PGIMER director Dr Jagat Ram retires
Dr Jagat Ram, director, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), retired on Saturday after over four decades in the profession. He served as the PGIMER director for four years and seven months and worked in various other capacities at the institute for 38 years.
Dr Ram has been awarded with 35 national and international awards, including ‘Oscar in pediatric ophthalmology’ in Barcelona in 2015 and ‘Best of the Best Award’ in San Francisco in 2013 and again at New Orleans in 2016 for his trailblazing work in the world of cataract surgery. In 2018-19, Dr Ram was also awarded the prestigious Padma Shri by the President of India for his significant contributions in the field of medicine.
Joining PGIMER in the department of ophthalmology in 1979 as resident doctor to becoming a prominent faculty in 1994, head of the department in 2015 and finally the director of PGIMER in March 2017, Dr Ram accomplished several exemplary feats during his 42-year-long journey with the institute, which include his visit to USA for a World Health Organisation (WHO) fellowship in advanced phacoemulsification in 1993 and then award of a second fellowship in 1998 in pediatric cataract surgery.
In 1994, Dr Jagat Ram introduced the technique of phacoemulsification by replacing the older method of extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE), while working at PGIMER as a faculty member. Almost a year later, he began to use the method to operate patients suffering from cataract blindness and was able to successfully restore their vision. In the last four decades, Dr Ram has successfully conducted over 90,000 cataract surgeries in adult patients and over 10,000 surgical procedures on children. He has also offered free eye-care services in over 130 relief and screening camps in rural areas. However, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Dr Ram was criticised for admitting limited patients to the institute and for delaying the resumption of non-Covid services, especially reopening of the walk-in outpatient department of the institute.
“The 42-year long journey in PGIMER is memorable. This is an institute of national importance, and a certain depth of dedication is required to be here where ethics cannot be compromised. Due to our team’s dedication, PGIMER has been the second-best medical institution in the country for four years successively,” said Dr Ram.
Meanwhile, Dr Surjit Singh, head, department of pediatrics, PGIMER, has been given the officiating charge for the post of the director, from November 1 (Monday), for a period of six months or till such time the regular director is appointed, whichever is earlier.