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Another rare honour for breast cancer surgeon Raghu Ram

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Eminent breast cancer surgeon Dr Raghu Ram on Wednesday achieved the rare distinction to become the first surgeon from South Asia to deliver the distinguished lecture of the US Chapter of International Society of Surgery.

The director of Hyderabad-based KIMS-Ushalakshmi Centre for Breast Diseases delivered the prestigious “Named Lecture” on “Disrupting breast healthcare in India” at the 107th Annual Congress of the American College of Surgeons (ACS).

He was the only surgeon from outside the US to be handpicked alongside Dr Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the US PresidentS, and nine other world renowned surgeons from the US to deliver the prestigious lecture at the annual scientific Congress this year, held on a virtual platform from October 23 to 27, with the theme “Resilience in the Pursuit of Excellence”.

Delivering the keynote address, Raghu Ram shared the revolutionary changes to breast healthcare that he was instrumental in bringing about in India.

His presentation brought to focus resilience in the face of enormous challenges and the relentless pursuit of excellence to improve breast cancer care in India through a number of unique and innovative initiatives.

Having relocated to India when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, over the past 14 years, he emphasized that he has been serving as ‘living bridge’ between the UK and India and striven to replicate the best of British practices in an earnest endeavor to improve the delivery of breast health care in a country that he was born and raised.

He expressed hope that in the fullness of time, the disruptive, innovative, and unique strategies coupled with a vision to find ‘Indian Solutions’ that he outlined in the keynote address, would pave the path towards saving many lives, in addition to serving as a benchmark for improving the delivery of breast health care in South Asia.

As someone whose “heart beats for early detection of breast cancer”, Raghu Ram said his inspiration can be summed up by a passage from a speech given by former Indian President Abdul Kalam: “Ask what we can do for India and do what has to be done to make India what America and other Western countries are today.”

Founded in 1913, the American College of Surgeons is the largest organisation of surgeons in the world. With over 84,000 members from the US and 140 countries worldwide, ACS is the single strongest voice for surgeons across all surgical specialties across the globe.

In addition to featuring hundreds of scientific presentations highlighting research in progress in all surgical specialties and 105 panel discussions on relevant and timely topics, the 107th annual 2021 ACS Congress offers 11 Named Lectures on a variety of surgical and medical topics given by world-renowned experts.

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Hyd doctor Raghu Ram is first Indian to receive ASGBI honour

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P. Raghu Ram, a city-based doctor and founder director of KIMS – Ushalakhsmi Centre for Breast Diseases, attained the rare distinction of being the first Indian to be conferred with the honorary fellowship of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (ASGBI).

ASGBI represents the surgical fraternity in the UK and Ireland.

Neil Welch, president of the surgical body bestowed the honour on Raghu Ram during the centenary annual general body meeting which was held on Tuesday virtually.

“Raghu Ram is the first surgeon of Indian origin to have this honour conferred on him in the 100 years of history of ASGBI and we are delighted to welcome him as an honorary fellow of ASGBI,” said Welch.

Honorary fellowship is the highest honour and recognition conferred by ASGBI to select surgeons from the world over who have made significant contributions to the realm of surgery and surgical care.

The prestigious award is limited by statute and the number of honorary fellows cannot exceed 60 according to ASGBI constitution.

“This is a great honour to India and I dedicate this prestigious award to the Indian surgical fraternity world over for their outstanding contribution towards promoting the art and science of surgery,” said Ram on receiving the honour.

He also thanked his patients who gave him an opportunity to be involved in their care.

“Over the past 14 years, I have strived to replicate and exemplify the best of British practices and served as a “Living Bridge” between the UK and India in an earnest endeavour to improve the delivery of breast healthcare in my motherland. My profound gratitude to everyone who made this journey possible,” he said.

ASGBI was established 100 years ago, which represents surgeons from all specialties practicing in the UK and Ireland.

Ram also received Padma Shri, BC Roy and OBE recognitions among others.

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Noted surgeon Raghu Ram delivers lecture at 100th ASGBI Congress

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Eminent breast cancer surgeon P. Raghu Ram has achieved the distinction of being the only surgeon from the Indian sub-continent to deliver a guest lecture at the 100th annual Congress of The Association of Surgeons of Great Britain & Ireland (ASGBI).

Raghu Ram, who is the Director of the KIMS-Ushalakshmi Centre for Breast Diseases, was invited to deliver a guest lecture on ‘Delivery of care in resource limited setting’ at the ASGBI, which is being held virtually from May 4-8.

Raghu Ram was recently appointed OBE (Officer of the Most Excellent Order of British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II in the 2021 Honours list.

Established in 1920, ASGBI is a renowned organisation that represents surgeons practicing the art and science of surgery in the UK and Ireland. It is organising its centenary Congress this year, as it could not be held in 2020.

Over 1,000 surgeons from all over the UK and Ireland are participating in the four-day scientific Congress, which is the largest congregation of surgical fraternity in the British Isles.

Raghu Ram highlighted the innovative initiatives that he has carried out over the past 14 years in an endeavour to improve the delivery of breast healthcare in India by replicating the best of British practices.

Establishing the country’s first free standing purpose built Breast Centre at the KIMS Hospitals in Hyderabad, spearheading the Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation, a not-for-profit breast cancer foundation named after his mother who survived breast cancer, and the formation of The Association of Breast Surgeons of India were a few landmark initiatives that he touched upon during this lecture.

As a rare gesture, ASGBI has placed Raghu Ram’s guest lecture under the special category “On Demand Session”, which is available on the conference platform for the upcoming three months.

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Breast cancer surgeon Raghu Ram on Queen’s Honours list

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Eminent breast cancer surgeon Raghu Ram Pillarisetti is named on the prestigious 2021 new year’s Honours list of Queen Elizabeth II.

The list has just been published in the ‘London Gazette’, the official publication of the Crown.

Instituted in 1917 by King George V, the Queen’s Honours are amongst the most prestigious awards worldwide.

Raghu Ram is the director of KIMS-Ushalakshmi Centre for Breast Diseases and founder-CEO of Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation. He is also the immediate past President of the Association of Surgeons of India.

The 54-year-old has the rare distinction of becoming one of the youngest surgeons of Indian origin in over 100 years to be honoured by the Queen with an OBE – Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

It is the second highest Order of the British Empire award (excluding a knighthood/damehood) conferred in recognition of his outstanding services towards improving breast cancer care and surgical education in India and to the UK-India relations.

The British Honours system aims to show gratitude publicly to those who have ‘gone the extra mile’ in their service and who stand out ‘head and shoulders’ above others in their distinction.

“It felt surreal. I was at a loss for words when I was told that Her Majesty, the Queen, may graciously appoint me as an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. I am deeply grateful and incredibly humbled to accept this high honour conferred by Her Majesty, the Queen. For well over a decade, I have strived to replicate the best of British practices in my motherland and feel immensely proud to be a ‘living bridge’ between the UK and India,” Dr Raghu Ram said.

He dedicated the recognition to his family and patients. He also thanked the Board of Directors of KIMS Hospitals.

“Dr Raghu has achieved at a very young age what some may take a lifetime to achieve. When he undertakes anything, he does it with 100% commitment and dedication. Having spent 10 years in the United Kingdom, shortly before relocating to India, he met me to present his dream of improving breast healthcare in India. I was impressed with his bold time-bound vision that he presented to me. So, I gave him an opportunity to unfold his dreams,” said Dr B Bhaskar Rao, Managing Director, KIMS Group of Hospitals.

Raghu Ram is also one of the youngest recipients of Padma Shri and Dr BC Roy National awards conferred in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

He has scaled new heights in his career over the past 25 years, ever since he qualified to become a surgeon in 1995.

Over the past 13 years, he has played a pivotal role in significantly improving breast cancer care in India.

He established South Asia’s first dedicated comprehensive breast health centre, founded a breast cancer charity to raise awareness about the importance of early detection, and implemented a population-based breast cancer screening programme in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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