I. VENKATESWARA RAO, Vice-Chancellor of Dr NTR University of Health Sciences, has a vision for the institution he heads. It can be summed up thus: A strong research wing that can support real-time work to find solutions for the common problems of the community and provide a unique opportunity for medical students to scale new heights in providing excellent health care.
A physician par excellence, Venkateswara Rao took over the reins of the university in August 2010. He was instrumental in providing the country's first medical university the special edge that it needed to keep pace with the latest developments in the field of medicine and medical education.
If his dream of having a new campus on 30 hectares of land at Mangalagiri on the banks of the Krishna in Guntur district with a state-of-the-art human body simulator is taking shape, so is his resolve to raise the functioning of the university to international standards by connecting all its wings through a seamless computer network.
While clinical practices are the key to excelling in the health care system, making the best use of technological advancement in medical education would provide a winning edge to the students as they would have reliable scientific material from across the globe at their finger tips, he said.
While e-learning through virtual classrooms is the Vice-Chancellor's vision, he is at present focussed on the establishment of a clinical skills laboratory on the new campus. Soon, according to the guidelines of the Medical Council of India, all the 37 medical colleges in the State will have this facility.
Dual valuation has been introduced in the university to increase the credibility of the process of evaluating students' performance. The results of all examinations are announced within 25 days, and the key for all entrance examinations are released within 24 hours.
Emphasis is placed on improving the quality of medical education through continuous faculty development and medical education programmes. The Vice-Chancellor hopes this will keep the faculty abreast of the latest pedagogic techniques and pass on the concepts to students. This will make medical education interesting, he says.
The Vice-Chancellor wants students to acquire basic clinical skills based on strong theoretical knowledge, show compassion towards patients, and strive to improve knowledge and skills throughout their professional lives.Ramesh Susarla