Celebrating the platinum jubilee year of ISA: Seventy-five years of blissful team spirit and academic progress : Indian Journal of Anaesthesia

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Celebrating the platinum jubilee year of ISA: Seventy-five years of blissful team spirit and academic progress

Malhotra, Naveen

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Indian Journal of Anaesthesia 67(1):p 7-10, January 2023. | DOI: 10.4103/ija.ija_1065_22
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INTRODUCTION

From the demonstration of ether anaesthesia in the ether dome to the advent of safer, more efficient, and high-tech delivery systems, anaesthesia has come a long way, and so has the Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists (ISA). ISA was founded in the independence year of our nation amidst a newly found zeal to achieve unprecedented milestones. The vision was the establishment of safe and uniform anaesthesia practices across the nation while promoting high professional standards.[1]

Among the various objectives behind the establishment of the ISA, the foremost has been to provide an organised environment for the collective pursuit of academic interests and technical excellence in anaesthesiology.[2] The sub-formations of this elite society at different levels, including zonal, state, and metro/city branches, have served as an effective means to provide an organisational structure to the society. Nevertheless, there have been constant efforts at the ISA National Headquarters to encourage and provide guidance toward the establishment of new city and state branches, keeping in mind the fact that if an organisation has to be strengthened, its roots need to be expanded.

Consequently, as of 2022, ISA stands tall with 29 state branches and 202 city branches, with their offices led by extremely efficient and enthusiastic fellow anaesthesiologists. With each new city chapter being added under the prestigious banner of ‘ISA National’, there has been a substantial expansion of opportunities for ambitious and energetic anaesthesiologists from different regions of the country.[3] These integrative endeavours have led more than 39000 member anaesthesiologists from all across the nation to join the organisation and have the opportunity to contribute and benefit from its various initiatives.

In its 75 glorious years, the ISA has strongly held on to the tradition of bringing together professionals and giving them a platform to share their wisdom and voice their concerns with equal opportunity to either gender.[4] Various ISA-sponsored activities, both academic[5] and co-curricular, have fostered an environment of mutual trust, respect, and lasting collegial relationships amongst fellow members of the society. Moreover, ISA has always held an unwavering stance towards safeguarding the best interest of anaesthesia practitioners in recognising the medico-legal aspects and occupational hazards associated with anaesthesia practice.[6]

To commemorate this sense of camaraderie and the organisational virtue of stewardship, it became imperative to observe platinum jubilee celebrations (’Amrit Mahotsav’) in the year 2022 across the nation and make it a grand event.

Platinum Jubilee Celebrations

To begin with, the ISA Platinum Jubilee Logo [Figure 1] was designed to serve as a symbol of a unified and cohesive association amongst the ISA members. This logo was also incorporated on the ISA platinum jubilee T-shirts, which were distributed to the office bearers of all the state and city branches of the ISA, again to reinforce this sense of unity. The Governing Council of ISA instantaneously approved all the proposals for academic activities under the banner of ISA, like ISA-sponsored continued medical education programmes, workshops, postgraduate (PG) assemblies, etc. The 14th SAARC AA Conference 2022 was organised in Kochi, Kerala. It sailed through the crests and troughs of the coronavirus disease (COVID) pandemic in 2020 and considerations for a virtual conference in 2021. Finally, it was successfully conducted as a physical conference during the ISA platinum jubilee celebrations.

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Figure 1:
ISA Platinum Jubilee Logo

During the platinum jubilee year, the inaugural issues of the Indian Journal of Anaesthesia (IJA) supplements, viz the ISA-IJA eastern and north-eastern supplement and ISA-IJA southern supplement, were released. The PG issue of the platinum jubilee year of ISA was unique in the sense that every aspect of the anaesthesia curriculum and teaching was included in it. IJA ranked 31st in the world in 2021 amongst all anaesthesiology and pain journals, 42nd in 2020 and 56th in 2019. Its impact score doubled in the last two years and is now 1.53, which was 1.11 in 2020 and 0.78 in 2019. However, there were moments of intense grief due to the sad demise of the Editor-in-Chief of IJA, Dr. Lalit Mehdiratta on 17th February 2022.

The year 2022 saw many more academic achievements. The practice guidelines of ISA on preoperative investigations were released and published in May 2022. ISA faculty pool contributed to highly successful ISA online PG classes, which are held every Monday. ISA online daily quiz was started on the ISA website, and one question was asked per day with instant results and explanations. There were attractive monthly prizes according to participation and correct responses.

ISA National Registry was launched on ISA APP (ISA NHQ) that enables anaesthesiologists to confidentially record their clinical work and to create a database of the work done in the field of anaesthesiology across the country. A joint webinar of ISA and the World Society of Intravenous Anaesthesia (World SIVA) was conducted.

The long-standing dream of ISA to have its own registered office was fulfilled in the platinum jubilee year. The ISA National registered office ‘ISA Balakrishnan House’ at Chennai was inaugurated on 15th May 2022 with religious fervour.

There were regular showcases of the ISA Art and Literary Club and ISA Cultural Club on different occasions throughout the year, with active participation by ‘ISAians’ (ISA members) across the country. ISA social outreach programmes were organised, including visits to old age homes and orphanages, appreciation of the domestic caregivers, bearers and helpers, and financial aid for blind school girls for procuring talking pulse oximeters, talking thermometers and talking blood pressure apparatus. Independence Day was marked by an ISA plantation drive at the city level. ISA platinum jubilee sports events were organised by ISA Lucknow and ISA Delhi branches under the banner of ISA Sports Cell. ISA leadership summit was organised virtually with an interesting session by a leadership coach and involving self-assessment tools and four global experts who shared their thoughts on leadership. ISA Legal Cell strongly supported the ‘ISAians’ in their medico-legal issues with full confidentiality. Under the banner of the ‘ISA Fit Anaesthesiologists Campaign’, International Yoga Day was successfully celebrated by ISA National and state and city branches. There was a dedicated showcase of activities conducted by the Society of Defence Anaesthesiologists and the Railway Association of ISA. The ISA Private Practitioners Forum, ISA Family Benevolent Fund, Indian Resuscitation Council and ISA Financial Advisor continued their activities regularly throughout the year.

To propel the gala towards its zenith, the ISA flame event was announced to take procession over a fortnight from 1st to 14th October 2022, with a message to light the spark of ISA in our hearts and celebrate the pride of being identified as an ‘ISAian’. With the blessings of the almighty and the stalwarts of our organisation, we were successfully able to execute the brilliant idea of carrying the torch, bearing the ISA flame through all the state and city branches of ISA. The ISA flame, which symbolises the relentless service of the anaesthesia fraternity towards patient welfare and the society at large, infused the spirit of solidarity amongst all those who had the opportunity to hold this epitome of courage and bravery in their hands. Each ISA state chapter received its flame dispatched to them by the ISA National Headquarters. It was then relayed amongst their constituent city branches along a predefined route map. It was enthralling to see the reception of the flame as it arrived in different cities and marked the conduct of various public awareness programmes under the campaign ‘Know about anaesthesia, know your anaesthesiologist’. There were demonstrations by the anaesthesia residents and consultants about the role of anaesthesiologists in various healthcare settings, including trauma and emergency, operation theatre, labour and delivery, intensive care, and pain management centres. The keenness and enthusiasm with which the general masses engaged in all these activities were awe-inspiring. This freshly sparked enthusiasm was harnessed by some city branches to train the laypersons to initiate a structured response towards a favourable outcome in the event of a medical emergency through the compression-only life support programme. This was followed by walks and marches with educational slogans about anaesthesia and anaesthesiologists. These concerted efforts on the national scale proved to be remarkable in bringing together anaesthesiologists as a collective and unified voice to advance patient welfare and public interest.[7] After this very productive public awareness initiative, the valorous ISA flame arrived in the heart of the nation with the honourable office bearers of various ISA state branches for a comprehensive scientific programme for the young and budding anaesthesiologists—the second annual national conference, ‘YUVA ISACON 2022’ of the ‘YUVA ISA’(youth ISA) at Gurugram, Haryana. The second day of the conference, on 15th October 2022, was earmarked for the ISA platinum jubilee celebrations.

To culminate the ISA flame event in a decorous manner, a walkathon was organised at the ‘Kartavya Path’, India Gate. All the dignitaries present at the conference venue, along with the office bearers and other member anaesthesiologists of the organisation, dressed in the blue ISA T-shirts and entranced by the beats of the ‘Bhangra’ (a popular folk dance of Punjab), started their march towards the India Gate. It was indeed a captivating sight - the eminent and dynamic anaesthesia fraternity of the nation marching on the ‘Kartavya Path’, holding the ISA flame in their hands, raising the ISA flag high, and bearing the ISA logo on their hearts. It sent out a loud and clear message across the world that the ISA stands stronger than ever as a unified force striving for excellence.[8] It conveyed the grit of the ‘ISAians’, their capability to broaden their horizons, and their readiness to be global leaders in the glorious field of anaesthesiology.[9]

Following this, the ceremonial celebrations proceeded at the conference venue. To mark the occasion, the ISA platinum jubilee special postal cover was released. The latter bore the following statement as a testimonial to the contribution of ISA and anaesthesiologists in healthcare, medical education, and during the COVID-19 pandemic [Figure 2a and b].

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Figure 2:
(a) ISA platinum jubilee special postal cover (Front). (b) ISA platinum jubilee special postal cover (Behind)

‘Indian Society of Anaesthesiologists (ISA), founded in 1947, completes 75 years of provision of safe anaesthesia to patients undergoing surgery. Anaesthesiologists, in addition to providing quality perioperative patient care, are pain physicians and critical care specialists. They have served humanity as PPE Clad Frontline Warriors during the COVID-19 pandemic. ISA encourages worldwide collaborations to create competent anaesthesiologists who make complex surgeries possible painlessly. ISA has established standards of trainee education and modern medical research whilst promoting access to safe anaesthesia to people of India, even in remote areas. ISA salutes the spirit of all anaesthesiologists who are selflessly serving the patients and mankind.’

The august presence of the ISA National past presidents, ISA National office bearers, ISA present and past governing council members, and ISA state and city branch office bearers added grace and colour to the occasion. The ISA National past presidents, honourable dignitaries and office bearers were felicitated for their invaluable contribution to society. On this occasion, the ISA virtual museum was inaugurated, and the public awareness video and ISA calendar of activities were released.

During the two days conference, the ‘YUVA ISAians’ from all across the nation presented talks on their respective topics in dedicated ISA state branch sessions chaired by veteran anaesthesiologists. The postgraduate students participating in the conference had the opportunity to present their research papers and improve their understanding of research methodology and their presentation skills. The ‘ISA Umbrella’, the ‘ISA Innovation Session’, ‘YUVA Oration Session’, and breathtaking cultural performances were some of the highlights of this grand event.

To add to all these activities, several state and city branches of the ISA celebrated the platinum jubilee by organising various cultural and academic activities themed around 75 illustrious years of ISA. To promote ‘YUVA ISAians’, ‘YUVA MAHACON 2022’ was organised by the ISA Maharashtra state chapter and ‘ISA Delhi YUVACON’ by the ISA Delhi state branch. These seamlessly orchestrated events turned out to be exceptionally invigorating and have built lasting memories of the platinum jubilee celebrations.

SUMMARY

The soulful connection and team spirit shared by the ‘Team ISA’ led by ISA National office bearers and the governing council and ably supported by the state and city office bearers led to the success of the ISA platinum jubilee celebrations and are sure to be cherished for decades to come. The multitude of activities that were conducted led us to believe that we are ‘ISAians’, not because we are in the ISA, but because ISA is in us. Nevertheless, every anaesthesiologist in India should be an ‘ISAian’, as there are opportunities abound for every anaesthesiologist in the ISA. Though new heights have been achieved, the voyage is not yet completed. There is a lot more to come in the near future!

Financial Support and Sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of Interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

REFERENCES

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2. . Message by the Honorary Secretary ISA National. Indian J Anaesth 2022;66:S234.
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4. Kurdi MS, Katikar MD, Ahuja V, Sharma R. Striding towards the pinnacles of professional growth, scientific epitome, and leadership:India's women anaesthesiologists. Indian J Anaesth 2020;64:739–42.
5. Nehete AR, Sharma R, Karim HM, Rana S. Need to review anaesthesia curriculum and education!Indian J Anaesth 2022;66:87–90.
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