Advancing paediatric surgery through education and research

NEW MAN at the SAC

NEW MAN at the SAC

Milind Kulkarni FRCS(Paeds) FRACS

Just before the Christmas break, the top people at the Joint Committee of Surgical Training (JCST) interviewed for a replacement for the redoubtable Liam McCarthy as Chair of the paediatric surgery  Specialty Advisory Committee (SAC).  The winner was announced last week as …….Miland Kulkarni.   So, who is this man from Norwich?

Background

Milind is a product of the GS Medical School, Mumbai, qualifying in 1989.   He is well-travelled, spending time in Australia and holding their qualification – the FRACS before arriving on these shores in Birmingham and finally joining the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as a consultant.  His main clinical interests are in minimally invasive surgery and urology.

 

Norwich clearly has had a major influence on Miland’s subsequent career. Though not one of the biggest centres in the UK and a long way from anywhere, he fought for the continuation of the Jenny Lind Children’s Hospital – and though it is a little-known fact – the 2nd oldest children’s hospital in the country.  We all know which is the 1st of course, but this institution followed and first opened its doors in 1854.  So, who was Jenny Lind? Not a patient, nor even a daughter of the mayor of the city of Norwich as it happens. She was a very famous Swedish operatic soprano of the day – nicknamed the “Swedish Nightingale”  – [after the bird not the nurse!], and gave generously to the city and its children’s hospital.

What can Milind bring to the SAC?

He has developed a major interest in EDUCATION since arriving in the UK.  Of course, we all say that during interviews but this seems to be serious. Afterall he actually has a Postgraduate qualification in medical education (XX) and is a Fellow of the university’s Higher Education Academy, a deputy director of the Faculty of Surgical Trainers at the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Regional Advisor for the English Royal College of Surgeons.  As well as being committed to the delivery of education he also has a track record in its assessment, as in he is MRCS/FRCS Urol examiner for the RCS Edin.

Now we all know that paediatric surgery is a pretty small pool for us to swim in and one of the real plus points which Milind demonstrates is his capacity to look for the bigger pool. He has worked for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as Clinical Director for Child Health and then promoted to Chief of the entire Division of Surgery (adults and children). Imagine trying to control a group of orthopaedic surgeons – doesn’t bear thinking about does it.  He seems to have done it successfully though, as he was also most recently Associate Medical Director for the entire hospital.

Challenges Ahead for the SAC

Milind feels that immediate challenge for training is, of course, the impact of COVID and a viable recovery plan for surgical training.

Other goals are:

  • Implementation of the new competency-based Surgical Curriculum as an opportunity to focus on quality of surgical training.
  • Using his experience in the Faculty of Surgical Trainers, he wants to focus on supporting Surgical Tutors as one way of improving the quality of training.
  • Promotion of the various subspecialty Fellowships in Paediatric Surgery.

Where Does BAPS fit with the SAC?

He considers work of BAPS and SAC as two sides of the same coin. The SAC works with BAPS to deliver the same goal of high quality of surgery care, through helping train future Paediatric Surgeons.

Milind wants to promote BAPS members who have interest in postgraduate medical education and facilitate use of their strengths to develop surgical training. Trainer support to trainees in unrivalled as is evident in numerous  GMC surveys. He feels that by supporting the tutors to deliver best teaching will help deliver quality training. He also wants to engage trainees with good leadership and teaching skills to shape future developments in the programme.

Downtime

In his free time, Milind likes reading, stargazing and wandering in mountains. He has successfully reached the top of Kilimanjaro and the Kanchunjunga base camp. He enjoys music and plays flute. He follows cricket (of course), and is a passionate Mumbai Indian supporter. Milind is married with two children.

Milind wishes to gain support from all members and is keen to hear from anyone who has interest and ideas to develop training in Paediatric Surgery in UK.

 

Curated by Mark Davenport,  January 2021