Chennai: S. Prashanth, a student of the Madras Medical College has established a benchmark of success by becoming the topper of his MBBS batch while bagging 36 medals recently.

He graduated from DAV Senior Secondary School Gopalapuram (State Board) as part of the last batch of MBBS graduates before NEET was implemented in the state.

Prashanth, a Madurai local, qualified for NEET as well but was admitted as a State Board student. He had to undergo a legal battle before being admitted. He could only get enrolled eight months after others had already begun their course work.
He received the prestigious Johnstone Medal, which is granted to the most deserving student who wins the most medals in a year at the MMC. Since its inception in 1848, there have been years when the medal has not been awarded due to a lack of a suitable candidate. S. Prashanth also served as the president and national convenor of the Indian Medical Association’s medical students network. He is the national president of the Students’ Network Organisation, affiliated with the World Health Organisation and Towards the Unity for Health.
He told The Hindu, ” My motivation came from my mother Shanthi and grandmother Jayalakshmi. I had to live up to the trust they had in me and it moved me to ace the exams and get the Johnstone Medal.” Prashanth’s father was a Tata Technologies employee who passed away while fighting against cancer when he was in Class XII and his grandmother also died of cancer last year. His mother works for the United India Insurance Company as a deputy general manager.
He also expressed his intention of pursuing civil service and he is most likely to appear for the exam the next year. “I will be able to cater to a larger section of society and a larger population rather than confining myself to the medical, health sector. I will be able to do justice that way as a civil servant”, he said.
Health Minister Ma. Subramanian handed over the medals and certificates to the medicos. He later told media persons that MMC had earned a special place in medical education in the country as it produced numerous skilled doctors who went on to win Padma awards. Almost 250 students received their diplomas on the 186th graduation day. Mr. Subramanian stated that the Chief Minister had announced that a new building worth 66 crore will be constructed for the neurology department. Moreover, a budget of 4 crore will be granted to upgrade the cardiology department and 15 crore to upgrade the nephrology department.
“It is ranked 60 th among the 100 best medical colleges in the world. The State has a special place when it comes to medical education. Across the country, there are 302 government medical colleges and 276 self-financing medical colleges. The State has 70 medical colleges, including 36 government and 34 private institutions,” he added.

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