Imphal Review of Arts and Politics

Dr. Bishwajit, son Chinglemba, daughter Laijalembi and wife Sarita at Birmingham

Dr. Bishwajit Elangbam Becomes First Manipuri Visiting Professor of Emergency Medicine in UK

In the recently concluded 22nd Commonwealth Games commonly known as Birmingham 2022 many of us from Manipur and Manipuri diaspora who use social media might be surely familiar with the face of Dr. Bishwajit Elangbam and his family members.

Dr. Bishwajit and his family members visited the stadium and watched the 22nd Commonwealth Games. They tried at their level best not to miss the sporting events particularly which Manipuri sportspersons were participating representing India and bagging medals for India and glory to Manipur. Dr. Bishwajit Elangbam along with his wife, daughter and son cheered the Manipuri sportspersons waving Meitei’s traditional and ritualistic scarf, Leirum Lengyan amidst the large crowd at Birmingham in UK. Dr. Bishwajit and his family’s waving Leirum Lengyan emerged distintly and helped encouraged the Manipuri sportspersons.

The family with CWG gold medalist, star lifter, Mirabai Chanu

Judoka Shushila Likmabam said in a video clip posted on her Facebook page on August 5 that I was so glad that we felt homely at seeing the waving Leirum and thought there is a Meitei at least when entering the field and felt encourgaed. Those who waved Leirum were later found to be Dr. Bishwajit and his family. They managed to witness all the events where Manipuris participated.

In the video clip, the sportspersons from Manipur were enjoying a dinner with traditional Meitei foods hosted by Dr. Bishwajit’s family.

Five of the seven sportspersons from Manipur who represented India in the Commonwealth Games 2022 at Birmingham in UK, brought home a medal each, including gold, silver and bronze.

Of the five medal winners from Manipur, weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu delivered the first gold for India in 49 kg category and Sorokhaibam Bindyarani Devi won a silver medal in the 55 kg category.

Sushila Devi Likmabam also clinched silver in Judo, while Nilakanta Sharma won silver in Men’s Hockey and Shushila Chanu Pukhrambam got bronze in Women’s Hockey.

Dr. Bishwajit’s family gave a small amount of money to the Manipuri sportspersons on behalf of European Manipuri Association as a token of gratitude for inspiring thousands of children and young people in the region.

“So glad for our family to handover a small gift voucher to incredible sportspersons as a symbol of gratitude for inspiring thousands of young people in Manipur on behalf of European Manipuri Association. Hoping all those amazing cheers transform into leaving lasting legacy where many more would take up sports and become a healthier nation,” Dr. Biswajit posted on August 5 on his Fcebook page.

Dr. Bishwajit also said the small amount is contributed by the Manipuris consisting of all ethnic groups of Manipur living here for the sportspersons on behalf of the European Manipuri Association.

Definitley, the Manipuri sportspersons and other social media users who followed the performance of the Manipuri sportspersons in Birmingham 2022 and the follow-up side events at Birmingham associated with them know that Dr. Bishwajit is a Meitei from Manipur working as a doctor in Birmigham, UK.

Notably, Dr. Bishwajit Elangbam is not just a medical doctor who treats and cares patients. Dr. Bishwajit Elangbam who is an Emergency Medicine Consultant and Governance Lead for Sandwell Emergency Department is now Visiting Professor at Aston Univerity, UK. He has been appointed Visiting Professor by Aston University recently. It is testament to his consistent work to maintain high standards in teaching across the field of emergency medicince.

The news of his appointment as Visiting Professor of Emergency Medicine was published in HeartBeat, a monthly publication of Sandwell and West Birmingham (SWBH), National Health Service (NHS) Trust in its August 2022 edition.

Dr. Bishwajit Elangbam is the frist from Manipur to be given this honourary position of Visiting Professor by a UK based university.

“I have been involved in regular teaching and training in Aston University for the past three years, so as a result was advised to apply for the honorary position. It came as a pleasant surprise when I received notice from the vice chancellor of Aston University offering the position,” Dr Bishwajit Elangbam said.

“It is both a humbling experience and a huge honour and I am very grateful to Aston University for such recognition. This has given me more motivation to continue and excell in my contribution,” HeartBeat quoted Dr. Bishwajit.

Dr. Bishwajit expressed, “I believe education to be a lifelong pursuit and critical to saving lives in emergency medicine. Empowerment through education and training is a means to delivering excellent care for our patients. I have been involved in many educational activities in the Trust and with the Deanery. I have also been involved in training doctors, nurses and allied health care workers in my home state of Manipur in India.”

Dr. Bishwajit conducted trainings for doctors and healthcare workers of RIMS, JNIMS, Mother’s Care Children Hospital, etc. when he came out to Manipur.  He organised a medical conference in Imphal with the help of Indian Medical Association (IMA) and Manipur Critical Care Society. Doctors from every healthcare centres in Manipur participated in the conference and Bishwajit himslef sponsored seventy percent of the financial expenditures of the conference.

In the height of COVID-19 pandemic also, Bishwajit conducted 14 discussions with medical doctors of Manipur government hospitals including RIMS and JNIMS, he told Imphal Review.

SWBH, NHS Trust in its HeartBeat August 2022 edition said, “Joining the Trust five years ago, Bish (Bishwajit) came back as a consultant after being a higher specialist registrar with us previoulsy. He says it is the team spirit that attracted him as everyone operates as one team and he likes to be part of that.”

“The department and Trust ensures we have opportunities to provide excellent patient care. I am so grateful for the support and help from my colleagues over the years in developing myself as well working together in many challenging circumstances,” Dr. Bishwajit continued.

Bishwajit is the first child amongst five of Elangbam Tomba from Elangkhangpokpi now in Kakching District and Khoinaijam Memma from Chingmeirong in Imphal. They lived at Keishamthong in Imphal and he grew up there. Later their family moved to Chingmeirong Maning Leikai in Imphal permanently.

His father was working as a Section Officer at Electricity Department of Manipur Government and retired as an Executive Engineer. His mother who was working in the Sericulture Department of Manipur Government retired as Inspector.

Being born to a middle class family of Manipur, Bishwajit had his school education from Donbosco School (DBS), Sangakpham Chingmeirong and passed the High School Leaving Certificate Examination (HLSC) in 1991 under Board of Secondary Education Manipur securing 11th position.

Before joining to Regional Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in 1993 for MBBS degree, he did his pre-university cource in science at D M College of Sciences under Manipur University.

After completion of his MBBS in 1999 from RIMS, he got his training in Emergency Medicine as first batch in India during 1999-2000 from Apollo Hospital, Hyderabad as a Fellow of Emergency Medicine. He worked in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, Apollo Hospital at Hyderabad from 2000 till 2002.

After getting the training in Emergecny Medicine, he was motivated to further his study in the field and coninue working as an emergency medicine consultant. The drive in him to study emergency medicine further, he appeared Professional and Linguistic Assessments Board (PLAB) examination and after clearing it, he went to UK in 2002 to further his study in emergency medicine and work by borrowing money from near and dear ones and with the helps from his friends in UK.

First he started working in UK at Clinical Attachment, Department of Medicine and Intensive Care Unit of University Hospital Lewisham, London in 2002.

In 2003, he joined as Trust Grade SHO, General Medicine Emergency Assessment Unit, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust.

Previously, amongst others he was Speciality Tutor for the Emergency Department and Lead for Teaching for higher specialist trainee, West Midland Deanery. He also worked as faculty for advanced trauma life support and advanced life support.

In 2010 June Bishwajit got MRCEM from College of Emergency Medicine, London and he became FRCEM in December 2017 from Royal College of Emergency Medicine, London.

Emergency medicince is new in India and Manipur as well. It is said that there are only a handful of doctors in Manipur who have specialised in Emergency Medicine. Unofficially, it is estimated not more than five doctors.

When Imphal Review asked if he doesn’t want to work in Manipur, Dr. Bishwajit said, “I want to do service in Manipur very much and if there is a suitable post in Manipur Health , I will apply. However, I am working hard at my level best to earn experience in management and education while working in UK.

Emergency medicine is the medical speciality concerned with the care of illnesses or injuries requiring immediate medical attention. Emergency physicians continuously learn to care for unscheduled and undifferentiated patients of all ages. As first-line providers, in coordination with Emergency Medical Services, they are primarily responsible for initiating resuscitation and stabilisation and performing the initial investigations and interventions necessary to diagnose and treat illnesses or injuries in the acute phase. Emergency physicians generally practise in hospital emergency departments, pre-hospital settings via emergency medical services, and intensive care units. Still, they may also work in primary care settings such as urgent care clinics.

To assert and achieve a place in many fields letting the world know who the Manipuris are, Manipuris have to struggle a lot first to become a skillfull and resourceful human in their chosen fields. In other words, for the people of Manipur that has no mineral resources and being a poor state of India, human resources are to be groomed and developed.

Amongst the Manipuris who live outside Manipur in search of jobs for a living or better opportunity for higher education and career after becoming a human resource, Dr. Bishwajit Elangbam is also one of them who has a successful career and live a peaceful life now through struggles. He lives happily now in Birmingham, UK with his wife Sarita Maisnam, daughter Laijalembi who is starting her Grade 10 from September and son Chinglemba who is starting his Grade 4 from Spetember this year.

Dr. Bishwajit suggests for the children and young people of Manipur to achieve anything significant with one’s aim and aspiration, the key factor is CONSISTENCY and DEDICATION in our efforts. It is very difficult not to achieve our goals when we consistently continue to work with dedication, Bishwajit added.

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