Indian Surgeon Cut Out for Leadership Role

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13 Sep 2018

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh nominated Mr Pala Rajesh, a Consultant Thoracic Surgeon originally from Chennai in India, to serve a three-year term as Vice-President at the College. Mr Rajesh graduated from Madras Medical College in 1973, spending most of his career in Birmingham where he recently retired from his surgical position at Heartlands Hospital.

Mr Rajesh is committed to helping patients recover more easily after surgery and ran an enhanced recovery programme while working at Heartlands hospital. This programme, which included help with smoking cessation; pre-operative information; physiotherapy and nutritional supplementation, resulted in a decrease in complications after surgery, a shorter hospital stay and, crucially, decreased mortality . In his current role as Lead Examiner of the Joint Surgical Fellowship Examinations in Cardiothoracic Surgery, Mr Rajesh is responsible for inspiring the next generation of cardiothoracic surgeons. This is the surgical treatment of organs inside the chest (thorax) to remedy heart and lung conditions.

In his role as Vice-President at the College, Mr Rajesh will be taking on the responsibilities of international affairs – building and enhancing international relations and helping to set up training programmes in countries that need help – as well as raising the profile of the RCSEd office in Malaysia, which will work to fostering relations with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and neighbouring countries. In addition, Pala Rajesh will chair various committees in the college, assisting the President and office bearers in the running of the college, maintaining the core values of education, training, assessments, standards and national policy.

Mr Rajesh says:

“It is a delight to have been elected Vice-President of such an incredible establishment. It is a great honour and a privilege bestowed on me by members of the Council of the College. I very much look forward to performing my duties with passion and respect, and continuing to support the innovation in education and training for which the College is renowned, alongside the renowned consultant hepatobiliary surgeon Rowan Parks.”

Two Vice-Presidents are elected each term, remaining in their positions for three years. They are nominated by Fellows and voted in with a ballot. Their role includes taking the Chair at meetings at which the President is unable to attend, and supporting the President in their role, alongside their own duties within the College.

Mr Rajesh has several appointments at the College, including that of Lead for the College’s International Fellowship Surgical Programme, in which eligible international medical students are awarded placements in the UK allowing them to undertake up to two years’ training in their surgical specialty. Mr Rajesh has also been on the College’s Court of Examiners, as well as having chaired the Surgical Specialty Board in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

The College’s new President-elect, Professor Michael Griffin a consultant upper gastro-intestinal surgeon, says:

“The College is delighted to have elected such a respected surgeon as Mr Rajsh Vice-President. Personally, I look forward to working closely with him in the implementation of innovation in surgical training and assessment, and I congratulate him on his election.”


About The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh

RCSEd was first incorporated as the Barber Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1505, and is the oldest surgical corporation in the world with memberships approaching 25,000 professionals in over 100 countries worldwide. The College promotes the highest standards of surgical and dental practice through its interest in education, training and examinations, its liaison with external medical bodies and representation of the modern surgical and dental workforce. It is also home to the UK’s only Faculty of Surgical Trainers, open to all those with an interest in surgical training regardless of College affiliation. Find RCSEd on Twitter and on Facebook

The College is based at Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9DW and can be reached on (0)131 527 1600 or In March 2014, a new base opened in Birmingham, catering to the 80% of the College’s UK membership who are based in England and Wales.

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