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The Ten Best Indian Doctors
chillibreeze writer — Anusuya Kashi
The increasing flow of medical tourists to India proves it has now gained recognition for the numerous gifted and skilled doctors, whose expertise has become legend. Moreover, a happy trend that has begun is that of various doctors now venturing into providing private medical care at affordable costs. Below is a list of the ten most famous doctors from all across the country.
1. Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty – To most people, the words “Assembly line” conjure up images of a production plant. But for this doctor, it’s just another day at work in the operation theatre of his brain child, Narayana Hrudayalaya at Bangalore, where he strives to reduce the cost of heart surgery. The person in question is Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty. The list of his achievements is mind-boggling - the first heart surgeon in India to venture into neo-natal open-heart surgery, the first doctor in the world to perform open-heart surgery to close a hole in the heart with the help of a microchip camera, the first user of an artificial heart in India, the list is endless. And the latest feather in his cap has been the appointing of Narayana Hrudayalaya as the biggest telemedicine center in the world, catering to some 19 countries.
2. Dr. Naresh Trehan – Not everyone has the capacity to start from scratch and create a world-class, state-of-the-art medical institute. And he has done it not once, but twice. First, with the Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, Delhi which he founded after giving up a lucrative private practice in the USA. And now again with Medanta—the MediCity at Gurgaon. In the course of his career, Dr. Naresh Trehan has conducted many complex surgeries that were a first in India – the myocardial total arterial revascularization, the trans-myocardial laser re-vascularization, and the robotically assisted cardiac surgery— with excellent results. His pioneering work was acknowledged by the Government of India; he has been the recipient of the Padma Shree and the Padma Bhushan Awards. Dr. Trehan is now occupied with the setting up of MediCity, where he hopes to provide holistic therapy through a combination of traditional and modern medicine.
3. Dr Vivek Jawali – His is probably the only operating table on which you would be awake even if your heart was stopped! A pioneer in minimally invasive heart surgery in India, Dr. Vivek Jawali performed the World’s first awake major Open Heart surgery (Aortic valve replacement with triple bypass) in 2004. The patient was fully awake and did not have ventilator support, even after the heart was stopped. Dr. Jawali has demonstrated newer techniques of bypass surgery at live surgical workshops in India and abroad. Senior cardiac surgeons from China visit India to train under him in the technique of Off-pump Bypass Surgery at the Fortis Hospital, Bangalore.
4. Dr Pratap Reddy – From a modest earning of Rs. 100 per day to a turnover of over US $ 100 million, it has been one long journey for this doctor. Dr. Pratap Reddy, who founded the Apollo group of Hospitals in India, was inspired to bring world-class medical infrastructure to India when he lost a patient who could not make it to the US for an open heart surgery.
The Apollo Hospitals Group now has more than 22 centers in major metropolises in India, with plans to expand to other parts of the world. Dr Reddy has also contributed to the several regulatory changes brought about in the areas of licensing, ceasing of import restrictions and permission for organ transplants.
5. Dr. S. S. Badrinath – Armed with a post graduate degree in Opthalmology from the US, he could have chosen to pursue a lucrative private practice. But for Dr. Badrinath, the words of his spiritual guru kindled a desire to set up a charitable hospital. Today, even when the noble profession of medicine has fallen prey to commercialization, the success of the organization he founded – Shankara Nethralaya – proves that it is possible to be compassionate, yet efficient. Here, almost forty per cent of the surgeries are conducted free-of-cost. The Nethralaya is a pioneer in more ways than one; it was the first to introduce photorefractive keratectomy and laser technology to correct refractive errors. Doctors here have performed stem cell therapy using a patient's tooth - a procedure called osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis The Government of India awarded Dr Badrinath with the Padma Sri in 1983 and the Padma Bhushan in 1999.
6. Dr Anant Joshi - He is one doctor who practices what he preaches – an orthopedic surgeon with specialization in Arthroscopy, Sports Medicine and Fitness Management, he plays badminton, cycles, swims regularly and even scuba dives! The person we’re talking of is Dr Anant Joshi, most famous as the doctor of Sachin Tendulkar. He is a consultant to the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI), has a thriving private practice in Mumbai and travels to several cities of India for consultations and treatments. He has also been a pioneer in the use of advanced cell therapy for treating sports injuries and relieving associated pain.
7. Dr. Anil Kumar Singh – He is often described as the teacher of teachers – what with his students now heading the departments of Neurosurgery in various hospitals all over India and abroad too. Dr. A. K. Singh, currently the Director of Neurosciences at Fortis Hospital, Delhi, is well known as the master of spine surgery in India. He is also credited with the introduction of several new techniques such as use of the microscope in neurosurgical practice to make it safe and minimally invasive, microscopic trans-oral procedures for cranio-vertebral anomalies, micro vascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia, and neuro-endoscopy. Little wonder then that he is known as the master of spine surgery in India. He has authored numerous scientific articles and is the author of three text books on Neurosurgery, which were described by the American Association of Neurosurgeons as being a significant contribution to the field of neuroscience.
8. Dr. Suresh Rao Aroor – In today’s fast-paced world, when slowness is scorned, he has taken up the unglamorous role of supporting it. Not only has he trained more than 5000 teachers on handling children who are slow learners, Dr. Suresh Rao Aroor, a pediatric and adult neurologist has also set up a unique institute – PARIJMA neurodiagnostic and Rehabilitation Centre– at Bangalore, dedicated to providing complete neurological care. All the work experience that Dr Aroor gained at the National Institute of Mental Heath And Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS) and the Manipal Hospital, both at Bangalore, gave way to the conviction that there has to be a multi-disciplinary approach. Hence, the team he has put together at Parijma comprises of a neurologist, a psychologist, a social worker, a speech therapist and a physiotherapist who work in tandem to study each case and provide appropriate care.
9. Dr. N. N. Wig - We’ve all heard of the Oedipus and Electra complex. But ever heard of the “Hanuman Complex”? Well, that’s just one of the unique concepts extolled by world-renowned psychiatrist Dr. N. N. Wig. He uses the term to drive home the point that mentally ill patients are like Hanuman; they have temporarily forgotten their powers. He urges mental health professionals to realize that their role is akin to that of Jambavan; all they have to do is help the patient remember his true potential!
In a career spanning more than four decades, he helped set up the department of Psychiatry at PGIMER, Chandigarh and worked at AIIMS, Delhi. He has been involved with planning for an organized mental health service not only for India but also for the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region of WHO as its Regional Director of Mental Health.
Dr Wig, with over 250 scientific papers and many books to his credit, has been instrumental in putting India on the world map of Psychiatry. In fact, he is the only psychiatrist from India to be honored with the highest award of the Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrist, London. He has been often described as a compassionate psychiatrist, an excellent teacher, and a humane person. Although now retired, Dr Wig still remains active in teaching, social and clinical service at Panchkula.
10. Dr. Kamini Rao – If we believe that the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, then she has to be the Empress of Life. Having trained at the King's College School of Medicine, London, U.K. and St Bartholomew's Hospital London, Dr. Kamini Rao is a pioneer in the field of reproductive medicine. She is most renowned for giving India the first child born by SIFT (Semen Intra Fallopian Transfer) Technique (SIFT). Dr. Kamini Rao is also active in the field of women's sexual and reproductive rights (WSRR), and is the Coordinator for the WSRR project in India.
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