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Christian Medical College, Vellore

Christian Medical College (CMC), an autonomous institute in India, has established itself as one of the best medical schools in the country. Acknowledging the quality of education that CMC offers, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) has given it a five-star rating.

The success story of CMC has been in the works for over 100 years. Dr Ida Sophia Scudder, its founder, started off with a small dispensary in the south Indian town of Vellore in 1900 which grew into a 40-bed hospital within the next two years. Soon after, she started to train women in nursing. The training programme soon expanded into a nursing school and by 1918, the Union Mission Medical School for Women was started with singular focus on training women physicians. It became Christian Medical College (CMC) in 1938. CMC started to offer MBBS programme following its affiliation to the Madras University in 1942. Five years thence, it enrolled its first batch of male students.

At present, the college offers about 150 post-graduate courses in disciplines of health and nursing and enrols about 2,000 students per year.

The success story of CMC is reflected in the various milestones it has achieved. It performed the first ever Reconstructive Surgery for Leprosy in 1948, the first successful Open Heart Surgery in India in 1961, the first Kidney Transplant in India in 1971, the first Bone Marrow Transplantation in India in 1986 and the first successful ABO incompatible Kidney Transplant in India in 2009.

CMC publishes some 230 research articles in indexed peer reviewed journals in a year. CMC operates out of two campuses. Its primary campus is at the centre of Vellore city, while the second is at Bagayam, some seven km from the main campus. To cater to 121 specialised departments which include almost every clinical speciality, CMC has a staff pool of over 7,600 members, with 1,200 plus doctors and 2,400 plus nurses.

CMC has spawned many a doctors of repute – Dr M. Mohan Rao, Order of Australia, who performed the first kidney transplant in India; Dr T. Thomas, the first Indian cardio-thoracic surgeon; Dr Ashok Venkitaraman, Ursula Zoellner Professor of Cancer Research, University of Cambridge; Dr David V. Rajan, arthroscopic surgeon and former president, Indian Arthroscopy Society; Dr Ketayun Ardeshir Dinshaw, former Director of Tata Memorial Centre among many others.

Medical research in India has been witness to many contributions made by the CMC. It is an internationally recognised Infectious Diseases Training and Research Centre as well as home to the South Asian Cochrane Network and Centre. It plays host to a government-funded Stem Cell Research Centre and various other research programmes funded by national and international agencies.

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