February 20, 2010
School of Medicine, Kochi
For the sixth consecutive year, AHEAD, a three-day seminar on head and neck oncology was recently organized at Amrita that attracted nearly seventy delegates from all over South India. A few participants came from as far as Mumbai.
“This is an annual event for us at the Department of Head and Neck Oncology,” explained Dr. Arun, the convenor for the event. “The objective is to disseminate the latest medical information in the field to attendees, a large number of whom are postgraduate students.”
The Department of Head and Neck Oncology in Amrita offers a comprehensive 3-year medical program leading to a MCh qualification. Although, the incidence of head and neck cancers is on the rise in India, there are very few Indian hospitals that have dedicated departments for head and neck oncology.
The three-day seminar included didactical short lectures and interactive sessions on topics such as surgical anatomy, pathology, management and recent trends in oral cavity and oropharynx, paranasal sinuses, metastatic lymph nodesparotid and other salivary glands, thyroid and tumours.
Faculty and doctors from Amrita were joined by experts from around the country for teaching the sessions. Among others were Dr. Anil D’Cruz and Dr. Prathamesh Pai from Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, Dr. Alok Thakar from All India Institute of Medical Sciences and Dr. Jyothi Dabholkar from King Edward Medical College, Mumbai.
Surgical sessions were also conducted with surgical demonstrations on cadavers. “These were relayed live to the Amriteshwari Hall where the participants were seated,” explained Dr. Arun. “The participants had the opportunity to ask questions to the operating surgeons regarding the procedures being demonstrated.”
“We received a number of suggestions from participants on how what else can be included in the training programs,” he added. “AHEAD or the Amrita Head and Neck Teaching Program is now also taught by Armed Forces Institute, a medical college in New Delhi, for participants from North India.”
One is glad to note. The teaching program that was begun in Amrita six years ago to disseminate information about head and neck oncology, is now reaching out to even more doctors. Experienced teachers, university examiners and noted head and neck surgeons from across the country are sharing their knowledge about the imaging of head and neck, prosthetic rehabilitation, approach to skull base tumours, current status of chemotherapy and radiotherapy with their younger counterparts.