I had the good fortune to work under renowned surgeons like Dr A.V. Baliga, Dr G.M. Phadke, Dr S.G. Joshi and Dr R. J. Katrak, among others. I will recount certain instances of how they went systematically about their work.

One day a patient involved in a car accident was admitted in our ward. He had developed kidney failure due to crush injury. Dr R.N. Cooper came to see him in the evening and told me that he had read an article on how to handle such cases in a book on recent advances in  surgery. I regretted my inability to get hold of the book as the library was closed by that time, Dr. Cooper was not satisfied with my answer. He told me to call him up at his residence at 9 p.m. When I did so, he read out the entire chapter of that book to me slowly, asking me to jot down the relevant treatment modalities. Such was his devotion to his profession and his concern for patients.


One day Dr A.V. Baliga was exploring an abdomen for a pancreatic tumour. Other surgeons had given up the case but Dr Baliga went ahead with the surgery which lasted for over 10 hours. I was then assisting him. Half way through he suggested that I could go out for a quick lunch but he went about his work systematically without any let, until he had finished the job. He then told me that I should call him at his residence around midnight as he was dining out at a friend's home, to apprise him about the condition of the patient. Such was his involvement in public hospital patients.

This was also the case with Dr G.M. Phadke. Once he had to operate on a railway porter for intestinal obstruction. The patient developed complications in the evening. When Dr Phadke was informed, dropping all other work, he rushed back to the hospital. He was in the O.R. till about midnight. Early next morning, around 6 a.m. he was back again to check on his patient. He insisted on doing the aspiration of the stomach himself to convince himself that all was well. It was a matter of satisfaction to all of us, including, of course, Dr Phadke himself that the patient could be discharged, smiling and happy.