AAPL International Outreach: Filling an Educational Need in India

By AAPL Staff
May 17, 2018

The D.J. Academy for Managerial Excellence in Coimbatore is partnering with AAPL on a program that will impart critical skills to health care leaders.

The American Association for Physician Leadership is extending its global reach by entering a partnership with the D.J. Academy for Managerial Excellence in Coimbatore, India, that will provide for a certificate program in health care leadership.

Ragupathy Veluswamy

Ragupathy Veluswamy

“When I started working [in India], I realized there were a lot of gaps in the way that health care is managed,” says hospital CEO Ragupathy Veluswamy, MD, MMM, CPE, FACPE. “And that skill set is [still] largely missing, as far as leadership role is concerned.”

To begin bridging that gap, the academy — which is affiliated with Bharathiar University, a state institution — is launching a pilot program that will educate hospital physicians about many of those skill sets, including health care finance and communication, physician performance and quality metrics.

Veluswamy, who initiated the partnership between AAPL and the academy, will represent AAPL as the course director. Managerial courses independent of AAPL also will be part of the curriculum.

Veluswamy, who spent nearly 35 years in the United States, most recently at Process Proxy Corp. in Owings Mill, Maryland, in 2014, says there are many MBA programs in India, but they don’t specifically cater to hospitals or the health care community. The top tier of management at government hospitals, for example, is composed of doctors, but they “don’t have formal management training,” he notes.

That’s where AAPL comes in, facilitating an initial nine-month distance education program that will begin with at least 10 students. “Depending on the reception we get, we double it next year,” Veluswamy says. “That’s my goal.”

The first cohort, scheduled to begin in August, will be composed entirely of physicians, but subsequent cohorts might include other health care professionals. Program candidates must have a basic medical degree with at least three years of experience.

Health care is India’s fastest-growing industry, estimated at $110 billion in 2016 and projected to reach $280 billion by 2020. “Our sector is flourishing,” Veluswamy says. “But there is a big knowledge gap in the way the health care institution should be managed.

“There is no real health care policy that controls hospitals in India — no central agency that monitors quality metrics or care provided,” he says, noting several health improvement initiatives for the urban and rural populations. “India is experiencing rapid growth in medical tourism because of a large pool of highly skilled, well-trained medical professionals and availability of advanced technology. Most of the hospitals are run like a family business, and this is where physician executives will have a great role to play in shaping the health care system. I believe AAPL can make huge impact.”


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