A doctor’s mission to reconnect his students with their past

  • Vishav Bharti, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 21, 2015 13:19 IST

While handing over a report card to PGIMER’s former dean Dr Vinay Sakhuja, eminent nephrologist Dr KS Chugh told him: “Now go and show it to your grandchildren that what kind of a student you were.” The hall burst into laughters. Thankfully, Dr Sakhuja hadn’t scored badly as a student.

Not keeping well, at 83, Dr Chugh is on a new mission these days. He is trying to locate, find and getting connected to each of his student to hand over the confidential report of each of them he prepared while teaching them at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.

Dr Chugh is fondly called father of nephrology in India for single handedly first separating this discipline from medicine and then developing this into a super-specialty in the country.

He produced a total of 72 doctorate in medicine (DM) in his career of three decades at the PGIMER before he retired in 1993. Many of his students, who now have become known faces in the field of nephrology, were present.

Just a few days after the Teachers’ Day, for many pioneer nephrologists of the country, it was a time to go giggle, laugh, smile and revisit their student days at PGIMER, Chandigarh, when Dr Chugh passed DR KS CHUGH, eminent nephrologist them the confidential student reports — he used to prepare monthly while heading nephrology department at PGIMER — during an alumni meet of the department last week.

As the department head, he would monitor their progress and would send their confidential reports to dean every two months.

“I loved each of them and I still clearly remember what kind of student each one of them was. So, I kept those reports for the past more than four decades with me,” he says. The PGIMER started a DM course in nephrology in 1969 and the first batch passed out in 1971. Those who were given report cards last week included Dr Chugh’s first student Dr MS Amaresan from Tamil Nadu.

Dr Vinay Sakhuja, who has served PGI at various posts, including dean, head nephrology and officiating director, has been seen only as a teacher in the past four decades at the the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. But, while he accepted the report, he had almost become a young student.

“It was a good idea because after so many years, you reconnect to your past,” he smiled.

Some of Dr Chugh’s students have risen to top posts in the world of nephrology. Like Dr Anupam Agarwal has been elected as president of American Society of Nephrology, which is the largest body of nephrologists in the world, there are many such names.

Now, he has made it a task to hand over report card of each student in next few months. He said that sometime back he gathered his students from South India at Thiruvanathapuram and handed over them reports. “Those who couldn’t attend the alumni meet last week, I will send them the reports through mail,” he said.

Vishav Bharti, Doctor, Dr KC Chugh, Doctor, news, hindustantimes

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