In January 1972, two fresh medical graduates from neighbouring states enroled in the MD course at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh. Cut to Wednesday, April 30, 2014, and the two superannuated together having conquered their respective specialisations.
Meet Dr SK Jindal, head, pulmonary medicine, and Dr S Prabhakar, head, neurology, at the PGIMER.
When the duo started out, their fields were at a nascent stage of development across the world.
Now, that they have retired, text books written by them are prescribed across the world.
“When we, along with Dr Vinay Sakhuja (former PGIMER dean who retired last year), entered the institute, legends like Dr PN Chuttani and Dr Wahi were the teachers.
They were hard task masters and helped us become what we are,” says Dr Jindal. On Wednesday, students of Dr Jindal gave him a befitting farewell. They got together from across the country and abroad to make it a special day for their former teacher.
Dr Jindal, a native of Dhuri, Punjab, is credited it with developing pulmonary medicine as a super-specialty in the country. “The head of the department of pulmonary medicine at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is my student,” says Dr Jindal, with just a hint of pride in his voice.
Dr Prabhakar, who hails from Himachal Pradesh, is among the most distinguished neurologists in the country. His journey into the subject began, in 1975, with a simple question on the origin of headaches.
“The answer is yet to be discovered, but in the search for this question, I have found solutions to other aspects with research on ‘brain stroke among young’ and managing acute cases of stroke in the absence of specialised and sophisticated ‘stroke units’ with equally effective results.”
Now, that they are relinquishing the high chair of the doctor, how do they feel seems like a trivial question to ask. “When I look at our students and the way people discuss our work in the world, I can say it was not a bad innings,” says Dr Jindal with a smile.
Anaesthesia dept head also retires
Dr Jyotsna Wig, sub-dean at the PGIMER and the head of the anaesthesia department, also superannuated on Wednesday. She headed the department for almost a decade.