K. M. Cherian- The Padma Shri awardee Heart Surgeon having 46000+ heart surgeries under his credit

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By News Desk, Neucrad Health India November 3, 2019

In a bid to celebrate the exemplary contribution of world-famous physicians, let us throw some light on the life of the distinguished heart surgeon- Dr K. M. Cherian. During his illustrious medical career, he has performed more than 46000+ heart surgeries offering a fresh lease of life to numerous patients. The Government of India proudly acknowledged his selfless service to humanity by conferring him the Padma Shri award in 1991. The eminent cardiologist was also the personal surgeon for the President of India from 1990 to 1993.

Early Life and Medical Studies

Dr Cherian was born on 8 March 1942 as Kotturathu Mammen Cherian in Kerala. His father used to work at the Kannan Devan Tea, and his mother was a homemaker. He grew up and attended his school amidst the hills of Munnar. Dr Cherian accomplished his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from the prestigious Kasturba Medical College, Manipal in 1965. After this, in 1970, he attained his Master of Surgery (MS) in General Surgery from the University Of Mysore in 1970. In 1975, the Padma Shri awardee performed the first coronary artery bypass surgery in the country. Medical fraternities all across India consider him as the pioneer of Paediatric Cardiac Surgery in India. During his 54 years of medical career, he has conducted thousands of challenging cardiac surgeries saving patients from complicated health conditions.

Illustrious Medical Career in Abroad

Dr Cherian started his medical career as a lecturer in surgery at the popular Christian Medical College Hospital in Vellore. He wanted to gain further knowledge in Cardiology and achieved the Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) from the world-famous Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Sydney in 1973. After this, he worked in several reputed medical institutions in the United States and New Zealand. The famous physician served as a Special Fellow in Paediatric Cardiac Surgery in Birmingham, Alabama. During that period he got an opportunity to work under several celebrated doctors, including Dr John W. Kirklin and Dr Albert Starr of the University of Oregon. He also rendered medical knowledge as a visiting professor at the Yangzhou University, China.

Coming back to India for Serving the Motherland

After an illustrious career in Cardiology at various reputed institutions all across the globe, Dr Cherian returned to India to help patients facing complicated cardiothoracic conditions. He refused many tempting job opportunities at the University of Cincinnati and the Lahey Clinic to serve his motherland. He also founded the Frontier Lifeline Hospital, Chennai in 1995 and the Dr K M Cherian Heart Foundation. These two hospitals were leading medical facilities offering special attention to Cardiology. The Padma Shri awardee conducted the first heart-lung transplantation surgery and the first paediatric cardiac operation in India. He was also the pioneer of the TMR or Laser Heart Surgery in India. From 1987 to 2003, Dr Cherian served as the Founder Vice-President of Madras Medical Mission, and the Founder Chairman of Pondicherry Institute of Medical Sciences. 

Awards and Recognition

As already pointed out, the Government of India conferred the Padma Shri to Dr Cherian for his incredible services in the field of Medicine. He also received a lifetime achievement award from his Alma Mater, Kasturba Medical College in June 2000. Harvard Medical School acknowledged Dr Cherian’s exemplary contribution in the field of Cardiology and bestowed him with Harvard Medical Excellence Award in 2005. Finally, in 2010, he became the first Indian to get appointed as the president of the World Society of Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons.

 This was, in brief, the life of the famous cardiologist and Padma Shri awardee of India- Dr K. M. Cherian. It is because of exceptionally talented doctors like him, millions of heart patients can enjoy a second lease of life.

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