toward my colleagues in the EC for supporting me extremely well toward these dreams and also a big thanks to so many of you who participated actively toward the same. Our Honorary Secretary, Dr. Prakash Aggrawal, will soon apprise you in detail about these activities.

Whereas, these accomplishments do give a sense of satisfaction; there is however a feeling of dismay as to some of our failures till now:

  1. Whereas, this organization has made significant progress and achievements in the past, we have however failed to make the the powers in a hospital or in some of our institutes, as well as the government; appreciate the indispensability of pediatric surgical services for the society. This has thwarted the necessary horizontal and vertical spread of pediatric surgery. We have failed to adequately impress the authorities that:

    • This country is the home of the largest pediatric population of the world
    • This country is the home for one of the largest numbers of birth rate in the world, and we know that 2%–3% of the children born are born with surgically treatable life-threatening congenital anomalies. The successful correction of these anomalies can have a significant positive impact on the high infant mortality rate in this country
    • It is the pediatric surgeons who have the empathy, a delicateness of the hand, a flair for reconstruction, and a holistic knowledge of anatomy to successfully correct these conditions and once operated, most of these children can be expected to have a normal, healthy, and a socially productive life.

  2. Simultaneously, I am also a little concerned because several among us are not able to work purposefully with each other for a collective good and instead, are more concentrating our efforts on building a self-tower. We seem to forget that the strength of a pyramid is far more than that an individual tower.

The fact that the entire medical profession is going through one of the toughest acid tests at present is no rocket science. If at all there ever was a reason to unite together for the good of the profession, it is this time.

This acid test is not restricted to only academic expectations, but also to the all-round high expectations of performance.

  1. The society and our patients expect

    • The best knowledge
    • The best communication skills and
    • The best behavior.

  2. Our working environment implores us to have

    • Survival skills
    • Financial justification of our activities (especially for those in a corporate setup) and
    • Extensive academic documentation.

  3. The nation expects more involvement from us in public health programs
  4. Our personal family desires:

    • More time and attention
    • Better financial prosperity.

If we expect the society to reward us better, it is we who have to usher in that change. We need to become so strong and capable that it becomes imperative for the society to recognize us and our specialty.


As an organization of individuals of one of the most skilled and talented medical professionals, this association would be expected to help and support its members to successfully go through this all-round acid test which would comprise the following:

   Skill Augmentation Top

  1. The need to adequately and aggressively augment our knowledge and skills cannot be undermined.
  2. We have to enhance our all-round skills – in clinical medicine, diagnostic understanding, operative capability, and now even enhanced equipment mastery. We have to raise our standards to a pedestal that we are not rivaled easily.
  3. We all have heard of the famous statement – A rising tide raises the level of all ships; the corollary is that – a falling tide also tends to bring down the level of all ships. If the standard of care in pediatric surgery falls across the country, our reputation as an entity (pediatric surgeons) falls. Thus, it is imperative on the part of the association, to make all efforts to ensure continually enhanced training standards of our specialty.
  4. We have to evolve an increasing number of avenues to augment the training options for our members. Whereas, this year, we have added the additional medium of webinars to our scientific activities and we have to look for a variety of different possibilities of academic exchange programs within the country and abroad.

Khud hi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehle

Khuda bande se khud pooche bata teri raza kya hai.”

– Muhammad Iqbal (poet).

   Enhance Visibility Top

We need to improve our visibility to the society… “the wares of a store are invariably valued on the basis of the display in the front window.”

  • Enhance the use of social media and the Internet
  • Publicize the World Federation of Associations of Pediatric Surgeons declaration widely among the Indian Medical Association and Indian Academy of Pediatrics members and also to all various patients of ours
  • Enhance the reach of Child Health Initiative by Pediatric Surgeons (CHIPS) and Community Oriented Pediatric Surgery (COPS) by doing more community work and getting recognized for the same.

   Improve Our Worthiness Top

We have to find increasing ways to make our association worthy to the society and government and that can be done only by a collective effort.

  • In recent years, the association has increased its presence in the community services. Our initial attempts at creating “Standard Treatment Guidelines (STGs)” have been a phenomenal exercise of selfless participation by a large number of non-EC members contributing to the assets of the association. The purpose of creating “STGs” is to contribute to the national pool of information from the extensive experience of our members
  • Increasing the awareness of pediatric surgical conditions in the society would also serve a similar purpose. We have already initiated a patient information program on our website and in the coming years, we should aim to augment the same. Hopefully, in the coming years, we are able to further these activities by creating a national registry on some of the birth defects and also
  • Creating patient support groups in the interest of the community can be another such activity which we need to work on. The need for these patient information programs and support groups, to be in the local language, would enable the state units to become active for the same
  • Today is the era of diverse assets of prosperity. One such asset can be information. We can actively work at collecting data to justify our presence and make ourselves prosperous with the same. The need to have a disease-specific registry which will help the government in health-mapping is one of the measures. We must endeavor to start making these registries as an IAPS project. We also will have to be ready to spend some money to organize the same.

So, dear friends, we have a long road map ahead of us. If we want to proceed, we need a more robust infrastructure within the association to move ahead. This brings me to my last agenda and that is having a permanent office. A permanent office gives a permanent entity and stability to an organization. I am aware of the financial implications and the organizational challenges which accompany this, but then, who has heard of “gain without pain.” I am aware that we have the finances for investing in a small permanent office where our records can remain safe permanently, and we have a phone line, a working computer with data, and long-term secretarial help. We can have a permanent bank account and in the eyes of all the authorities, a permanent status.

An organization is only as strong as what its members make it, whereas the EC leading it has a significant responsibility, but the individual members too have their responsibilities. These comprise:

  • Primary responsibility in electing the appropriate team
  • Responsibilty in participating in all its activities not just for personal, but also for collective gains. For example:

    • Attend a conference not just for presenting your own paper but participate in all its deliberations, contributing to the general spread of knowledge.

  • Finally, critically apprise the performance of the group not with the intention of nit-picking, but with the idea of further enhancing the performance.

Theoretically, we have an elaborate organization of sections and state chapters, but in reality, we have miles to go before we cannot just sleep but even snooze or rest.

Jai hind!


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