THE HISTORY OF THE COLLEGE OF ANAESTHESIOLOGISTS OF SRI LANKA

Quick Fact Sheet
  • On 02.10.1957 the Ceylon Society of Anaesthetists was inaugurated
  • At a meeting of all anaesthetists in Ceylon held on 9.2.1967 with Dr JR Richards in the chair, it was decided to dissolve the Society and the Association of Anaesthetists of Ceylon was inaugurated
  • In 1971 the Association passed a resolution to dissolve the Association and form a College.
  • The first general meeting of the Ceylon College of Anaesthetists was held on 5th August 1972. Dr J L C Fernando was the first President of the College.
  • The College of Anaesthesiologists of Sri Lanka was registered in 2010 as a Company Limited by Guarantee incorporated under The Companies Act No. 07 of 2007.
  • The Faculty of Critical Care Medicine and the Faculty of Pain Medicine were inaugurated in July 2010
  • The College office which functioned out of a rented room in the building of the Sri Lanka Medical Association was moved into the new premises in September 2011
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With the return to Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then known) of many anaesthetists after obtaining postgraduate qualifications, the time was felt to be right to set up an association of anaesthetists and on 02.10.1957 the Ceylon Society of Anaesthetists was inaugurated. Records are incomplete and only one meeting seems to have been held up to 1967. At a meeting of all anaesthetists in Ceylon held on 9.2.1967 with Dr JR Richards in the chair, it was decided to dissolve the Society and the Association of Anaesthetists of Ceylon was inaugurated. The Association had 40 members. Dr Richards was elected President and Drs TW Vanniasingham and ATWP Jayawardene the Joint Secretaries. The Association held quarterly general meetings with 1 or 2 members addressing the meeting on a scientific topic. In 1971 the Association passed a resolution to dissolve the Association and form a College. The first general meeting of the Ceylon College of Anaesthetists was held on 5th August 1972. Dr J L C Fernando was the first President of the College. Dr S Ponnambalam was elected Vice President and Drs V Pathmanathan and ATWP Jayawardene the joint secretaries. In 1973 the name of the College was changed to the College of Anaesthesiologists of Sri Lanka.

To reflect the involvement of its members in Critical Care and in the management of pain, the constitution of the College was amended in 2010 to allow the creation of two faculties. The Faculty of Critical Care Medicine and the Faculty of Pain Medicine were inaugurated in July 2010.

The objectives of the College are to (i) achieve and maintain the highest standards of clinical practice of anaesthesia, critical care and pain management in the country (ii) to advance the knowledge of and promote research in anaesthesia, critical care and pain management (iii) to promote and advise on training and education in Anaesthesiology, critical care and pain management and (iv) to promote fellowship among those associated with these specialties.
The activities of the College are directed towards achieving these objectives. In 1972 a Basic Sciences Course for candidates preparing for the Primary FFARCS examination was started by the College. This course is still conducted by the College and the physiology component of the course attracts candidates from other specialties too. The College also conducts courses for candidates preparing for the Certificate of Competence in Anaesthesia, the MD (Part IA) examination for trainees who have completed six months training in anaesthesia, the MD (Part IB) examination which is the entry examination for postgraduate training, and the final MD (Anaesthesiology) examination. The College is represented in the Board of Study in Anaesthesiology of the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine of the University of Colombo. A continuing professional development meeting is held once a month.

The first Scientific Sessions of the College was held during Dr Jayawardene’s presidency in 1984 with Dr Margaret Branthwaite as Chief Guest. The academic gowns, President’s medal and the College mace were all introduced by Dr Jayawardene for the Scientific Sessions. The Scientific Sessions have been held every year since then. The College of Anaesthesiologists Oration was held for the first time in 1995. This has now been superseded by the Dr B S Perera oration. The College has hosted the SAARC Anaesthesia Congress on two occasions.

The College journal was first published in 1984. It was called the Journal of the College of Anaesthesiologists of Sri Lanka. In 1993 the name was changed to Sri Lankan Journal of Anaesthesiology. It is now published twice a year.

The Faculty of Critical Care Medicine and the Faculty of Pain Medicine have held and continue to hold symposia and lectures. Workshops for nursing staff have been conducted both in Critical Care and Pain Management.

In order to popularise anaesthesia and intensive care amongst new medical graduates, the College awards a gold medal to the student who obtains the highest mark at an examination from amongst the students from all Faculties of Medicine in Sri Lanka who have followed a clinical appointment in anaesthesia and graduated with honours at the final MBBS examination.

The College set up an incident reporting system in 2010. This has contributed to many issues relating to patient safety been identified and highlighted.

A workshop on ‘Professionalism in Training’ was held in June 2011 and it is expected to repeat this workshop at regular intervals with the aim of providing all anaesthetists in Sri Lanka an opportunity to attend it.

In late 2010 the College purchased a property in close proximity to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka. This property was renovated to accommodate an auditorium which can seat 60, a tutorial room. a library, President’s office and the College office. The College office which functioned out of a rented room in the building of the Sri Lanka Medical Association was moved into the new premises in September 2011.

Educational Activities

In 1972 a Basic Sciences Course for candidates preparing for the Primary FFARCS examination was started by the College. This course is still conducted by the College aiming for the candidates sitting for the MD Anaesthesiology Part 1 B –which is the entry examination for the post graduate training in anaesthesia, and the physiology component of the course attracts candidates from other specialties too. The College also conducts courses for candidates preparing for the Certificate of Competence in Anaesthesia, the MD Anaesthesiology Part IA examination for trainees who have completed six months training in anaesthesia
The first Scientific Sessions of the College was held during Dr Jayawardene’s presidency in 1984 with Dr Margaret Branthwaite as Chief Guest. The academic gowns, President’s medal and the College mace were all introduced by Dr Jayawardene for the Scientific Sessions. The Scientific Sessions have been held every year since then. The College of Anaesthesiologists Oration was held for the first time in 1995. This has now been superseded by the Dr B S Perera oration. The College has hosted the SAARC Anaesthesia Congress on two occasions.
The College journal was first published in 1984. It was called the Journal of the College of Anaesthesiologists of Sri Lanka. In 1993 the name was changed to Sri Lankan Journal of Anaesthesiology. It is now published twice a year.

Post graduate training in Anaesthesiology

  • The Board of Study in Anaesthesiology, established in 1981 (one of the first 12 Boards established by the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM), University of Colombo
  • Responsible for developing the curriculum, supervising teaching, training and conducting examinations in Anaesthesiology
  • Over the last 32 years about 270 PG trainees were board certified in MD anaesthesiology.