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NRI doctor who touched hearts of thousands of patients

A Glasgow surgeon, Doraiswamy is to retire soon - and there is a welter of emotion among local people.

india Updated: Sep 29, 2005 12:13 IST

Doctors from India working in Britain's National Health Service are among the most popular health professionals, and Nanjappachetty Doraiswamy in Glasgow is the latest example of this.

A pioneering surgeon, Doraiswamy is to retire Nov 23 after 41 years of service - and there is a welter of emotion among the local population as the date approaches.

He has been Yorkhill's senior-most accident and emergency consultant and has treated thousands of children, many of them in serious conditions.

The local media is covering his forthcoming retirement, with interviews and anecdotes from his patients and colleagues.

Doraiswamy told the Evening Times of Glasgow that he has never been sick all his time in service and has never had a day off. He has also never had a cough or sneeze.

"I have never had a day off for sick leave in my life," he said. He admits that this is something incredible.

Doraiswamy has a simple secret for his attendance: he loves his job.

His colleagues admit Yorkhill will be hard to imagine without the man known affectionately by patients and staff alike as "Mr. D".

Apart from his skills in treating children, he helped train a generation of doctors who can talk to children at their own level.

He said: "You have got to reach out to children. Me, I watch all the cartoons, all the children's TV.

"If a child comes in, you ask about Spiderman, Superman or Shrek.

"When I first started out, I tried all the departments to see what I liked most. But there is nothing like treating a child.

"They'll come to see you, frightened of the white coat and the needles. And then you take away their pain and they smile - immediately. I am going to miss the children."

Doraiswamy puts down a lot of his success to his own three children, now grown up.

In his job, he has also battled to make it all safer for children.

His biggest bugbear is the number of children who lose their fingers in doors - literally hundreds every year - and he has designed new doors that are safer for kids.

"I am very proud of my achievements," he said.

Working in India, England, Kuwait and Scotland, he has devised several important new surgical procedures.

More than 20 years ago, Doraiswamy pioneered efforts that used balloons to avoid surgery in newborns who had problems with their bladders.

Along with three colleagues, he has also set up Scotland's first Hindu temple, currently based in Partick Burgh Hall.

Hundreds of Indian families from all over Scotland flock to pray together at the shrine and to learn to speak, read and write the languages of southern India.

First Published: Sep 29, 2005 11:30 IST