September 21, 2010

INDIA: Doctor, at 65, finally on course to be specialist

MUMBAI, Maharashtra / The Times of India / Never Too Late / September 21, 2010

A 65-year-old man — grandfather of two — personifies the adage that it is never too late to learn.

Almost six years into his retirement, Dr Murali Manohar Saxena was tired of his sedentary post-retirement life at home. He was also very upset to witness people dying of cardiac ailments, only because they failed to get treatment at the right time due to shortage of doctors.

So, finally last month, he left behind his comfortable life in Lucknow to start a new career. Last month, Dr MMS, as fondly addressed by his classmates and doctors, got selected for a two-year diploma course in clinical cardiology at Jupiter Hospital in Thane. ''Heart patients do not have much time when they suffer an attack. So, I want to save as many lives I can,'' he says.

Having served as a medical officer in a public sector unit in Lucknow for over 20 years, Saxena could not pursue specialised medical courses, given his family commitments. ''My priority was that I had to look after my family. Now that everyone is settled, there could not have been a better time to get started a fresh,'' he said.

Incidentally, he has asked permission not to attend classes for a few days for his younger son's marriage in December. Though he has been participating in the wedding preparations, he is concentrating more on the classes and seems to be rather glad to have his ''student life'' back.

Saxena shares a hostel room with two students, younger than his children. However, their age-gap, he says, did not come in the way while forging new bonhomie as they are ''friendly and cooperative''. ''Many of them call me 'uncle' out of respect,'' he said.

Copyright © 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd