The Kandy Society of Medicine; the second largest professional organization for medical and dental professionals in Sri Lanka appointed its 50th president and council on 16th February 2019 at its annual general meeting. The KSM has played a major role as a disseminator of knowledge and facilitator of research as well as a coordinator of many social services while creating a forum for intellectual and social interaction for the community of doctors and their families in the central province and beyond.

The new council would like to continue and enhance the established traditions of the KSM. The Wednesday CME lecture series and the numerous seminars organized by KSM are a very rich source of information and platforms for exchange of novel ideas and experience. We plan to refine those lectures to enhance their authenticity by promoting the addition of references, to create a catalogue and archive those lectures in a web-based repository. A series of workshops of current relevance would be organized in collaboration with other professional bodies.  Social activities like the New Year celebration, Poson Bhakthi Gee, Christmas Carols, the family concert, the annual trip and the musical evening have bought members of our society together as one family, and  we will continue these events. Furthermore, we have planned to invite our senior members to host an evening of entertainment as a novel event.

The theme for KSM in 2019/20 is “Education for Health”. The KSM will focus on education as the approach of promoting holistic health.  As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the only weapon that can really change the world”, and we believe in this sentiment. Education is changing people; changing their behaviours. Health is defined as the physical, psychosocial and spiritual well-being not only as the freedom from ailment, and the capability to resist adversities of the environment.  Health of people depends on their behaviours, and it is vital to educate the public on the correct approach to health. One way of achieving this is by educating opinion leaders. KSM would like to make its contribution by initiating a series of education programs for doctors, nurses, public health midwives, teachers, and government and public officers.

In parallel with its theme KSM believes that Learning is the most important contribution one could offer to the society. Therefore we will initiate a progressive learners’ award. This annual award will select ten progressive learners based on their enthusiasm in participating in CPD activities conducted by the KSM and how much they have gained in the process. All the education programmes as well as knowledge disseminating activities would be generate credit points, and the top 10 progressive learners based on the final cumulative scores will be recognized at the annual congress.

KSM “What to do series” for primary care doctors will focus on updating knowledge on a symptom based practical approach to common clinical scenarios. There will be a series of workshops in Paediatrics, Medicine, Surgery, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, and Psychiatry. These workshops would be supplemented with a simple guidebook and a series of peer reviewed lectures. At the end of each workshop there will be an assessment. Material developed for these workshops will be available at the KSM for future use.

Pioneers of the KSM like Prof. T Varagunum have emphasised the need to enhance medical education. KSM Medical Teacher’s Forum intends to bring teachers that include medical and dental faculty academics and all other extended faculty together on a regular basis to share their experiences in teaching, to update on innovations in medical education, and to promote medical education research.

Nursing officers are valued associates that we work with, and the KSM hopes to initiate a program of educational activities for nurses. We will develop a standard curriculum and education material in collaboration with nurses, so that similar education programs could be repeated and improved in future.

Public health midwives are a very important link to the society. They have contact at the grass-root level of the community and they play a key role in educating the public. We will focus on conducting several seminars in collaboration with the provincial directorate health of the Central Province aimed at enhancing their capacity in communication with patients.

Education of the general public is a vital step of health promotion in any nation. An erudite and empowered society will move forward, beyond focusing on health promotion rather than on simple health care seeking, and they will take the initiative to create a safe environment for themselves. The KSM will initiate an on-going program of public seminars supported by a hand out/booklet and a series of lectures that could be repeated and improved in future by a process of peer review. Once the required educational materials are developed KSM public education seminars could be conducted in any location by selected resource persons from the KSM and from outside.

University students are a very special group in the society who can contribute to health education. Therefore developing health education material, and updating their knowledge and skills would be of great value in disseminating valuable scientific messages to the society. We will explore possibilities to link with all other universities in this endeavour by using the latest technology.

Health is not only physical and psychosocial well-being, and unfortunately the concept of spiritual well-being is marginalized in the materialistic world. Therefore I expect to extend our activities to the spiritual aspect of medicine through a series of seminars and programs during the coming year. As a group of professionals we have a role to play in educating others on the beneficial effects of spirituality on health. Several seminars on meditation, empathy and communication would be organized to achieve this goal.

Dear members, I invite all of you to participate in as many of these activities, teach and learn so that we as individuals and as the Kandy Society of Medicine will contribute to the advancement of the people of our nation.

Prof. R. M. Mudiyanse
President, Kandy Society of Medicine 2019/20