A group of doctors who were pulmonologists and good friends wanted to keep in touch with other professionally and academically. They normally met once every year at some conference but the bonding was very tight. They decided to use technology of whatsapp to form a group. Dr NH Krishna, a visionary consultant pulmonologist from Davangere started the group. But to distinguish this group, from other groups bombarded with unnecessary forwards, there were certain rules. The content of the group was strictly academic or concerned with the betterment of the subject. The experiment worked and the friends felt that they were always together 24X7. The group also served to improve their knowledge and clinical acumen, and then they decided to share this gift with all pulmonologists across India, and even pulmonologists of Indian origin globally. Thus was CCI or CHEST COUNCIL OF INDIA born.
Started in march 2014, very rapidly, one group surpassed to the next and by next year, there were five whatsapp groups. Every group was buzzing with activity regarding case discussions, professional opinions, academics sharing, information regarding placement and training programs, or conference news. The founder members were initially part of multiple groups to monitor and guide content, but we proudly maintain that there was never any violation of protocol and never have we banned any member from the groups.
In 2016, CCI was mentioned at NAPCON Mumbai, in the official souveneir by the efforts of Dr Anil Maske and Dr Agam Vora, how technology is helping in the growth of pulmonary medicine in the form of CCI.
CCI was popular amongst young PGs and residents as in the whatsapp group, everyone was accessible and every query was answered. Thus, despite not being affiliated to any teaching program, CCI was helping shape the academic careers of PGs and many people give credit to CCI for helping them pass their professional exit and fellowship programs.
In 2017, after repeated unanimous demands for a registered society on paper and a physical meeting of people who had never met each other in the flesh, yet conversed day in day out as bossom buddies, there was the first meeting of the founders on 28th January 2017 at Hotel Holiday inn Express, Mumbai followed by the second founders meeting on 23rd July 2017 at Hotel Pooja International, Davangere. The registration occurred on 25th May 2017, and the society was christened as CHEST COUNCIL OF INDIA (CCI) with designated office bearers. The founder trustees were Dr NH Krishna, also founder president, and Dr Narayana Pradeepa, national secretary. The other founder members are Prof M Narender, Dr Ashish Dubey, Dr Anil Baburao Maske, Dr Swapnil Kulkarni, Dr Kapil Iyer and Dr Mahesh Jansari.
The first conference was held in the month of September at Bengaluru under the guidance of our president Dr NH Krishna, a half day affair attended by over 50 delegates local and nationwide. The second conference was held at Mumbai in September 2018 under the guidance of Dr Agam Vora, a one day conference attended by over 100 delegates. The third conference was held in April 2019, at Madurai under the guidance of Dr R Amuthakumar, this time a two day conference.
Currently we are over 170 life members, and over 2500 whatsapp members over 10 whatsapp groups. There are dedicated admins to share posts of all groups across, and every case is answered. Everyone from a pgt to Hod has equal privileges. CCI actively endorses coaching programs for PGTs facing the horrors of exit exam, and CCI members regularly sponsor their juniors at national conferences to get an experience of a lifetime. Other than academics, CCI has worked hand in hand with IMA and other medical organizations at times of disaster and when the medical community is under threat.
The stupendous work done by CCI has been recognized and reported in National media, when on 1st December 2017, front page article was printed in Deccan herald and Prajavani newspapers how 256 doctors of a group help to guide a clinical case for the betterment of a patient.
Even international recognition has been given when the CCI president was interviewed by the ACCP president in 2019 regarding respiratory health in India, and members representing CCI have showcased their work at ERS, APSR and ACCP conferences.
Our motto is “All for one and one for all”. We ultimately seek to be the national and international benchmark in pulmonary medicine through the betterment of our organization and our members.