It was the year 1959 Dr. Hare Krushna Mahatab was the Chief Minister of the Congress Government of Orissa. Her highness Queen of Ranpur, Smt. Basanta Manjari Devi was the health Minister. The idea of having the second Medical College in Orissa was floating in the air.
Hirakud Dam had just started yielding its hydroelectricity. A second gift pack of a Medical College was a fresh dose of ecstasy to the people of Western Orissa. 41 boys and 9 girls were selected from the First year MBBS students of SCB Medical College, Cuttack to be enrolled as the first batch students of the proposed new Medical College.
The college office started functioning in the bungalow of the Chief Engineer of Hirakud Dam. The then Health Minister deputed Dr. Subal Chandra Das, the Civil Surgeon (the current equivalent designation is CDMO) of Sambalpur to take over the charge of the newly formed Medical College as the Special Officer. Dr. S.C. Das was due to retire on Dt.15.10.1959, his service was extended for two more years with an assurance for promotion.
As a bolt from the blue the congress Govt. of Orissa fell. The coalition Govt. of Congress and Ganatantra Parishad took over the office. There was obvious reflection of the instability in the form of irregularities in the management of the newly established Medical College.
However, to the good fortune of Western Orissa, Dr. Ram Prasad Mishra was the new Health Minister. On priority the Honourable Minister transferred Dr. Radha Nath Mishra (Surgeon) from the S.C.B. Medical College, Cuttack as the first Principal of the Medical College at Burla.
Dr. Radhanath Mishra, M.B.B.S. (Patna) L.T.M.(Calcutta), FRCS (Edinburg), Urology (London) was an able Principal, under whose matured guidance the college not only ran smoothly but also galloped in the path of all round development.
The academic activities of the Medical College like dissections and theory class started in the Hall near the Power Channel, the halls being renamed latter on an the Old College Building (OCB). The present deaf and dumb school building was used as the Boy’s Hostel and the ‘Chameri Building’ as the hostel for the ladies.
The root teaching curriculum started with the teachers like Dr. Purna Chandra Satapathy for Anatomy, Dr. Arta Trana Mishra for physiology and Dr. Udaya Chandra Mishra for Biochemistry.
To meet the needs of the students for dissection, the sweepers used to collect the cadavers from the cremation ground near Budharaja (Sambalpur) and Mandalia delta of the river Mahanadi (In from of the present Samaleswari College, Sambalpur)
There was death of quarters for the employees. There were inconveniences in all fronts at that juncture. But commendable was the patience and co-operation of the employees and the charisma of then Principal and other local authorities that the college ran smoothly.
This budding institution got another jolt when the Medical Council of India (MCI) objected its status and refused to recognize unfortunately the Govt. of Orissa explained the MCI that the newly formed Burla Medical College (BMC) was an extension center of the SCB Medical College, Cuttack. The students of BMC got disappointed at this stand of the Orissa Govt. and the BMC students’ union went on strike demanding the full Medical College status for this institution. Some students felt so panicky about their future that they requested the Principal to get them transferred to the SCB Medical College, Cuttack.
To provide a lasting solution to this genuine problem of BMC, the Honorable Health Minister Dr. Ram Prasad Mishra promptly took some appropriate and timely measures. He immediately transferred Dr. Rabindra Nath Sen (Dept. of Physiology) and Dr. Satyabati Hazary (Dept. of Anatomy) from SCB Medical College, Cuttack to BMC with the assurance of promoting them to the post of Professor within thirty days. Just after they took over their charges the Honorable Health Minister personally visited the BMC. He had extensive discussion with the students and the Principal of BMC as well as the elite mass of Burla and come forward with a satisfactory package of college building, adequate hostel facilities for students and quarters for all the employees. He also promised for a special PWD for the same.
Now the institution attained its growth spurt. BMC, the hope and aspiration of Western Orissa came to being with its majestic building complex and the hostel campus. The principal Dr. Radhanath Mishra was due to retire in that year i.e. 1966 by dint of his tireless effort, MCI visited this institution and gave favourable comments on it. The BMC got the recognition of MCI. Just seven days after this historical achievement of BMC the respected Principal superannuated. Truly BMC owes a lot to the personal efforts of the visionary architect, Prof. Radhanath Mishra.
The next year i.e. (1967-68) BMC assumed its present name VSS Medical College, Burla after the great hero, the unsung martyr of this soil, Veer Surendra Sai.
There after many chapter have been added to the history of this alma-mater, al most each time by the students’ demand for the genuine requirement of the development of this institution. The Veer Surendra Sai statue (1978), the IG Auditorium (1985) the Obst. & Gynecology building (1981) the Radiotherapy cobalt 60 unit (1985) the Library building (19 97) the regional diagnostic center (2005),trauma unit ,burn unit(2006) , the security system including intercom, a boundary wall for the campus , so on and on.are only to name a few. Let us wait and see what more the providence offers in the future to add to the glory of the VSSMC