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16th July, 2017
IMA White Paper on Indian Medical Service
Dr Ved Prakash Mishra,Chairman, Academic Committee, MCI
Historical perspective
The Indian Medical Service owes its origin to the East India Company formed by the British. It was on December 31, 1600 that Queen Elizabeth granted a charter to the Association of Merchant Adventures of London to trade with the East, which gave birth to the East India Company. As a matter of fact the establishment of the company was a result of a huge struggle amongst the nation for the control of lucrative spice trade, in which to begin with the Venetians, then the Portuguese, the Spaniards, the Dutch, the French and finally the British came to be drawn into the treasure hunt.
For the said trade, the First Fleet of the East India Company under the command of Captain James Lancaster, in December, 1600 sailed out. Each of the four ships in the fleet carried 'Surgeons' and a 'barber'. They came to be designated as 'Ship Surgeons'. This was also the voyage, which resulted in experiment on lemon juice as a cure for scurvy.
With the establishment of trading posts around India, more surgeons and physicians found employment not only with Europeans but also in the service of wealthy natives. These men of medicine included Nicholas Manucci, a Venetian, born in 1639, who served Dara Shikoh before studying medicine in Lahore where he served Shah Alam from 1678 to 1682. An Armenian named Sikandar Baigh served as Surgeon to Suleman Shikoh, son of Dara Shikoh and there are records of several Dutch and French physicians in courts across India.
Surgeons were also availed for diplomatic missions to various courts and they were found to be very effective. Operationally speaking, the Indian Medical Service (IMS) was a military medical service in British India, which also was attributed some civilian functions. It has served during the two world wars and remained in existence until the independence of India in 1947. Many of its officers who were both British and Indian served in civilian hospitals as well.
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Inspirational Story 1: Two Frogs in the Milk
Symptoms of lactose intolerance may not be very apparent, says IMA
  • Milk is not the only source of calcium
  • This condition does not have a cure but can be managed with dietary changes
New Delhi, 15 July 2017: As per statistics, about 70% of Indians are lactose intolerant with the incidence higher in southern Indian than in the North. Lactose intolerance is one of the most common forms of food intolerance. Those who consciously or unconsciously avoid milk due to this disorder do not realize that they need a supplement to replenish calcium levels in their body. According to IMA, a deficiency of calcium can lead to problems at a later age and therefore, one should include other sources of calcium in one's diet.
Lactose intolerance is caused when one cannot digest the high amount of sugar present in milk, called lactose. This is because they don't have enough secretions of lactase, an enzyme that helps break down this sugar. Such people can, therefore, not digest milk or milk products.
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