Chandigarh, March 21
Dr Iqbal Chand Pathak, former Director, PGIMER, Prof Emeritus and founder chairman of Department of Paediatric Surgery at the hospital, passed away here today. He was 97.
Born in a small village of Punjab on April 7, 1925, Dr Pathak did his graduation from the Medical College, Amritsar, and received higher training in paediatric surgery from the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London.
He joined the PGIMER in 1962 as an assistant professor in surgery and subsequently, established an independent paediatric surgery department in June 1968, one of the earliest in the northwest India. Dr Pathak was appointed as the PGIMER Director in 1981, a post he held till his retirement in 1985.
He was the honorary surgeon to the President of India from 1983-85. He received senior commonwealth fellowship, England, and Fellowship of National Academy of Medical sciences in 1975. He was recipient of many awards, honours, orations as well as fellowships and continued to receive accolades well after his retirement, including RK Gandhi Gold Medal Award in 2006.
Dr Pathak remained the president of the Association of Paediatric Surgeons of India from 1977-78. He was elected as the chairman and managing trustee of the TTV Chuttani Charitable Trust in 1996.
Even at the age of 97, he continued to work happily from nine to two, six days a week looking after the trust and its hospital, providing consultations to patients and sharing his extensive expertise in helping others.
A music lover and an avid collector of vocal and instrumental albums, Dr Pathak is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, who are also successful medical professionals.
With his passing away, the paediatric surgery fraternity in India has lost a charismatic teacher, pioneer and a mentor. In his memory, a condolence meeting was held at the PGI.
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