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Local junior doctor given highest accolade for social action and humanitarian efforts

A junior doctor from University Hospitals of North Midlands has been recognised with the highest accolade a young person can achieve for social action or humanitarian efforts.

Sai Ram Pillarisetti who will be joining the team in surgery at the Royal Stoke University Hospital as a Foundation Year 1 trainee in August, has been given The Diana Award, given out by Princess Diana Charity for going above and beyond in his daily life to create and sustain positive change.

After both of his grandmothers were diagnosed with breast cancer, Sai, at the age of 18, spearheaded the development of South Asia’s first mobile app on breast health, available in English and 11 regional Indian languages.

The app recorded more than 9,000 downloads within the first month and aims to empower women all over India with accurate information about breast health.

Then in 2020, while studying medicine in the UK, Sai recognised a gap in the representation of international medical students like him and founded the British International Doctors Association (BIDA) Student Wing– the very first organisation to represent international medical students studying in the UK.

In less than two years, the BIDA Student Wing has grown into an organisation with hundreds of student members studying medicine in the UK and who come from more than 38 different countries. As Founder-President of this organisation, Sai and his team have facilitated free educational webinars, career guidance and mental health support for his fellow international origin medical students.

Sai Ram Pillarisetti – Image via UHNM

The Diana Award is one of the few award schemes accredited to GOLD Standard by the Independent Awards Standards Council. Through a rigorous nomination process, nominators had to demonstrate the nominee’s impact in five key areas: Vision, Social Impact, Inspiring Others, Youth Leadership and Service Journey.

Sai said:  “I feel humbled and honoured to have been chosen for this prestigious award which will serve as a great motivation for me and equally, I hope it inspires other young people to take up initiatives to support and empower others.”

He added: “I would like to sincerely thank my team at the BIDA Student Wing and the executive committee of BIDA for giving me the opportunity and the platform to start the Student Wing.”

Dr Matthew Lewis, UHNM Medical Director said: “I would like to congratulate Sai for this recognition. He is clearly an inspiration and we look forward to welcoming him at UHNM where it is hoped he will continue to lead and encourage others.”

Dr. Chandra Kanneganti, BIDA National President and Lord Mayor Stoke-on-Trent said: “All of us at BIDA are extremely proud of Sai for being recognised with this high honour and for all the work he has done in establishing the BIDA Student Wing. Sai is a fine example of a young leader and we look forward to working with him more closely in the coming years to promote equality and diversity in medicine and support international doctors in the UK”.

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