Pune: A woman of grit and achievements,Major Gen Madhuri Kanitkar has returned to her alma mater –the Armed Forces Medical College(AFMC), as first “Woman Dean” of the college after successful completion of the task of setting up kidney ailment monitoring units for children in Pune and Delhi.
“Being part of the AFMC has taught me a lot. Now, it is time to give back to my alma mater,” said Maj Gen Kanitkar. She was Deputy Director General, Armed Forces (Planning and Training), New Delhi, before taking up her new posting in Pune- as Dean, AFMC. The other feather in her cap is of having been the first trained paediatric, nephrologist of the armed forces. With an enthused spirit to upgrade medical education, Maj Gen Kanitkar feels that colleges similar to the AFMC should be opened up to produce medical practitioners and soldiers.
“Health care requires disciplined caregivers. Every medical college produces doctors, but here students are trained for three noble professions — soldier, doctor and teacher,” said Maj Gen Kanitkar.
What is of primary concern for the medical fraternity within the armed forces is the challenge of developing human resource within the armed forces medical services. The AFMC’s doctor contribution to the armed forces is of a 100 doctors every year.
“But there is a requirement of 200-250 doctors,” said Maj Gen Kanitkar “To that end, we have proposed increasing the number of undergraduate medical seats at the AFMC from the present 130 to 150. Another option is the feasibility of another medical college. For every post in the armed forces, there are so many applications. So why are our doctors going away to other countries or looking for better opportunities. We need to look at ways and means for increasing the pool of better trained doctors to join the Tri-services,” she added.
Involved in standardizing post graduate training and making application and counselling process online, Maj Gen Kanitkar has held several other prestigious appointments. However, coming back to the AFMC for her has been like “adding life to years and years to life”.
“There is a great team here and we will focus on plans to stimulate research among students. Assessment drives learning but we will also train our doctors with skills that are not part of the curriculum — like communication skills — bedside manners and to ensure they are not stressed out. We must take a re-look at both parenting and teaching techniques. Communication channels need to be kept open,” said Maj Gen Kanitkar, reports the Indian Express.
“Getting recognition for Diploma in Pharmacy course from the Pharmacy Council of India is a priority while short-term training courses for medical officers in sports medicine will also commence from April,” Maj Gen Kanitkar revealed. Despite stupendous achievements in the medical field, the lady admits to have had fleeting moments of wanting to give it all up.
“One is torn between duties and responsibilities as a mother, doctor, army wife and teacher. But my husband, Lt Gen Rajiv Kanitkar, has always told me, ‘never to give up’ and that’s the spirit I want to inculcate in my students here,” she confessed.