Christian Medical College & Hospital

Christian Medical College & Hospital
Christian Medical College & Hospital
Entrance to the main hospital
Location Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India
Founded 1900
Lists Hospitals in India

Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore (CMC Vellore) is one of the largest medical centres in India. This century-old Christian institution was founded by Ida S. Scudder and is in the city of Vellore in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, India.



Ida S. Scudder as a young woman

The idea of starting a hospital came to Ida Sophia Scudder in the late 19th century, when Ida visited her medical missionary father, John Scudder, Jr., at his post in Tamil Nadu. One night, Ida was asked to help three women struggling in difficult childbirth. Custom prevented their husbands from accepting the help of a male doctor and, being untrained at that time, Ida could do nothing. The next morning she was shocked to learn that the women had died. She believed that it was a calling and a challenge set before her by God to begin a ministry dedicated to the health needs of the people of India, particularly women and children. Consequently, Ida went back to America, entered medical training and, in 1899, was one of the first women graduates of the Weill Medical College of Cornell University.[citation needed]

Shortly thereafter, she returned to India and opened a one-bed clinic in Vellore in 1900. In 1902, she built a 40-bed hospital. In 1909, she started the School of Nursing and, in 1918, a medical school for women was opened under the name Missionary Medical School for Women. The medical school was upgraded into a university affiliated medical college granting the degree of M.B.B.S. in 1942, under the name Christian Medical College. Men were admitted to this college in 1947, ten in a class of 35.

In addition to the medical and nursing schools that she founded, Dr. Ida frequented outlying villages and started a roadside dispensary in 1916. Over the years, these roadside dispensaries were upgraded into rural health and development programs.[citation needed]

CHAD (Community Health and Development) building in Bagayam village

The hospital now caters to 5500 outpatients, 2500 inpatients, 75 surgical procedures, 22 clinics, and about 30 births every day. CHAD, CONCH, and RUHSA workers go to the villages and rural areas to raise awareness of disease prevention, health care and community empowerment.[citation needed]

Each year 60 students, of which at least 25 are women, are admitted for the undergraduate medical course (M.B.B.S. of the Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University).[citation needed].


The Christian Medical College is a referral tertiary care hospital. CMC graduates stay on to work in hospitals affiliated to the Christian Medical Association of India.

The college is owned and administered by the Christian Medical College Vellore Association which is a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act of India. The association is made up of 54 churches and other Christian medical organisations. The Christian Medical College Council, which comprises the members of the association and other Indian and foreign organisations, governs the CMC Vellore Association.

Student life

Scholarships are available to students who need financial assistance. The students and the faculty live in a residential campus. Training in Community Medicine involves daily village visits to collect data about disease prevention awareness, child malnutrition, living conditions, socio-economic status and education status.[citation needed]

No. Beds: 2,695; of which 46 are Emergency, 168 are in ICUs, 248 are in community facilities, 85 are for long-stay rehabilitation of physically disabled. Patients: 1.9 million outpatients and 120,000 in-patients per year; comm. outreach to 340,000 people Daily: 125 operations; 45 births; 25,635 laboratory tests. Education: More than 110 courses including MBBS, Nursing, Allied Health Sciences, many Postgraduate medical specialities, plus distance learning courses and PhD programmes. Research: 230 publications in indexed peer reviewed journals, the second largest number of medical research papers of any medical college in India. Financial: Annual running expenses Rs.4,679 million; charitable subsidies: Rs.657 million (healthcare) and Rs.357 million (education).

The city of Vellore, Tamil Nadu, lies between Chennai and Bangalore. It has a spectacular fort, and increasingly attracts pilgrims to the “Golden Temple” at nearby Sripuram. However it is known the world over as the home of the Christian Medical College – a centre of excellence in medical services, research and education. Every day it attracts more than 5,000 people from all over India and other parts of the subcontinent.

CMC Vellore was founded by an American missionary, Dr. Ida S. Scudder. Born in South India in 1870, she spent most of her childhood in the US and was educated there. Although her grandparents, parents and most other members of her extended family had served as missionaries in India, this was not the life that she wanted for herself. However one night, while visiting her parents at their home in India, her life was turned around. Three well-to-do men came to the house one after the other, with the same desperate story. Each of them had a young wife in the throes of childbirth, but unable to deliver. The traditional midwife had been unable to help. Would the young missy come and help deliver the baby? Ida had no medical training at that point, and suggested that her doctor father should go. However, owing to the social and religious customs of the day, each of these men went away sadly saying that it was impossible for another man to see their wives. With no doctor to look after them, these three women and their babies all died that night. Ida took this as a clear signal from God that she should strive to help the women and children of India. She returned to the US to study as a doctor, graduating from Cornell University Medical College in 1899 among the first batch of women. She started her medical work in Vellore in 1900 using one room in her parents’ bungalow as a one-bedded clinic-cum-dispensary. In view of her earlier experience, her focus was on women and children; at that time there were hardly any women doctors in India.

Gradually her reputation grew and with it the demand for her services. In 1902 she opened the 40-bedded Mary Taber Schell Memorial Hospital, built using funds donated in the USA. In 1924 a 267-bedded hospital was opened on a different site, which has continued to expand there ever since. Today there are more than 2,500 beds across four campuses, and the hospital caters to nearly every medical speciality. It is equipped with a vast array of sophisticated equipment, including two MRI and two CT scanners, two advanced Linear Accelerators, a PET-CT Scan and the latest auto analysers in the laboratories. Education and Training Right from the beginning Ida Scudder knew that she could have little impact working on her own, and her vision was not just to treat, but also to train others. So she began teaching “compounders” (modern day pharmacists) and nurses. The first formal nursing course was started over a hundred years ago in 1909. Medical training for women began in 1918 with a Licensed Medical Practitioner course. In 1942 the MBBS degree course was started and in 1947 the College became coeducational. Today CMC Vellore offers, in addition to MBBS and Nursing BSc and Diploma courses, 66 post graduate medical degrees, 35 Allied Health Science courses, 8 further Nursing programmes and PhD programmes in various disciplines. Training is available in fields as diverse as Dialysis Therapy, Medical Records Science and Neurosurgery. In 2010 CMC was voted Dr. Ida S. Scudder Mary Taber Schell Mem. Hospital, 1902 Early nursing students and staff outside MTSM

“2 nd

best Medical College in India” (perceptual) and top rank (factual) in the annual India Today

survey and is consistently listed amongst the top colleges for MBBS.


There are a number of distinctive features of CMC courses. All of them, including nursing, are taught by qualified, experienced faculty who participate fully in the clinical and administrative operations of the hospital. The courses are extremely practical, with students learning skills on the job in clinical and working laboratory settings. While providing a full exposure to the very best in hospital medicine, there is also a strong emphasis on community and family medicine, and students spend time in rural community settings and small secondary hospitals. There is a commitment to nurture and mentor the students to enable all round growth in social and spiritual spheres as well as intellectual.

One of CMC’s key roles is to help train the skilled and caring medical professionals who are desperately needed for hospitals throughout remote and rural areas of India. The education fees are amongst the lowest in the world for a private institution. Students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds are helped still further through scholarships that can cover all fees as well as hostel accommodation and food. This ensures that no one needs to be burdened by an education loan to study at CMC, and many can then go on to serve in deprived areas of India.

Medical services

CMC has over 7,600 staff, including over 1,200 doctors and 2,400 nurses. Most of these people are involved in providing medical care although they may have teaching and research responsibilities. Almost every clinical specialty is catered to, and many departments are subdivided into units each of which may have particular expertise in specific areas as well as providing services of a more general nature. For example the Division of Surgery is further broken down into eight units specializing in Head and Neck Surgery, Endocrine Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Colorectal, etc.

CMC is particularly well known for certain departments such as Gasteroenterology, Neurosciences and Haematology (where it is a national leader in the treatment of rare blood disorders and bone marrow transplantation). It also gives high importance to less prominent specialties such as Rheumatology, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Developmental Paediatrics and Palliative Care. Ophthalmology and Psychiatry departments are located on different campuses, as is the Rehabilitation Institute.

There are 95 wards including 15 ICUs. About 76% of the beds are in general wards and are subsidised to reduce the financial burden on patients. There are 39 major operation theatres and a further 18 facilities for minor procedures. An average of 125 operations are carried out each day.

Diagnostic services are provided in house by the Radiology Department, Nuclear Medicine and the Laboratories. Radiology reporting is through a filmless digital system (PACS), enabling doctors to view X-rays and scans on any computer on the network. All laboratory test results are available through the hospital intranet, as part of the “clinical workstation” hospital information system.

Community work

Alongside the conventional hospital work, Dr. Ida Scudder had a passionate concern for the health needs of the rural poor. This found an outlet when she began “roadside clinics” in 1906 — taking a small team out in a bullock cart to visit local villages and running clinics under a shady tree for all comers. These began to multiply and bullock carts were replaced by motor vehicles. The Department of Community Health was established in 1957 to integrate with CHAD team and mobile clinic teaching and research with the community programmes.

Today CMC runs extensive community based health services around Vellore, resourced by the secondary-level hospitals CHAD and RUHSA, which have led to major improvements in health indicators in their focus areas. In addition the Low Cost Effective Care Unit, College of Nursing Community Health service and smaller outreach clinics provide localised care to people living in the urban and slum areas of Vellore.

In all of the community outreach work there has been a recognition that better education and economic development can have a greater impact on health than medical services. Improvements in basic infrastructure (especially safe water and sanitation) can save more lives than vaccination. These principles have driven many groundbreaking initiatives. Efforts have been made to alleviate poverty through a variety of means including encouraging income generating projects and improved agricultural practices.

CMC is seeking new ways to impact the health of the population, including diabetes screening programmes, a cancer screening programme for women and health screening and education camps. These not only check for disease symptoms but also teach participants to embrace lifestyle changes to reduce the risk or severity of noncommunicable diseases that are becoming increasingly important in India.

As a motto CMC has adopted the words of Jesus, “Not to be served, but to serve” and this drives everything. CMC is a charitable society and seeks to help transform for the better the health status Centre for Stem Cell Research of India. The hospital itself does a little, but the biggest impact comes from those who have been trained here and have then gone out to serve, treat and teach others. Whilst most of the patients pay for their treatment, any surplus arising in one area is reinvested to give subsidies and free care for those who cannot afford the full cost and to fund education and training activities. All the core activities are achieved without external funding from the government or elsewhere. However external resources are needed to fund research, the development of new programmes and infrastructure and to extend the free and subsidised treatment given to the poor and through the outreach programmes.

CMS's dream is never to have to turn anyone away because they cannot afford the cost of their treatment. They are always eager to work in partnership with others who would like to help those in need.


Research is an integral part of the mission of CMC, having a wide and long-lasting impact on the nation’s health. Over the past century, CMC has contributed significantly in generating and advancing knowledge which has improved curative and preventive medical services locally, throughout India and internationally. The main thrust is orientated towards cost effective solutions to health issues where the need is greatest, in order to optimise the use of resources. However research also improves both teaching and clinical standards through fostering a spirit of enquiry and ensuring that faculty remain up to date with the latest medical advances.

CMC is engaged in cutting-edge research into the causes and treatment of diseases, and collaborates with hospitals and universities throughout the world. It is one of the leading contributors of medical research articles in India. There are numerous research programmes funded by national and international agencies as well as through internal resources. It is the home of the South Asian Cochrane Network and Centre and the internationally recognised Infectious Diseases Training and Research Centre and boasts a state of the art Stem Cell Research Centre funded as a centre of excellence by the Indian government.

CMC hosts many conferences and workshops and runs courses in research methodology, epidemiology and biostatistics, etc.


As is evident from its name and the vision statement, CMC Vellore is a hospital drawing its inspiration from the example of Jesus Christ and seeking to model its values, priorities and activities on his life and healing ministry. All patients are welcomed and treated without regard to their faith, caste or other status. The staff represents a variety of faiths and each individual's beliefs are treated with respect. A large Chaplaincy Department serves patients, staff and students providing spiritual counsel and support and organising worship services in many languages.


"The Christian Medical College, Vellore seeks to be a witness to the healing ministry of Christ, through excellence in education, service and research."


  • 1900 Ida Scudder begins work with a single-bedded dispensary
  • 1902 40-bedded Mary Taber Schell Memorial Hospital opened
  • 1903 First training course started, for compounders
  • 1906 “Roadside clinics” – outreach to villages using bullock cards began
  • 1909 Nursing School opens with Diploma course
  • 1918 Medical School for Women – Licensed Medical Practitioner Course
  • 1924 Hospital opened on present site in Thottapalayam, Vellore
  • 1942 Medical College opened with full MBBS course (men admitted from 1947)
  • 1946 Nursing College opened – India’s first – offering degree course
  • 1948 First reconstructive surgery on leprosy patients in the world; first Eye camps organised; first Neurological Sciences in South Asia
  • 1950 Medical postgraduate courses started
  • 1957 Rural Health Centre opened
  • 1961 First successful open heart surgery in India, first middle-ear microsurgery in India
  • 1966 First Rehabilitation Institute in India for physically disabled
  • 1971 First kidney transplant in India
  • 1977 Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs; first external quality assurance programme for Indian laboratories
  • 1978 ICMR Centre for Advanced Research in Virology established in CMC; Nambikkai Nilyam institute for children with special needs
  • 1983 Low Cost Effective Care Unit opens providing services to urban slum areas of Vellore
  • 1984 Continuing Medical Education Unit
  • 1986 National AIDS Reference and Surveillance Centre. Whole body CT Scan. India’s first bone marrow transplant
  • 1990 Infant open heart surgery
  • 1993 Linear Accelerator for Radiation Therapy department
  • 1995 Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • 1996 First trans-septal carotid stenting procedure and first trans-jugular valvuloplasty procedure in the world. Distance Education Unit opened with Family Medicine programme
  • 1997 Developmental Paediatrics Unit; Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Unit; first in-vitro fertilization
  • 1998 Bone marrow transplant in a 6-month old baby
  • 1999 First liver transplantation
  • 2000 Ida S. Scudder Centenary Centre for Women and Children opened; 2000th live donor kidney transplant
  • 2003 Vellore Bombay Artificial Hand developed; Palliative Care Unit; Fellowship in HIV Medicine Course
  • 2004 Rheumatology Unit, Medical Genetics Unit and Telemedicine Unit inaugurated; Centre for South Asian Cochrane Network
  • 2005 First live donor liver transplant. Infectious Diseases Training and Research Centre opened
  • 2006 PG Diploma in Family Medicine distance education course
  • 2007 Centre for Stem Cell Research; Fellowship in Secondary Hospital Medicine started
  • 2008 Department of Geriatric Medicine. Anti Retroviral Therapy Centre
  • 2009 Endovascular repair of Aortic Aneurism using three chimney grafts; first successful ABO incompatible renal transplant in India
  • 2010 PET Scanner. Medical Education Unit recognised as regional centre; foundation stone for Chittoor Campus laid


Many of CMC faculty and alumni have received national and international rewards for their humanitarian efforts and research contributions. The hospital itself was given the National Citizens Award as India’s best employer in 2003, the MM Award for Excellence in Healthcare and the Gurukulijyoti Award in 2007. In 2010 it was voted first runner up for the award “India’s Best Multi Specialty Tertiary Care Hospital”, and “India’s Most Socially Responsible Hospital” in the CNBCTV18s India Healthcare Awards.

The Objective The objective of the Christian Medical College, Vellore is the establishment, maintenance and development of a Christian Medical College and Hospitals in India, where men and women shall receive an education of the highest grade in the art and science of medicine, nursing, or one or other of the related professions, to equip them in the spirit of Christ, for service in the relief of suffering and in the promotion of health. Mission Statement The primary concern of the Christian Medical College, Vellore is to develop through education and training, compassionate, professionally excellent, ethically sound individuals who will go out as servant-leaders of health teams and healing communities. Their service may be in promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative or palliative aspects of health care, in education or in research. In the area of research, CMC strives to understand God’s purposes and designs, fostering a spirit of enquiry, commitment to truth and high ethical standards. Research may be aimed at gaining knowledge of the fundamental bases of health and disease, at improving interventions or in optimising the use of resources. In the delivery of health care, CMC provides a culture of caring while pursuing its commitment to professional excellence. CMC is committed to innovation and the adoption of new, appropriate, cost-effective, caring technology. CMC reaffirms its commitment to the promotion of health and wholeness in individuals and communities and its special concern for the disabled, disadvantaged, marginalized and vulnerable. CMC looks for support and participation in its programmes in education, service, outreach and research, from friends and like minded agencies in India and abroad, in a true spirit of partnership. In its role as a living witness in the healing ministry of Christ, CMC seeks to work in partnership both with the church in India and the universal church, and their institutions.


  • M Mohan Rao, recipient Member of Order of Australia, did the first kidney transplant in India
  • A P Pandey, recipient of Padmashree
  • Bimal Bachhawat (1962), recipient of Bhatnagar Prize
  • Avadhesha Surolia, biologist and director, National Institute of Immunology, India
  • Jayaraman Gowrishankar (1997), recipient of Bhatnagar Prize
  • Daleep S Mukharji, recipient of B C Roy Award, OBE, Director of Christian Aid
  • Dayalan Devanesan, recipient of Order of Australia
  • George M Chandy, recipient of B C Roy Award
  • Ganesh Gopalakrishnan, recipient of B C Roy Award
  • Binayak Sen, paediatrician, public health specialist, human rights leader, Chhattisgarh, India; recipient of Jonathan Mann Award.
  • Rajnikanth Arole, public health specialist, Jamkhed, India; Magsaysay Award winner
  • Ajit Varki, medical researcher. Director Glycobiology Institute, UCSD
  • Raj Narayan, MD, director, Cushing Neuroscience Institute and chair dept of Neurosurgery, North Shore-LIJ, New York
  • Thomas Thomas, the first Indian cardio-thoracic surgeon.
  • Ashok Venkitaraman, Ursula Zoellner Professor of Cancer Research, University of Cambridge
  • Sudi Devanesen, physician and health educator in Canada; recipient of "Order of Canada"
  • Jessie Harry Michael, R.N., R.M., nurse
  • Harry Thangaraj, assistant director of the MIHR Oxford
  • Belai Habte-Jesus, MD, MPH Global Foundation for Transparency and Accountability
  • Dr. David V. Rajan, arthroscopic surgeon and former president, Indian Arthroscopy Society
  • Dr. Chitra Bharucha, member of BBC Trust, MBE recipient
  • Shiv Pillai, immunologist, Harvard Medical School
  • Paul Gunachander, orthopedic surgeon

See also

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • College of Physicians & Surgeons Pakistan — Motto Excellence in Higher Medical Education Established 1962 Type Postgraduate in Medical Sciences …   Wikipedia

  • The College of William & Mary — in Virginia Established 1693[1][2] Type …   Wikipedia

  • Rollins College — Motto Fiat Lux (Let there be Light) Established 1885 Type Private, coeducational …   Wikipedia

  • Magee Rehabilitation Hospital — (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) Geography Location 1513 Race St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Coordinates …   Wikipedia

  • Gundu Hirisave Rama Rao — was born in Tumkur (Karnataka), India, on 23 August 1937. He is a scientist, entrepreneur and a tenured professor at the Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota. He and Professor John Eaton visited India in 1981 under a National Science… …   Wikipedia

  • Calcutta — Kolkata DEC …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kolkata — DEC …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • List of Singapore-related topics — This is a list of topics related to Singapore. For a similar list in alphabetical order, see list of Singapore related topics by alphabetical order. Those interested in the subject can monitor changes to the pages by clicking on Related changes… …   Wikipedia

  • Nobel Prizes — ▪ 2009 Introduction Prize for Peace       The 2008 Nobel Prize for Peace was awarded to Martti Ahtisaari, former president (1994–2000) of Finland, for his work over more than 30 years in settling international disputes, many involving ethnic,… …   Universalium

  • National Tsing Hua University — For the university in mainland China, see Tsinghua University. Coordinates: 24°47′37″N 120°59′34″E / 24.79361°N 120.99278°E / …   Wikipedia

  • National Register of Historic Places listings at colleges and universities in the United States — This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. This is an incomplete list of historic properties and districts at United States colleges and universities that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). This includes… …   Wikipedia