Doctors play an important role in society. They care about patients and give them proper treatment in a bid to restore patients’ health back to normal through the best practice of medicine. Even in critical condition, doctors give their heart out to save the lives and that’s why they are considered second to God in India.
With vast knowledge, a doctor can diagnose and treat human disease, injuries, ailments, pain and so on. Have you seen a doctor who is working beyond the retirement age? At an age where people calls it quits from their respective professions, Dr. Padmavathi Sivaramakrishna Iyer is working even when she is 98 years old as she sees patients 12 hours in a day for five days in a week.
She is the Director of the National Heart Institute, Delhi and the Founder President of the ‘All India Heart Foundation’. She instilled pride in women’s empowerment as she is the first Women Cardiologist of India in 1954. She had done researches on high blood pressure, rheumatic heart disease, coronary artery and has many publications to her name.
She earned many awards to her credits and she is the first Indian woman cardiologist to set up the first ever Cardiology Clinic in India. She went on to develop the first Cardiology department in an Indian Medical College. She also founded India’s first Heart Foundation to share and spread awareness about diseases of the heart.
Hailing from Burma in Myanmar, Padmavathi Sivaramakrishna Iyer was born in June 20, 1919. Since her childhood, she dreamt of becoming a doctor. She worked hard and fulfilled her dream. After putting years of hard work, she received an MBBS degree from Rangoon Medical College. Then she moved to London in 1949, where she received FRCP from Royal College of Physicians. After that, she moved to Sweden for three months for cardiology courses at Southern Hospital. She was selected for a fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, United States. In 1952, she joined Harvard Medical school (which is Harvard University).
After finishing her MBBS in Rangoon, she had to make a return to India, owing to World war II. Dr. Padmavathi Sivaramakrishna Iyer said, ”We had to run for our lives, literally. My parents were told to vacate the house in 24 hours. The men in the family were left behind and only the women went to TamilNadu and bought a home there. For the next three years, there were no news of the men of our family and when the war ended our family reunited”
As far as her career was concerned, she was offered a lecturer’s post, at Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Medical college in 1952 by Rajkumari Amrit Kour, the then Health Minister. Just within a year of joining, in 1953, she was promoted to Professor of Medicine and she set up North India’s first Catheterization Lab.
In the year 1967, GOI (Government Of India) asked her to take charge as Director-Principal of MAMC where she also set up a Cardiology Department and was awarded the ‘Padma Bhushan’ by GOI in the same year. MAMC has had 26 departments. Do you know that it was Dr.Padmavathi who introduced the DM course in Cardiology, which admits postgraduates. She resigned as Director/Principal of the college in 1978.
Now she is currently an Emeritus Professor of Medical and Cardiology of the University of Delhi. She was awarded ‘Padma Vibhushan’ in 1992 by Government of India. In addition to that, she also received BC Roy Award, Kamala Menon Research Award and D.Sc (Hon) from Madras University. She is also the Director of the National Heart Institute which is India’s and Asia’s first exclusive Heart institute creating and spreading awareness about heart diseases.
Even the age of 98, she is now an epic source of inspiration to women who want to achieve their dreams. With burning desire to become a cardiologist, she never gave up on her dream of becoming the great she always wanted to.
Age is just a number and the 98 years old cardiologist says “I still touch and use my ears and eyes to treat patients, but I have to know technology too. I used to attend at least two global heart conferences in a year to keep myself ‘updated’”.
“Treat medicines as your servant. You shouldn’t let them become your master” says Dr.Padmavathi