MediAngels, the World’s First Online Hospital, is the business of tomorrow, wherein we connect Global Medical experts, diagnostic laboratories and all other types of medical requirements, to patients, using technology. The strength of MediAngels can be ascertained by the fact that it has been voted as the most innovative startup in the Asia Pacific region in 2012, by Intel & The Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, from amongst 8,000 companies. The strength of this social enterprise can also be deciphered from the fact that MediAngels has been funded by diverse entities, like the India’s largest private equity fund – HDFC Holdings Ltd., the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and by a renowned venture capital fund – VenturEast.
Dr. Debraj Shome Facial Plastic Surgeon, CEO & Co- Founder – MediAngels addressing at India Leadership Conclave 2015 on Healthcare Delivery in India – Vision 2020.Dr. Shome is a world renowned and an acclaimed Facial Plastic Surgeon & Oculoplastic Surgeon, who specializes in facial cosmetic & reconstructive surgery, Oculoplastic surgery, ocular & facial cancers, orbital, lacrimal & socket surgery and is one of a handful Indian surgeons listed by Wikipedia, the world’s largest online encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debraj_Shome). Dr. Debraj Shome has won many citations and honors such as “Best Plastic Surgeon Mumbai”, “Top 10 Cosmetic Surgeon India”, “Best Oculoplastic Surgeon India”, “Marquis Who’s Who”, “Celebrity Plastic Surgeon in World”, “Marquis Who’s Who Asia Pacific” etc. Oculo-Facial Plastic Surgery is a burgeoning super-specialty in India, but is quite in demand in the USA currently. Currently majority of the facial surgeries in the US are performed by this particular group of plastic surgeons, who are super-specialized in surgeries of the lacrimal, orbital, facial & peri-ocular tissues. As these surgeons have been trained specifically in plastic surgery of the tissues of the face & practice exclusively in the face, end results in all facial surgeries tend to be better than general plastic surgeons who operate all over the body.
Facial Plastic Surgeon & Healthcare Economist Dr. Debraj Shome to address Healthcare Delivery in India – Vision 2020 at India Leadership Conclave 2015
India Needs Flexible Healthcare Reforms to boost India’s pride in Global Healthcare Map. Free medicines cannot fix an overburdened public healthcare system in which many hospitals lack up-to-date equipment and doctors. Thus, the free essential drugs scheme is just one of the many steps the government will need to take to ensure universal healthcare. I feel the adoption at the national level of an e-healthcare system like the one followed in Tamil Nadu can help to provide free medicines to those who need them in a transparent and efficient manner.
— Indian Affairs (@Indian_Affairs) September 15, 2015
India is a fertile ground for entrepreneurs, given its large pool of world-class talent and resources. India’s ability to generate wealth and create social good will come if we let entrepreneurs flourish by encouraging and enabling innovation. Innovation and biotechnology can transform our numerous challenges – healthcare, education, development, agriculture, environment, and energy among others – into opportunities by developing innovative products that can benefit millions and drive economic growth.
However, unlike in the West where capital markets are willing to invest in innovation for a long term, innovation in India is viewed as high-risk, low gain option and hence not investor-friendly. Investors in India are not prepared to invest in capital intensive long-term innovation based business models. India, therefore, needs a robust innovation “ecosystem.” The government needs to establish strong industry-academia linkages to foster the spirit of enterprise and drive employment. However, a national innovation ecosystem is not enough, because if innovation is to flourish, ideas have to be funded to bring them to the market. As a traditionally risk-averse nation, India has rarely been at the forefront of innovation. Indian companies have mostly imitated others and became very good at it. Even in the biotech sector, most companies operate in the low-risk services and generic diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics space.
It is time for biotechnology companies, especially in India and other developing countries, to re-orient their efforts to aggressively harness innovation through partnerships and collaborations to attain the dream of ensuring healthcare for all. The government also needs to be an enabler by putting in place policies that will create a robust innovation “ecosystem” in India. Today, the Indian government has abdicated its responsibility to provide basic healthcare to its people, but it’s holding a gun at the pharma industry and asking it to shoulder the burden. The industry has worked very hard to create a cost-effective and competitive sector. It is actually producing the cheapest drugs in the world, but on top of that the government is dictating how much profit the pharma industry is allowed to make. A complete lack of political will and effective administration have kept accessible and affordable healthcare out of the reach of most Indians.
The lack of a universal healthcare system in our country compels patients to bear almost 80% of the healthcare costs directly from their pocket. The opportunity therefore lies in leveraging India’s value advantage and scientific excellence to come up with innovative technology for offering world-class products at affordable prices, thus making a huge difference to millions of patients in India.
India has a fast-growing economy as well as an ever-expanding, ever-urbanized population, however its healthcare system still has a lot of potential for development. India’s drug industry to touch $48 billion by 2018 Industry may see growth on back of patent expiry of some blockbuster drugs in US and local demand. India’s drugs and pharmaceuticals industry is likely to post total sales of Rs.2.91 trillion ($47.88 billion) by 2018, with an average yearly growth of at least 14%, aided by a rapidly growing domestic market and the newly emerging export opportunity as patents of at least a dozen blockbuster drugs in the US expire in the next three years. “During 2014-2016, about $92 billion worth patented drugs are expected to go off patent in the US as compared with $65 billion during 2010-12, as per the research study by Pharmaleaders.
Pharmaleaders agree that India’s pharmaceutical sector will touch close to US$ 55 billion by 2020 & the Indian pharmaceutical market will be the sixth largest in the world by 2020.The rise of pharmaceutical outsourcing and investments by multinational companies (MNCs), allied with the country’s growing economy, committed health insurance segment and improved healthcare facilities, is expected to drive the market’s growth. India is today one of the top emerging markets in the global pharmaceutical scene. The sector is highly knowledge-based and its steady growth is positively affecting the Indian economy. The organised nature of the Indian pharmaceutical industry is attracting several companies that are finding it viable to increase their operations in the country.From a market size of US$ 12.6 billion in 2009, the Indian pharmaceutical market will grow to US$ 55 billion by 2020, with the potential to reach US$ 70 billion in an aggressive growth scenario. In a pessimistic scenario characterised by regulatory controls and economic slowdown, the market will be depressed but is still expected to reach US$ 35 billion.India currently exports drug intermediates, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), Finished Dosage Formulations (FDFs), Bio-Pharmaceuticals, and Clinical Services across the globe. The exports of pharmaceuticals from India grew to US$ 14.6 billion in 2012-13 from US$ 6.23 billion in 2006-07, registering a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 15.2 per cent.The allowance of foreign direct investment (FDI) in India’s pharma sector has been well received by foreign investors. According to data released by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the drugs and pharmaceutical sector attracted FDI worth Rs 60,100.91 crore (US$ 9.94 billion) between April 2000 and June 2014.
A year ago, newly elected Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was promising to do big things, including amend a law that made it unreasonably difficult for companies to acquire land for factories and infrastructure projects. He’s more or less given up on that particular ambition, after stumbling into fierce resistance in the opposition-dominated upper house of Parliament.
The comedown arrives just as GDP growth slowed to 7 percent in the second quarter, disappointing those hoping India would shoot past a faltering China to become the world’s fastest-growing major economy.
Modi needs to change this souring narrative, and fast. Individual states might still be able to push forward much-needed reforms in land and labor. But at the national level, the opposition has succeeded in painting Modi’s agenda as pro-business and anti-poor. That’s a precarious place for the prime minister to be, especially with politically crucial elections coming up in largely agrarian Bihar state.
Part of the problem is that Modi, despite his fabled skill as a communicator, has failed to explain to poorer Indians how reform will benefit them in addition to well-connected tycoons. He might have better luck if he sets aside the most controversial issues for now and focuses instead on sectors — among them, education and health care — that affect the masses more directly.
Radical reform is required in these areas as well. As a 2014 McKinsey report noted, half of public spending on basic services in India never reaches ordinary citizens. While primary and secondary education is free, the quality of public schools is atrocious: Over 90 percent of Indian children are enrolled in primary school, but that number drops to 36 percent by the time kids reach the upper secondary level. Similarly, access to health care is poor. India has only one doctor for every 1,700 people — well below the World Health Organization recommendation of one for every 1,000. At 66 years, India’s life expectancy ranks the country at 139 among 194 nations, lower than nations like Bangladesh and Indonesia.
As McKinsey notes, there’s no dearth of good ideas for how to improve outcomes for students and patients. The focus on providing free public health care has stretched resources too thin. A better strategy, suggested last week by the government’s own think tank, NITI Aayog, would be to shift to an insurance-based system. Citizens would all contribute to a “Sickness Fund” and then be reimbursed for care, regardless of whether they visited a public or private hospital. Modi’s government proposed a similar system for life and accident insurance last year, allowing the poor to access benefits for a nominal premium. The government could provide vouchers to aid the very poorest.
A voucher system would also help schoolchildren. Government schools suffer not just from a lack of funding, but from weak teachers. A World Bank study found that 25 percent of teachers didn’t show up to school and only half were actually teaching classes. Giving parents the freedom to choose schools — whether public or private — would encourage competition and hopefully improve quality at state schools.
Importantly, one of the government’s central successes thus far has been to build the foundations for such reforms, which require transferring cash directly to patients and parents. Over the last year, the government has opened 175 million new accounts for citizens. The Aadhar system of unique identity cards, launched under the previous government, now covers 870 million people. Officials can be reasonably confident that they can target cash vouchers to deserving recipients without money being skimmed off by middlemen. The cost to the government would be far less than trying to revamp the public education and health care systems from scratch.
Even poor Indians have shown they’re willing to pay for private-sector clinics and schools, despite sometimes steep expenses. Rather than fighting this trend, the government should clear away the red tape which prevents new facilities from being built. That would bring costs down, while direct aid would help the poorest afford fees.
These might seem like radical ideas to some in India. That’s the point: Reform doesn’t only mean making life easier for industrialists. Such changes would have an immediate impact on the lives of the poor, even while creating efficiencies throughout the economy. Modi could begin right away by launching pilot programs in states controlled by his Bharatiya Janata Party, which might allow him to post a few quick wins. At this point, he has little to lose.
Healthcare landscape in India has many challenges starting with access to specialist care in rural areas, skewed doctor–patient ratios, long wait times and finally when your turn comes in, very little doctor time available for a consultation compared to other countries worldwide (thanks to busy doctors and scarcity of specialists). And in the middle of these delivery challenges is the alarming increase in non-communicable diseases or NCD’s. It is estimated that roughly 40% of the adult population already has a chronic condition (asthma, diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis) or at significant risk of developing the condition due to family history, eating and sedentary habits, pollution and air quality.
Mobile and internet technology that can be applied to healthcare like the cloud services, wearable devices, internet of things (IOT) has offered tremendous opportunities to solve and mitigate some of the challenges impacting healthcare delivery in India.
We can broadly look at four areas where healthcare transformation is happening and that holds more potential for the future – Improve Healthcare Access, Improvements to Care Delivery, Distribution of healthcare service and Health Management tools and technologies. Improve Access: Imagine the impact when every mobile becomes a tele-health device that can make doctor consultations and follow-ups happen from any place. Effective tele-health via mobile opens up more doctor slots (Consultations at home, early mornings or late evenings or even in transit) and make it possible to access specialist doctors from tier-2 and 3 cities and towns. Appointments and follow-throughs are streamlined with appointment slot booking and updates happening real time with information available to doctors and patients.
Care Delivery: Access to diagnostic reports and data digitally improves quality of care and contributes to data collections that can be used for clinical research. For example in the case of post-discharge, Care management supplements doctor notes and inputs – It reduces pressure and time involved for doctors to repeat information and instructions that can be made available through technology with reminders and rich media like exercise videos and diet/nutrition charts.
Distribution: Services delivered from the comfort of home saves time and fixes inefficiencies and mark-ups involved in distribution channels. For example, automation in distribution of medicines from the time of prescription to door delivery will be faster and cheaper.
Health Management: Online communities and support groups for doctors and patients bring together people with similar interests to collaborate and improve quality of care and diagnosis. This offers some of the best hope to manage the risks of chronic and lifestyle conditions.
This transformation is in different stages today depending on your provider – doctor, hospital or the locations you live in. But every major healthcare group to smaller hospitals have started forays in these areas. Apollo Hospitals group has made it possible to access health records online and has launched new generation of tele-medicine services. Care Hospital group is offering a whole host of convenience and efficiencies through their patient portal and mobile. A large charity based hospital like Rangadore Memorial Hospital (RMH) offers Care Management for all mobile users (smart phones as well as via text messages).
The transformation has begun and as we look out there is will more standardization of these services with greater adoption. Technology innovation holds the best chance to impact and solve some of the healthcare challenges we face.
World Renowned Facial Plastic & Oculoplastic Surgeon Dr. Debraj Shome voted as “India’s Most Promising Face in Facial Plastic Surgery Innovations” at ILC POWER BRAND 2015
Celebrity Plastic Surgeon known for path-breaking Facial Surgery storms into the 6th Annual India Leadership Conclave & Indian Affairs Business Leadership Awards 2015 as the innovative Facial Plastic Surgeon. Voted as Leader in medicine of tomorrow in facial cosmetic & reconstructive surgery.
MediAngels Founder & noted Facial Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Debraj Shome has been relentlessly batting for building a world-class online healthcare platform & make healthcare available to very Indian equitably and affordably & is is my dream and this goes beyond my ‘other hat’ as a Facial Plastic Surgeon is what the eminent Plastic Surgeon & Oculoplastic Surgeon said on the eve of the forthcoming Leadership Meet organised by Indian Affairs, the flagship brand of Network 7 Media Group, Asia’s most credible media in mainstream journalism hosting its 6th edition in Mumbai on 21st Augst 2015 . India@58 is the theme at 6th Annual India Leadership Conclave & Indian Affairs Business Leadership Awards 2015 where Nation’s burning issues from world leaders, industry icons, Politicians, movie stars, rebels, peacemakers and social activists will be addressing.
Network 7 Media Group while announcing the name of , Dr. Debraj Shome for the selection to the category “India’s Most Promising Face in Facial Plastic Surgery Innovations” at ILC POWER BRAND 2015, the jury members looked at the revolutionary approaches in Facial Surgery by the top Facial Plastic Surgeon & Oculoplastic Surgeon who also finds a special mention at Part of “Marquis Who’s Who” & voted amongst “Best Plastic Surgeons in India” by multiple agencies. The US returned Plastic Surgeon has been in limelight recently for his opinions that almost 44% of the 12,500 patients for whom surgery was recommended were advised against it by their second opinion consultants.
In a letter addressed to MediAngels Founder Dr. Debraj Shome congratulating his selection for the coveted title as “India’s Most Promising Face in Facial Plastic Surgery Innovations”, Satya Brahma, Chairman & Editor-In-Chief of Network 7 Media Group said, “ I appreciate the spirit of innovations & path-breaking initiatives that you have been fostering over the years in medical research in Cosmetic Surgery. I am fully convinced of your accomplishments as one of the torch-bearers of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, an investigator whose novel work will evolve the treatment of surgical disorders and the practice of plastic surgery, though not in full sense of the term, to foster the development of the best new technology and inventions in the field of plastic surgery. It is indeed commendable. We also looked at your dedicated to enhancing natural beauty, using state-of-the-art procedures to achieve natural results designed to make patients feel better and more confident about their appearance special in recent times when patient expectations often going beyond the limits of what doctors can control. I can clearly see that as an Editor & being connected to high profile celebrities, this is indeed a bigger challenges, I can say with confidence, that your practice is unique, much will be seen may be in 2020. India Leadership Conclave Platform only gives credence & recognition to innovators. The previous healthcare leaders in medical practice include Dr. Ramakant Panda, Dr. Mukesh Batra, Dr N.S. Laud, Dr. Shashank R Joshi, Dr. Naresh Trehan, Dr. Kaushal Pandey, Dr. Mukesh Hariawala to name a few”, Satya added.
Dr. Debraj Shome is the Co-Founder and currently heads the Institute of Aesthetic Surgery – The Esthetic Clinics, at JCI accredited top-line multi-specialty Indian corporate hospital. He is presently attached to many multi-specialty hospitals including Breach Candy Hospital (Breach Candy, Mumbai, India), Saifee Hospital (Girgaon, Mumbai, India), Nova Specialty Hospital (Chembur, Mumbai, India) and Holy Family Hospital (Bandra, Mumbai, India). He is the head of the Facial Plastic Surgery center at Nova superspecialty surgery, Chembur, Mumbai, India. This is one of the topmost centers catering to ultra-superspecialty surgery in India.He was the co-founder of the Esthetic Clinic at Apollo Health City, Hyderabad, and had been the Head of the Department of Facial Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery there from 2009-2011.
Dr. Shome is a world renowned and an acclaimed Facial Plastic Surgeon & Oculoplastic Surgeon, who specializes in facial cosmetic & reconstructive surgery, Oculoplastic surgery, ocular & facial cancers, orbital, lacrimal & socket surgery and is one of a handful Indian surgeons listed by Wikipedia, the world’s largest online encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debraj_Shome). Dr. Debraj Shome has won many citations and honors such as “Best Plastic Surgeon Mumbai”, “Top 10 Cosmetic Surgeon India”, “Best Oculoplastic Surgeon India”, “Marquis Who’s Who”, “Celebrity Plastic Surgeon in World”, “Marquis Who’s Who Asia Pacific” etc. Oculo-Facial Plastic Surgery is a burgeoning super-specialty in India, but is quite in demand in the USA currently. Currently majority of the facial surgeries in the US are performed by this particular group of plastic surgeons, who are super-specialized in surgeries of the lacrimal, orbital, facial & peri-ocular tissues. As these surgeons have been trained specifically in plastic surgery of the tissues of the face & practice exclusively in the face, end results in all facial surgeries tend to be better than general plastic surgeons who operate all over the body.
Dr. Debraj Shome’s special interests include Cosmetic Facial Plastic Surgery, Oculoplastic Surgery, Non-surgical Facial Rejuvenation, Face Lifts, Mid-Face lifts, Facial Reconstructive Surgery post Facial fractures & cancers, Rhytidectomy (wrinkle removal), Blepharoplasty (eyelid lifts), Eyelash enhancement, Rhinoplasty (Nose job), Auricular (ear) Repositioning (Otoplasty), Hair Transplants and Hair Restoration Surgery, Facial & Orbital Fracture Repairs, Neck Lifts, Jaw Contouring, Reconstructive Surgery for Facial & Eyelid Cancers, Facial implants (Chin & Cheek implants) for re-shaping the face or changing the facial contour in order to look more young and beautiful, Lip Augmentation & enhancement, Facial Flaps & Grafts for Facial Cancers, Orbicularis Oculi Myectomy for intractable Hemifacial spasm & Blepharospasm, Eyelid Surgery viz. Ectropion, Entropion, Ptosis surgery, False eye (Artificial Prosthetic Eye) fitting & Socket Surgery (Evisceration, Exenteration, Enucleation), Ocular Anterior Segment Trauma and Reconstruction (surgery post injury to the eye), Orbital Tumor Surgery & Orbitotomy (Medial, Lateral, Anterior & Complex), Orbital Decompression Surgery, Lacrimal Surgery for watering of eyes & tear duct blockage surgery (Dacrocystorhinostomy, Endoscopic Lacrimal Surgery, Dacrocystectomy, CDCR, Nasal Intubation, Probing & Syringing) and Ocular Oncology (eye cancer therapy like treatment for malignant melanoma, retinoblastoma, skin cancers, orbital lymphoma, basal cell carcinoma, etc.)
Since June 2007, Dr. Shome has been a Visiting Faculty to the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at the M D Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, www.mdanderson.org. Earlier he was also attached to Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai, India (One of India’s top eye hospitals) and the Tata Memorial Center, Mumbai. His responsibilities included – conceptualizing, developing the Department of Oculoplastic Surgery (Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery) & Facial Plastic Surgery and being the Head Of Department there. These centers had been extremely successful. Apart from his clinical insight, Dr. Debraj Shome has a research background with interests in basic science as well as clinical plastic surgery & ophthalmology and has published more than 40 international scientific peer-reviewed papers and presented papers at various scientific forums.
Dr. Debraj Shome acquired his undergraduate medical degree from Grant Medical College and Sir J.J. Group of Hospitals, Mumbai; one of India’s oldest medical schools. Thereafter, he went ahead to specialize in ophthalmology and completed his residency from Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai. He obtained the degrees of F.R.C.S. (Fellow of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow) in 2003 and also his Diplomate of National Board (D.N.B.) in 2004. Dr. Shome then studied extensively and acquired specialization degree in Orbital surgery, Ocular Oncology & Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery in an elaborate fellowship from L.V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, India, 2005. Dr. Shome subsequently completed an esteemed clinical fellowship in Cosmetic Facial Plastic surgery from one of the world’s top centers at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA. Following that, Dr. Shome completed another clinical Fellowship in Head & Neck Surgery from the Department of Head & Neck Surgery at the M D Anderson Cancer Center in 2007. This fellowship, prepared Dr. Debraj Shome to specialize in multi-disciplinary approaches to Head & Neck Oncology. This makes Dr. Shome truly distinctive as he has been trained independently and exclusively at the best / top centers in ophthalmology (eye surgery), plastic reconstructive & cosmetic surgery of the face & peri-ocular area & oculoplastic surgery. After completing his MBA (Masters of Business Administration) in Healthcare Management in November 2008, from one of the world’s top business schools, Dr. Shome added another chef d’oeuvre. Such a remarkable coalition of top-class health and clinical practice skill sets enables Dr. Shome to develop and lead teams to make the best possible centers, as a man manager, an administrator and a surgeon. Dr. Debraj Shome founded The Esthetic Clinic at Apollo Hospitals Hyderabad, now situated at two of the most reputed hospitals in Mumbai. Dr. Debraj Shome has won numerous rewards and honors in his career till date. He has penned down more than 40 research papers and has published those in top-line peer reviewed international journals, chapters in international books and has given numerous presentations in ophthalmology conferences, head & neck conferences, oculoplasty meetings, ENT conferences, Reconstructive Surgery meets, Facial Plastic Surgery Conferences, Plastic Surgery symposiums, and Cosmetology conferences all over the world; thus, Dr. Shome is a trailblazer who not only practices the best in medicine but also conducts research that modify practice patterns and make up the ‘medicine of tomorrow’.
Indian Affairs Editor-In-Chief Mr. Satya Brahma caught up with Dr. Debraj Shome on the recent state of affairs in the field of Plastic Surgery, here are the excerpts from the interview.
Question: What according to you is Facial Plastic Surgery trending now?
Answer : This is the era of super-specialization in Medicine. As Doctors become super-specialized, they gain even more knowledge in that particular specialty which they are specialized in. This, in turn, improves medical outcomes.
In earlier days, there used to be just general practitioners and they who used to treat all kind of disease conditions, affecting any and every part of the human body. For example, Earlier, it used to be the case that our kids used to get treated by a Family Physician. But now, with so much advancement and super-specialization in the field of Medicine, every parent would prefer taking their child to Pediatrician (Child Specialist) for treatment. In general, it has been proven repeatedly as Doctors keep on doing the same thing again & again, their outcomes improve, which in turn benefits the patients.
This concept of improved results with super-specialization, extends itself to Facial Plastic Surgery. Earlier, there used to be only General Plastic Surgeons and they used to perform all types of plastic surgery on the entire body and also surgeries as varied as microvascular surgery, burns surgery, hand surgery and even aesthetic facial plastic surgery. But, it is impossible for any one specialist to excel in all of these types of surgeries. This marked the start of the advent and development of Facial Plastic Surgery as a super-specialty.
In the Western world, it has been proven repeatedly that when a Facial Plastic Surgeon performs a surgery on the face, as opposed to a General Plastic Surgeon, the outcomes of surgery are much improved. A Facial Plastic Surgeon’s sole focus is performing surgeries on the face. They keep on doing the same types of surgeries throughout their life, as a result of which there are improved outcomes & lesser complications.
Cosmetic Surgery or Plastic Surgery is all about trying to make a person look better & perform a surgery in an aesthetic manner, whatever be the underlying cause, be it fracture, cancer, or purely for cosmetic reasons. It is unacceptable in today’s world to be treating a cancer on the face in a manner that the cancer is treated, but the face is scarred for life! So, paying aesthetic attention to all diseases of the face, is important!
So, in summary, If Doctors start concentrating on a particular part of body, e.g face, certainly the results will be better and patients will have more predictable outcomes. So, Facial Plastic Surgery is currently a growing sub-specialty in India, but a standard specialty in the US and any other Western countries. In western countries, most of the surgeries of the face are performed by Facial Plastic Surgeons and I see this trend being reproduced in India over a period of time.
Question : Has India come of ages in the Creative & substantive innovations in Facial Plastic Surgery if so, what are its milestone achievements?
Answer : Facial Plastic Surgery is an emerging specialty in India. Most of the Facial Plastic Surgeons in India today, have been trained in this specialty from across the world and are now practicing in India. This is beneficial to India, as I am certain that these surgeons will bring with them the expertise of the Western world, outcomes will start improving and becoming better and better as individuals and professionals concentrate on this particular branch of medicine.
India is already turning out to be a large Medical Tourism centre for people from the western countries coming here to get treated. Indian doctors have created a name for themselves in multiple specialties & sub-specialties. It seems as if Facial Plastic Surgery would be the next frontier.
Some milestone achievements have been achieved by us so far, in Facial Plastic Surgery, already. Like for example, in 2010, we were responsible for treating an Iraqi woman, whose face was destroyed by a pen bomb planted by the American Forces. It took us 11 hours to reconstruct all the bones of her face and give her a new look and a new life. This was probably the first Face Transplant like Surgery or the first complete Face Rejuvenation Surgery performed in India. Many such milestone achievements would be expected from Indian Facial Plastic Surgeons in the future, as there is no paucity of talent in India.
This story was covered globally by Reuters.
Question : Your take on Indian VS Global in excellence in Facial Plastic Surgery?
Answer : The face is a cross over zone and there are a multiple specialities, who perform surgeries on the face. For an instance, there are General Plastic Surgeons who operate on the face. There are Oculoplastic Surgeons, who are from an Ophthalmology background and work on the face & are specialized to work in the area in and around the eyes & upper face. There are Facial Plastic Surgeons who are from an ENT (Otolaryngology) & sometimes Ophthalmology and work on the face; Maxillofacial Surgeons who come from a background of Dentistry and are specialized to treat bones and occlusion. Each of these backgrounds gives these surgeons greater understanding in their areas of the face. So, I think it becomes very important to gain excellence in Facial Plastic Surgery by trying to work with all these multiple specialties, and to learn from each of them.
People who get to work with all these multi-specialties tend to get better because there is something to learn from every other surgeon they are working with. An ENT surgeon would perform a better Rhinoplasty (Nose job) surgery when trained in Facial Plastic Surgery, or an Ophthalmologist would be better at performing a Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) and so on. And someone who has worked with all these specialties will certainly create excellence.
I am very privileged to have gained Fellowship training (additional surgical training) in 4 different & diverse sub-specialties associated with Facial Plastic Surgery which are, Head & Neck Surgery, Oculoplastic Surgery, Facial Plastic Surgery & I recently completed a Fellowship training in Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery from Wales, UK. By training with multiple specialties, it helps to amplify our knowledge and lets us get better.
When comparing Indians with Global excellence in Facial Plastic Surgery, I can say that at this moment India is in an emergent stage when it comes to Facial Plastic Surgery. Probably there a very few trained Facial Plastic Surgeons. However, this trend is set to change since all the surgeons are realising that we cannot be performing surgeries for all the parts of the body and excel at it all. So in the near future, I see more and more Indians training in Facial Plastic Surgery, concentrating on excelling in this, publishing research papers in Facial Plastic Surgery and working towards making India one of the Global frontiers in Facial Plastic Surgery.
Question : What according to you are the missing links in Indian Facial Plastic Surgery?
Answer : In my opinion, the biggest missing link in Indian Facial Plastic Surgery is that there are no programs or training courses dedicated to training young surgeons in Facial Plastic Surgery in India. Most of the current Facial Plastic Surgeons have been trained overseas.
In India, when Doctors acquire training in Plastic Surgery, they feel that obtaining a M.Ch. in General Plastic Surgery is the best possible way to become a Plastic Surgeon. But the truth is that, M. Ch. Training courses in General Plastic Surgery in Indian hospitals do not even deal with Cosmetic Surgery. They deal chiefly with burns & reconstructive surgery. Now, when you are trained in burns surgery and try to come and try and operate on a person’s nose and change it 1 mm this way or that way, these are really different surgeries to perform. And, even more difficult patients to manage. The mindset itself of managing these patients and performing these surgeries is very different!
So, doctors/ surgeons like us who are trained in different specialties should come together and start training programs in India, so that more and more surgeons are ultimately trained in & specialised in Facial Plastic Surgery. The surgical skills are already there, what needs to happen is more and more surgeons should be trained in terms of appropriate communication for a cosmetic patient, developing the right mindset and obtaining appropriate training in Facial Plastic Surgery. This will certainly help transform India into one of the Global frontiers for Facial Plastic Surgery.
Question : Describe yourself as a person, a Plastic Surgeon & a Global Citizen.
Answer : Facial Plastic Surgery is a super-specialty that is shooting up in India presently while in USA, it is in vogue currently and most facial surgeries in US currently are performed by this particular genre of plastic surgeons, who are super-specialized in surgeries of the facial tissues.
I was the ex-Head of Department at the Institute of Aesthetic Surgery at The Apollo Hospitals, Apollo Health City, Hyderabad, India and Ex-Consultant at the Institute of Aesthetic Surgery at Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, India which are both JCI accredited top-line multi-specialty Indian corporate hospitals.
My interests include Plastic surgery, cosmetic & reconstructive surgery, aesthetic and cosmetic surgery, facial plastic & reconstructive surgery. I chiefly deal with Cosmetic Facial Plastic Surgery, Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery post face fractures and cancers, Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation, Rhinoplasty (Nose Job / Nose Surgery), Face lifts, Mid-Face lifts, Mini Facelift, Rhytidectomy (wrinkle removal), Auricular (ear) repositioning (Otoplasty), Hair transplants and hair restoration surgery, Eyelash enhancement, Neck Lifts, Blepharoplasty (eyelid lift / cosmetic eyelid surgery), Lip Augmentation and shaping, Jaw contouring, Facial Fracture repairs, Aesthetic Surgeries for Facial Cancers, Facial Implants (for changing the shape of the face), Facial Myectomies for intractable Blepharospasm & Hemifacial Spasm, Facial Flaps & Grafts for face cancers, etc.
I am privileged to be one of very few Indian surgeons listed by Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debraj_Shome).
I consider myself very fortunate to have won numerous accolades and honors in my career till date. I have to my credit, 40 research articles published in top-line peer reviewed international journals, chapters in international books and numerous presentations in ophthalmology conferences, head & neck conferences, ENT conferences, Facial Plastic Surgery Conferences and Cosmetology conferences world over. Also, I am honoured to be a faculty at two of the world’s top rhinoplasty and facial plastic surgery cadaveric dissection courses, held at Vinnea, Austria and San Francisco in USA.I am extremely fortunate to have won the Colonel Rangachari award & the Hanumantha Reddy award in 2010, for a revolutionary paper and invention of a nano-molecule of carboplatin (a cancer drug), which promises to change the way eye, facial & neural cancers are treated. This is considered the highest award for research performed in ophthalmology in India that year. As a Global Citizen, I would like to see that healthcare becomes available equally and freely for all. Apart from being a Physician, I have also had the honour of being entrepreneurial and we have started an Online Hospital called MediAngels.com . MediAngels.com aims to do to healthcare, what Flipkart & Snapdeal are doing to products all over the world. The purpose of this e-healthcare venture is to have the best doctors from all across the world on a cloud based platform and match the best Doctor to every single disease with the help of technology, in the form of phone and the internet, and making doctors available all across the world.It seems strange to me and surreal in a way that in the population of about 1.2 billion in India, you can buy the best phone or camera whether you are in the most remote area or in Mumbai, but you still can’t have access to the best doctors. Today, you cannot have access to the best doctors and I am sure the same would be the case 30 years later, as best doctors are a rare resource, and it would be very difficult to have the best doctors in every city or every town or every village or every multi-specialty hospital.Therefore, MediAngels, the World’s First Online Hospital, is the business of tomorrow, wherein we connect Global Medical experts, diagnostic laboratories and all other types of medical requirements, to patients, using technology. The strength of MediAngels can be ascertained by the fact that it has been voted as the most innovative startup in the Asia Pacific region in 2012, by Intel & The Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, from amongst 8,000 companies. The strength of this social enterprise can also be deciphered from the fact that MediAngels has been funded by diverse entities, like the India’s largest private equity fund – HDFC Holdings Ltd., the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and by a renowned venture capital fund – VenturEast.So in summary, I as a Global Citizen would like to change the way healthcare is delivered all across the world. I, in my lifetime, would like to see an equitable distribution of healthcare to every citizen in India & all over the world, at the most affordable price, within the comforts of their office/ workplace. MediAngels is our way of trying to accomplish the same. We hope to succeed in our endeavour to do so!