Dr KK Aggarwal, Editor in Chief eMedinewS and IMA News in conversation with Dr Yash Gulati, Sr Consultant Joint Replacement & Spine Surgeon, Coordinator Division of Joint Replacement, Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi. Dr Yash Gulati has been honored with Dr BC Roy National Award for the year 2008 under the category of ‘Outstanding Services in the field of Socio-Medico Relief’. How does it feel being conferred one of the most prestigious awards in the medical field? I feel humbled. Gives me energy to work with greater gusto and to work with dedication and integrity. Tell us about your journey so far. जुसतजु हो तो सफ़र कहाँ ख़त्म होता है वरना हर मोड़ पेमँजिल का ग़ुमा होता है I am an alumni of prestigious Maulana Azad Medical College, Delhi. I did my MCh (Orthopedics) from University of Liverpool, England and Diploma in Sports Medicine from Royal College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland. I super specialized in Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery, Microdiscectomy for Slip Disc and correction of Spine Deformities. After having worked for number of years in England and Republic of Ireland and doing fellowships in different countries, I returned to India to join Apollo hospital right from its inception. I popularized the Gyroscope-based Pin Less Navigation for knee replacement in India, a technique which allows accurate positioning of implants with less chances of embolism and blood loss. The shelf life of knee replacement is also likely to increase because of accurate placement, especially in complex cases. Another contribution of mine is setting up of the Dept. of Spine Surgery in medical college, Aligarh Muslim University where tremendous work is being done now. I also have the honor of being the first Indian orthopedic surgeon to have done Endoscopic Disc surgery for Slipped Disc in India. I have contributed a number of scientific papers both in the Indian and Foreign journals and have the largest series cases in India for Total Hip Replacement in Sickle Cell Disease. I have also been a teaching faculty for numerous Orthopedic Conferences in India and abroad. Along the way, I have held various positions as the President of Delhi Orthopedic Association and Chairman, Implants Committee, Indian Bureau of Standards, Honorary Consultant to Indian Armed forces, Honorary Consultant to Border Security Force and was Adjunct Professor, Indira Gandhi national Open University (IGNOU). I have travelled to more than 20 countries to promote “Medical Tourism” in India and encourage people to come to India for treatment especially for complex problems. In 1999, I anchored a popular talk show on Doordarshan called “High Tech Surgery – Dr Yash Gulati Health Show”. This was the first time that a medical show in India had live audience participation, questions on telephone and demonstration of high tech surgeries. In my role as Trustee for the “Varishth Nagrik Kesri Club”, a well-known social organization, I have been involved in spreading awareness about medico-social problems in elderly. I have been Senior Consultant at Division of Joint Replacement & Division of Spine surgery, Orthopedics, Apollo Hospital, New Delhi for 18 years and Advisor Orthopedics, Apollo Group of Hospitals. I am also a visiting Senior Specialist Orthopedic Surgery at RAK Hospital, United Arab Emirates. I was awarded the Padma Shri by President of India in the year 2009. I started from a humble background. And, coming so far is like a dream come true. What were the early challenges faced by you in your career? How did you manage to overcome them? There were a few hiccups, but otherwise no major problems. Settling in private practice and to keep up with academic activities was a bit of a challenge, but it was important to do both and with God's grace, I was able to do it. Tell us about your family. How important has been the role of your family in your journey? My wife Dr Renu is an Associate Prof. Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi and teaches Human Development. She has been extremely supportive and without her support I could not have progressed. She is also an Advisor to Delhi Public School Society, Vice President of Varishtha Nagrik Kesri Club for elderly and is doing voluntary work with Delhi Police Woman Welfare Society. My daughter Nitya is doing Fellowship in Pediatric Heme-Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering, New York. My son, Sukrit, did his Engineering and Masters in Finance from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA and is now working with KPMG, India. My son-in-law, Jas Karan, is doing his MCh Cardiothoracic Surgery from Sion Hospital, Mumbai. My parents, Smt Padma (School teacher) and Shri Jai Diyal Gulati (government servant ... Administrative Officer) retired from service long ago and are socially active. What would be your message to the community? My message to the medical community..... Do good work and maintain dignity of the profession. My motto ... ‘Do it Right’. Given a chance, what changes would you like to bring about in health policies? Some changes that I would like to bring about in health policy are: • Health Insurance for all • Less duty on imported medical instruments, implants and drugs • Incentivize indigenous manufacture of medical equipment and implants • Do not discourage doctors from going abroad for training. No bonds (they serve no useful purpose)… some may not come back, but still support families here. And, those who come back after training, add quality. It’s a win-win situation for the country. This is the policy for engineers, other professions ... So why should it be different for the medical profession? • Strict vigil on standard of private medical education. They are welcome to earn money but must bring out doctors at par with international standards. • Common entrance exam for UG and PG medical courses. This will bring up the standards and is good for national unity!!! Let people move between states. In fact, this should happen for types of higher education. Let everybody be eligible in every college in the country. What advice would you give to youngsters? • Have integrity • Maintain dignity. • Do not compromise with standards. • Do good work - Money will follow. It cannot be the other way round! जो अपनी फ़िकर* को ऊँची उड़ान देता है खुदा भी उसे खुला आसमान देता है * thought process / aim.