The Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) health care campus, Cochin, Kerala, is a state-of-the-art general hospital. They are dedicated to establishing a centre of health care excellence and improving the well being of the community through quality programs of preventive medicine, value based medical education and research. Electives/observerships are permitted in the following departments: general/internal medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, community medicine, pain and palliative medicine, anaesthesiology, ENT, ophthalmology, psychiatry, dermatology, pulmonary, orthopedics, endocrinology, cardiology/pediatric cardio., medical gastroenterology, nephrology and neurology.
AIMS is located at Edappally, a suburb of Chochin, otherwise spelled Kochi. It is located in a relatively safe suburban part of Cochin. Cochin is an international port well connected with road, rail, air and sea. The international airport is only 25 km away from AIMS.
Sr. Administrative Officer (Principal’s Office)
Mobile: 999 55 930 84
Send all paperwork from DMU to:
Mr. E.K.M. Nampoothiri
Sr. Administrative Officer
Amrita School of Medicine
Elamakkara Post, Edappally, Kochi
Kerala State, India – 682026
Greg Iwaasa, D.P.M. ’10 has rotated at this site and would be very helpful if you have specific questions. Greg can be reached at: Gregory.B.Iwaasa@dmu.edu. Greg has provided the global health deptartment with a descriptive student guide of his experiences to share with others. If you would like a copy of this student guide, please contact Chris.Catrenich@dmu.edu.
The AIMS brochure contains all forms needed for applying to this rotation site.
Fill in the application form on page 10 of the brochure and email to email@example.com. After receipt of the application, AIMS will send you a confirmation. After receipt of the confirmation mail, send the following by courier:
- Completed application form for the Medical Council of India (attached with the brochure)
- Recommendation letter from DMU
- Color copy of your passport
- Two passport size photos
- A Demand Draft for Rs. 5,000/ – in favor of “The Secretary, Medical Council of India, New Delhi” payable at New Delhi. (This is around $180 – $200 US dollars)
AIMS will send the above documents to the Medical Council of India and Ministry of Health & FW, Govt. of India, with their recommendation for approval. Normally, there will not be any problem getting permission.
Airfare and travel
Cochin International airport at Nedumbassery is 25 km away from AIMS. Get a pre-paid taxi to AIMS for about 450 rps. which is available at the airport. It is approximately a 60-minute drive to reach the hospital at Edapally.
A student visa is required to enter the country and costs around $50. A valid passport is also required. Visa applications should be completed well in advance of your expected date of arrival as the process can sometimes take several weeks. To help speed up the process, ask Mr. Nampoothiri to write a letter explaining why you are coming into the country.
The principal’s office will arrange accommodations for you either at the campus or just outside the campus. Charges will be based on the facilities chosen. Some suggested options:
- VGR residency – While this may be chosen by the principal’s office, it might not be your best option.
- Hotel Mata – This luxury hotel is just in front of AIMS. Many students stay here. It is clean and well maintained, but pricey. They charge around 1200 rps per night for an air-conditioned room.
- Madonna Palace Hotel – This hotel is a cheaper option. It is smaller but clean and recently renovated. Air-conditioned rooms are 900 rps per night and non air-conditioned rooms cost 400 rps per night.
Kerala is a conservative state where modesty in dress and discretion in behavior are well appreciated. The dress code on campus is neat casual. Generally, men wear short-sleeved shirts, trousers and shoes. Suits and ties are not worn. For women, sleeved dresses, below-knee skirts and blouses, Punjabi pants and tunic or sarees with sandals are appropriate. Jeans, t-shirts, shorts, etc. are unacceptable while working in the hospital or in classes on campus. Cotton is cooler than synthetic fabrics. Shoes and sandals are quite cheap.
Malayalam is the language in the State of Kerala where AIMS is located. Many South Indians including shopkeepers know English, so most visitors who speak English do not have too much trouble making themselves understood. Elective students may need to ask someone to help translate when talking to patients, but English is the medium of instruction in the school.
For your banking needs a branch of Dhanalakshmi Bank is located at the campus and functions from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. on all bank working days. Living expenditure per day would amount to approximately Rs. 450 (approximately $12 US dollars), which includes room rent, food and other expenses if staying off campus.
The hostel cafeteria and hospital canteen provides only vegetarian food. There is a hostel canteen, which you can enroll in, if desired. The monthly fee is Rs. 2000/$40 per month. Only vegetarian Indian food is served. There is also a visitor’s canteen (open 5:30 a.m.-10 p.m.) and a fast food place (both also vegetarian), which provides a wider variety of tasty food. It is better to drink only boiled or bottled beverages available in the market. In India, coffee and tea are traditionally made with boiled milk and sugar. Shopkeepers provide these drinks without milk and/or sugar if you give specific instructions. There are eateries close to the hospital where both vegetarian and non-vegetarian Indian or Chinese food is available. It may be best to avoid uncooked food and any food cooled to room temperature. Consumption of alcoholic beverages on the AIMS campus is not permitted.
Smoking and alcoholic drinks are completely prohibited on campus.
This rotation is at Calcutta Mercy Hospital located in Kolkata, India. The language of this area is English and Bengali. They will accept 3rd or 4th year D.O. students serving a four to eight week rotation.
Calcutta Mercy Hospital is a health care and medical research institution in downtown Kolkata, India. It is a full general hospital with 173 beds and 30 multi-specialty departments including orthopedics, general surgery, heart services, medicine, neonatology, obstetrics and gynecology. It also offers a cardiac care unit, an intensive care unit, pediatrics, a blood bank and diagnostic center. Hospital treatment extends beyond Kolkata in 15 rural medical clinics that are serviced through this hospital.
Mr. Sanjay Prasad, CEO, Mercy Hospital:
Please send all paperwork to:
Mr. Sanjay Prasad, CEO
125/1, Park Street
After confirming with the DMU global health office, students interested in rotating at this location should contact Mr. Sanjay Prasad, letting him know of your interest and the timeframe you would like to go. After receiving approval from him directly, reconfirm with the global health department.
Airfare and travel
Direct international flights do arrive in Kolkata, but many travelers arrive in Kolkata aboard a local airline via an alternate major city within India (such as New Delhi or Mumbai). Kolkata is serviced nationally by Spice Jet, Air Sahara and Indian Airlines. Kolkata is also accessible by train via the Howrah Station. Travel arrangements should be made as soon as possible as prices and availability are always changing. Once travel arrangements are made, please notify the hospital of your flight itinerary.
Kolkata’s airport is divided into the international and domestic terminals. Airport security prevents non-passengers from entering the terminals. Once you have collected all of your luggage, please proceed out of the terminal and a hospital representative will be waiting to receive you.
A visitors visa is required to enter and remain in the country for less than 90 days. The visa will cost around $50. A valid passport is also required. Visa applications should be completed well in advance of your expected date of arrival as the process can sometimes take several weeks. The website for visa information to India is: https://indiavisa.travisaoutsourcing.com/select-application
Taxis are the most common method of transportation. Catching a cab is never a problem in Kolkata. Travel by subway is also a good way to get around. Kolkata’s streets are traversed by a number of different vehicles. Street cars (trams) make their way through the city streets and are often under crowded. Auto-rickshaws and rickshaws are plentiful. It should be noted that municipal laws do restrict rickshaws from entering certain parts of the city, so be sure to ask if your rickshaw is able to reach your intended destination. If needed, the hospital is willing to provide a car and a driver based on availability at the time of the request.
The hospital is equipped with a guest house to make your stay in Kolkata more enjoyable. These air-conditioned rooms are located on the hospital’s first floor allowing you easy access to the hospital and the administrative staff. We are able to guarantee these accommodations to guests for a maximum of ten (10) days. Any stay extending beyond this time frame is subject to availability. If the hospital is unable to house you beyond the ten-day duration, arrangements can be made at a number of the surrounding hotels. In order to better accommodate your stay, please let us know the intended duration of your visit.
You will be staying in the guest house right at the hospital. Accommodations include:
- Common lounge – A lounge is shared between the three guest rooms. This lounge offers guests a place to sit and relax. It also includes a fridge, microwave, coffee maker and dining area. The lounge offers a variety of entertainment options including a television, DVD player, movie library and stereo system.
- Food – The hospital’s catering department is able to provide a wide-range of food. Please let them know in advance if you have any special dietary needs or food allergies. Meals will be provided three times a day unless otherwise specified. Please do not hesitate to avail yourself of the catering department and make use of the lounge’s kitchenette.Kolkata offers a variety of familiar and exotic food experiences. There are a number of great sit-down restaurants all within minutes of the hospital. Since the hospital is located right in the heart of Kolkata, a number of shops, attractions and restaurants are located within walking distance. Budget $5 – $10 per day for food.
- Terrace – With its main access coming from the lounge, the guest terrace allows you to enjoy the sights and sounds of Kolkata from a new perspective. Facing out toward the lively street, our covered terrace, with greenery and overhead fans, provides you with an escape from the bustle of the streets below.
- Security – The guest house is accessible by one main door. Outside of this door is a security desk with 24-hour supervision. Upon your arrival, you will be given a key card. This card gives you access to the guest house 24-7. Your individual room will be locked with a key which you are responsible for. Each room is equipped with a safe. The hospital is not responsible for any property which is lost or stolen.
- Laundry service – The guest house is equipped with both a washing and drying machine. It is our pleasure to provide laundry soap, fabric softener and stain remover. If you would like to have your cloths pressed, simply hang them in the pantry at the end of the main corridor in the space designated for “clothes to be pressed” before 9 p.m. your clothes will be pressed and returned to your room by the next morning. Please include a small note indicating your room number.
- Towels and bedding – The guest house will provide you with all of your towel and bedding needs so there is no need to bring your own from home.
- Computer access – Each room is equipped with a personal desktop computer. Feel free to make use of this computer for both work and personal reasons. Each computer has an internet connection which can easily be plugged into a laptop if guests decide to bring their own.
- Communication – Each room is equipped with a phone. Also, there is a phone located in the guest lounge. Each room also has an internet connection.
- 24-hour fitness centre – Located just down the hall from the guest house is the hospital’s 24-hour fitness centre. Guests can use this facility at any time of the day or night. This facility includes tread-mills, an exercise bike and a multi-gym weight machine.
Calcutta Mercy Hospital is a professional working environment. Guests of the hospital are expected to maintain appropriate office attire. For men, this includes dress pants, dress shirts, ties and dress shoes. For women, this includes blouses, skirts, dresses or dress pants. While not in the hospital, guests are free to dress as they are comfortable. Visitors to India should remember that Kolkata is a tropical climate. Weather conditions do vary according to the season.
It is illegal to obtain Indian currency outside of India. Foreign currencies can be exchanged for rupees at any number of exchange bureaus. Most major credit cards are accepted in Kolkata. Debit cards can also be used to draw funds from the cities numerous ATM machines (this actually provides the best exchange rate).
When you are ready to return to the U.S., keep in mind that it is illegal to take Indian currency outside of India. Rupees can be exchanged back into foreign currency at exchange bureaus in the city or at the exchange bureau in the international terminal. If your flight is departing late at night or early in the morning, it is advisable to exchange your funds before reaching the airport as the bureaus may be closed at these hours.
The hospital has prepared a short debriefing (feedback) form. Your input, suggestions, critiques and observations are incredibly valuable to us. We would appreciate any thoughts you provide pertaining to your experiences in preparing, staying and departing India.
Kolkata offers a number of wonderful points of interest. These range from historic structures, such as the Victoria Memorial and the Writer’s Building to the mammoth and modern Eden Gardens (cricket stadium). There is much exploring to be done and any local will be more than happy to share with you what they consider the “must sees” of Kolkata.