Let me recount another incident at St. Bartholomew Hospital.

It was my first day at the hospital and having paid my fees I attended a clinic by Sir T.P. Dunhill, a famous thyroid surgeon. He was allowing students to examine a patient who had ureteric stone and which could be felt by abdominal examination. He allowed 14 English students to palpate the patient's abdomen but when my turn came I was the last one-he said: "I am sorry, the patient is tired”. I pleaded with him, "Sir, I want to learn, I am the last one here". When he refused, I replied: "You are colour conscious. I do not wish to continue here. I am leaving”.

I went straight to the Dean of the Hospital and said: "Sir, I gave you a cheque for 200 guineas two hours ago. Will you please give it back? I do not want to be a student here”. I then narrated what had happened. He asked me to wait outside and then called the Professor of Medicine, Professor of Surgery and finally Dr Dunhill himself.

After 20 minutes he called me in and said: "Dr Mehta, Dr Dunhill will take you to the ward and apologise in front of the students, patients and nurses and will allow you to examine the patient".

"Sir" I told the Dean, "in my country we do not treat our gurus in this fashion. I know what Dr Dunhill is by his reputation and I have come to work and learn from him and therefore I only want a change of his heart. He should forget the colour of my skin”.

Dr Dunhill then took me to the ward and I pleaded with him not to say anything. However, on entering the ward he said: "Gentlemen, my apologies to this doctor from India. Dr Mehta, you may now kindly palpate the patient. I hope you will forgive me". He later became one of my best friends.