#15 – The first and oldest Cardiologist of India – Dr Padmavati

Dr. Padmavati Sivarama Krishna Iyer or fondly known as Dr Padmavati passed away this past Sunday due to Covid-19 at the age of 103. 

She remained a very active woman right till the end, advising patients and doctors and contributing articles to 300 medical journals. She also kept active physically by swimming till the age of 80.

Padma Bhushan in 1967, Padma Vibhushan in 1992, Harvard Medical International Award are few of the long list of accolades she received during her years of service.

The founding member of the National Heart Institute in Delhi was of the strong opinion that heart diseases can be neglected and how it is ignored in India, especially the heart condition of a poor man.

She was the first woman to Graduate from Rangoon Medical College. In 1949, she moved to London as a fellow with Royal College of Physicians. She moved to Baltimore where she trained under the guidance of Dr Helen Taussig, who pioneered the surgeries on babies with congenital heart defects.

In 1952, she joined Harvard Medical School under Dr Paul Dudley White, a pioneer of modern cardiology. In 1953, Dr Padmavati returned to India and began as a lecturer at Delhi’s all women’s Lady Hardinge Medical College and was promoted to Professor of Medicine within a year. She set up north India’s first cardiac catheterisation lab.

In 1967, the Government of India asked her to take over as Director-Principal of Maulana Azad Medical College (MAMC) where she also set up a Cardiology Department. MAMC had 26 departments and it was Dr Padmavati who introduced the DM course in Cardiology, which admits postgraduates.

Source: Dr Padmavati passes away

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