Dr. Vijay Mittal of Warren-based Ascension Michigan has been named the Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Chair for Surgery and Surgical Education by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the J. William Fulbright Board.
This award, in collaboration with the government of India and the United States-India Education Foundation, is the most prestigious award given by the Department of State under the umbrella of the Fulbright Board, along with the government of India and UNISEF. in the field of medical sciences. No more than 40 distinguished scholars in 185 countries have been recognized this year in educational, political, cultural, economic, and scientific fields. The award is rarely given in medical sciences.
The Fulbright project works to improve educational systems in both developing and developed countries. With a goal to implement processes to address disparity in surgical education, which were identified in the previous Fulbright award, Mittal will begin visiting All India Institute of Medical Sciences and other institutions in both India and surrounding southeast Asian countries.
Once the education systems of these countries are similar to the United States, candidates from various countries can potentially avoid repeating their surgical education by fulfilling requirements before beginning practice in the United States. Additionally, the United States wouldn’t have to retrain previously trained surgeons, since the cost to retrain each physician is $1 million over a five-year period, and alleviate the issue of surgeon shortage in the United States.
Mittal is recognized for being a surgical educator, leader, mentor, and scholar in education globally. He was the chair of surgery for Southeast Michigan Center for Medical Education for the past two decades, and served as the president for the Michigan Chapter of American College of Surgeons, International College of Surgeons U.S. Section, Academy of Surgery of Detroit, Detroit Surgical Association, and Indo-American Surgical Association.
For more than 25 years, Mittal was the program director of the General Surgery Department at Ascension Providence Hospital and established the Simulation and Education Center. He was also recently bestowed with an Honorary Fellowship by the Associations of Surgeons of India for his leadership in surgical education.
Mittal has also been elected as the governor for the American College of Surgeons representing the state of Michigan. He also serves as a professor of surgery at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and Michigan State University College of Human Medicine.
Ascension operates 16 hospitals and hundreds of health care facilities across Michigan.