Annals of Pediatric Cardiology
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Table of Contents   
OBITUARY  
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 330-331
Professor Ivatury Mritunjay Rao


Department of Pediatric & Congenital Heart Surgery, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi, India

Click here for correspondence address and email

Date of Web Publication10-Sep-2018
 

How to cite this article:
Iyer KS. Professor Ivatury Mritunjay Rao. Ann Pediatr Card 2018;11:330-1

How to cite this URL:
Iyer KS. Professor Ivatury Mritunjay Rao. Ann Pediatr Card [serial online] 2018 [cited 2018 Dec 14];11:330-1. Available from: http://www.annalspc.com/text.asp?2018/11/3/330/240836






On July 5, India lost one of its pioneering pediatric heart surgeons. After devoting his lifetime to repairing and healing malformed hearts, Professor Ivatury Mritunjay Rao, known fondly as IM to his friends and colleagues, succumbed finally to the frailty of his own heart.

Professor Rao was born in Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. Influenced by his father who was a renowned physician and surgeon, he chose to study medicine and went on to pursue a career in surgery. Cardiac surgery was an emerging specialty in the early 60s and the exploits of the pioneering cardiac surgeons drew a young Rao like a magnet. He joined the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to learn under the legendary Professor N. Gopinath and after his training went on to became a faculty member in the department – a position he occupied for the next 25 years.

His deep interest in congenital heart disease took him to Greenlane Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand, to learn the techniques of repairing heart defects in infants and small children from another legendary surgeon – Sir Brian Barratt Boyes. From then on, his efforts were directed toward establishing the specialty of pediatric and congenital heart surgery at the AIIMS. The challenges were many, but his dedication and inherent skills eventually bore fruit and the AIIMS became the Mecca for babies and children suffering from heart disease. In many ways, he became the face of pediatric cardiac surgery in India those days.

Professor Rao was a brilliant and gifted surgeon. He was known for his deep understanding of the nature of congenital heart disease and for the many innovations he introduced. He was a passionate teacher and the scores of surgeons whom he trained doted on him and cherished every moment that they spent with him inside and outside the operating room. As a surgeon, he was a perfectionist and many compared the smooth movements of his hands to the elegance of a conductor of a symphony orchestra. He was immensely liked and respected by all his colleagues in his department as well as other departments at the AIIMS.

My association with him had beginnings in my days as a medical student at the AIIMS. He always arrived in class in immaculate attire and delivered his lectures in flowery and flawless English. In later years as a young cardiac surgeon, he channeled my interests toward surgery for congenital heart disease and enabled my decision to make that my career path. He remained a mentor and close friend throughout his life.

After his tenure at the AIIMS, he went on to set up a pediatric cardiac unit in Mafraq in Abu Dhabi which very rapidly gained a reputation for being the best of its kind in the region. He returned thereafter to his home state and settled in Hyderabad. He continued his association with children with heart disease, helping two of his trainees to set up pediatric cardiac programs in the city. He remained and active member and advisor to the Pediatric Cardiac Society for India and was honored by the Society for his lifetime contributions.

His wife Dr. Meera Rao who is a well-known radiologist was a strong support through all his years of struggle. He was very much a family man who loved to spend time with his son and daughter, who no doubt will feel the vacuum left by his departure.

With his passing on, India lost one of its most talented cardiac surgeon, teacher, mentor, and above all a devoted father and husband. May his soul rest in peace.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



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Correspondence Address:
Dr. Krishna Subramony Iyer
Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, Okhla Road, New Delhi - 110 025
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/apc.APC_129_18

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