May 16, 2018 3:45 pm
Updated: May 16, 2018 3:49 pm

Montreal Children’s Hospital surgeon first Canadian elected to American pediatric surgery board

Dr. Pramod Puligandla is the first Canadian ever to be elected to the Pediatric Surgery Board of the American Board of Surgery.

Montreal Children's Hospital

Dr. Pramod Puligandla, a surgeon with the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MCH), has been elected to the pediatric surgery board of the American Board of Surgery.

“The little feather in the cap is that I’m the first Canadian to be appointed to this board,” Puligandla told Global News.

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“It’s something I found out after. It was pretty cool. I wasn’t aware of it, I think.”

Puligandla applied to the board and was selected from candidates across North America.

The organization certifies individuals who have met an elevated standard of education, training and knowledge in their field of surgery.

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His job: to help define and set the standards for whether someone is able to practice pediatric surgery in North America.

“Our role as a certifying body is to ensure that people who are graduating from our programs are as qualified as possible so they can best serve the population they’re living and working in,” Puligandla told Global News.

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“We had 27 finalists and deliberated for weeks, but in the end, Dr. Puligandla’s background in education and critical care won us over,” explained Dr. Kenneth Azarow, chair of the Pediatric Surgery Board of the American Board of Surgery and interim chair of the department of surgery at Oregon Health and Science University.

“It also helps that he’s a pleasure to work with.”

His term will last six years.

“We are always looking particularly to access to care and the ability to provide world-class care to every child irrespective of their socio-economic status, religious background, where they live,” he said.

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In Quebec, Puligandla acknowledges that the aim is to maintain the highest quality of care for children across the province, given the limited resources in health care.

“For First Nations populations, in Quebec, it’s always being able to provide excellent care, whether they be anglophone or francophone.”

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“Pramod has been a visionary innovator in surgical education for the past decade,” acknowledged Dr. Erik Skarsgard, president of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons and surgeon-in-chief at the BC Children’s Hospital.

“{He} will bring wisdom, collaboration and the Canadian perspective to the board at a critical stage of policy development related to education and maintenance of competence.”

In addition to his new appointment, Puligandla is a professor of pediatric surgery, pediatrics and surgery at McGill University.

He also serves as associate chair for perioperative services in the department of pediatric surgery.

A self-proclaimed “Prairie boy,” Puligandla was born in Kamsack, Sask., and raised in Edmonton, Alta.

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He earned his medical degree from the University of Western Ontario, where he also completed his general surgery residency and Masters degree in physiology.

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He went on to do a pediatric surgery fellowship and pediatric critical care fellowship at McGill University and has been working in pediatric surgery and pediatric intensive care at the Montreal Children’s Hospital since 2003.

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He is also a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada’s Specialty Committee and Examination Board in Pediatric Surgery.

Puligandla said his membership to the board will take him away from the hospital for about 10 days a year.

“It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is with all the other work that goes on,” he said.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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