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April 2, 2015

Faculty conversations: Dinesh Vyas 

For Dinesh Vyas, teaching trauma care is not only a passion but also a duty.

As associate professor of surgery at Michigan State University, Vyas has made a social impact in India and global health. His work continues to spread throughout various countries.

Vyas’ interest in a trauma care program started about 15 years ago, but in the past three years, more institutions and like-minded people are joining his quest. Vyas has taught and continues to teach health professionals in India to be first responders and facilitate trauma practices. In the last year, he has trained over 2,000 people.

“I am giving them a plan of action, which is on the ground running, for them to adopt and be replicated in other counties,” Vyas said. “We are running this program in six or seven states. There is a lot of good work being done in India.”

Vyas conducts research, which investigates what type of trauma care needs to be facilitated the most throughout India, and then brings his intense training program, with highly technical simulators as an aid, to those looking to become first responders.

“I can do the scientific and research part and give them the critical components.” Vyas said. “Then, they can apply those components to take it forward.”

After originally being trained as a surgeon in India, Vyas’ motivation to teach this kind of care stemmed from the amount of road accidents he saw firsthand.

“There is a missing link of care,” said Vyas. “So that’s when I decided to have a plan in place.”

Vyas also said his team consists of MSU faculty and students. About three students travel with him to get hands on training and are given tasks to complete. By giving them this responsibility, Vyas said it puts them in a position of leadership.

“When they are able to see you are making a change, it is kind of a wake-up call for them that they have chosen the right profession and that there is a need for them,” Vyas said. “They can make a substantial change in life and society.”

He hopes to one day bring these training programs to the United States when they collect more data. Vyas said these training programs could be a game changer in reducing medical school expenses.

The team Vyas works with trains people every day and could have a huge effect on improving health outcomes in the future. He hopes his team continues to sustain the momentum they have going right now.

“It’s a social mission,” Vyas said. “Everyone has an ownership of this mission.”

By: Christine LaRouere

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