Coronavirus (File Photo: IANS). Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, May 15 : The medical cadets of the armed forces commissioned as Medical Officers on Saturday have joined the battle against Covid-19. They will be leaving immediately to join as interns in 31 Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) hospitals across the country, which are also designated for Covid care.

The Defence Ministry said 110 medical cadets, including 21 female cadets, of the 55th batch of the Armed Forces Medical College were commissioned as Medical Officers into the Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS) on Saturday. The cadets were commissioned by Commandant, AFMC Lt Gen Nardeep Naithani in a brief ceremony. Ninety four cadets were commissioned into the Indian Army, 10 in the Indian Air Force and six in the Navy. The Passing Out Parade had to be called off for the first time since 1982, keeping in mind the Covid-19 restrictions.

In his commissioning address, Lt Gen Naithani congratulated the newly commissioned officers for joining AFMS which is the finest integrated medical organisation in the country. He complimented the parents of the students for the success of their children. He added that it has the unique distinction of having the entire batch that entered AFMC in 2016 graduating together with 100 percent success, which by itself is the best tribute to the teachers at AFMC.

The Commandant reminded the graduating batch that they were joining the medical profession at a time when the country was passing through a difficult phase. He exhorted them to use their knowledge and skills acquired at AFMC to provide the best possible care to their patients as they join the nation's battle against Covid-19.

Lt Gen Naithani expressed confidence that given their academic rigour and training, the newly commissioned Medical Officers would always measure up to the highest standards expected from military doctors.

The preparatory period for commissioning of this graduating batch of AFMC was curtailed to only two weeks against four to five weeks earlier. These two weeks were utilised to give intensive training to specifically prepare these young doctors to work in Covid care settings. The medical cadets have also completed the American Heart Association (AHA) certified course in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

Lt Gen Nardeep Naithani, who himself is a distinguished alumnus from the 17th (Q) batch of the college, also awarded trophies, medals and prizes to the medical cadets for their outstanding achievements in academics and all-round performance.

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