There are very few opportunities in life where you would get to do something good for the society and in the process, learn and grow in your professional career. But, my association with Smile Train India has provided me with endless such opportunities. Imagine being able to heal clefts of thousands of children and at the same time, being able to upskill and learn from the best in the world!
With continued focus on training opportunities for partner surgeons like us, Smile Train India has managed to change lives of over 300 surgeons like me. Through this blog post, I am thrilled to share with you one such experience which is very dear to me. Recently, with Smile Train’s assistance, I got selected for a scholarship offered by The Plastic Surgery Foundation. This allowed me to get exposure and witness the programs at John Hopkins Hospital and Mayo Clinic at Rochester, Minnesota, and helped me get acquainted with cutting-edge technology being used for plastic surgeries there.
In addition to being able to get a first-hand experience of similar programs in other countries, I also attended The American Society of Plastic Surgery’s conferences and training sessions. The exposure one receives by participating in conferences of this nature, ensures that doctors and surgeons are abreast with latest technologies and effective treatment alternatives to help enable quality care. Discussions on various case studies gave us a better insight into providing effective treatment, through collaborative decision making, with inputs from specialists ranging from dentists to psychologists. For a doctor who attends to over 300 patients a month, it is not possible to discuss all cases with different specialists. Conducting such sessions benefit doctors who want to go an extra mile to provide quality care.
Such interactions and knowledge sharing also help gain insights into demographics related to clefts. You would be surprised to know that 30% of clefts treated in the USA are international adoptions.
A key takeaway for me, from the experience was if we are able to adopt the technology currently being used internationally, we can grow and ensure comprehensive cleft care is available to all. Technological solutions such as the Virtual Surgery Simulator and multiple research tools, make it possible to collaborate and deliver precise results in a cost and time effective manner.
Smile Train has played a key role in enabling this to a great extent, around the world and has been a game changer in bringing about a paradigm shift in a number of developing countries. The fact that other organizations are adopting Smile Train’s model, says a lot.
Dr. Krishnamurthy has been associated with Smile Train India since 2001 and has successfully completed over 9000 surgeries over the years through two partner hospitals. He is currently heading the Smile Train project at Bhagwan Mahavir Jain Hospital, Bangalore and is also a member of the Smile Train India’s Medical Advisory Board.