Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital

Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College and King Edward Memorial Hospital

King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital ( )is amongst the foremost teaching and medical care providing institutions in India. It was founded in 1926 in Mumbai.

The medical school (Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College) provides training to about 2000 students in undergraduate, postgraduate and superspeciality medical courses; in undergraduate and postgraduate physical therapy and occupational therapy; Master's and PhD courses in various allied specialties. A nursing school is also maintained by these institutions.

The history of these institutions is closely related to India's struggle for freedom from the British. When qualified Indian nationals were denied attachments as teachers and doctors to the then only Medical College in Bombay (Mumbai), the Grant Medical College, a few pioneering Indian doctors, who had returned from the UK with medical degrees, set about founding a medical college of their own to which only Indian nationals would be admitted as teachers and doctors - this culminated in the establishment of the Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College through a munificent donation from the heirs of Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas - a wealthy Bombay merchant.

With about 390 staff physicians and 550 resident doctors, the 1800 bedded hospital treats about 1.8 million out-patients and 78,000 in-patients annually and provides both basic care and advanced treatment facilities in all fields of medicine and surgery.

Funded mainly by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, these institutions render yeomen service - virtually free of cost - mostly to the underprivileged sections of the society.

Genesis and Foundation

In 1907, under the Police Charges Act, the work of medical relief within the city of Bombay was entrusted to the Municipal Corporation. In 1909, an ad hoc committee of the corporation decided that the time had come for the provision of a fully equipped hospital to meet the growing needs of the north of the island. On 6 May 1910, Edward VII died. He had visited India as Prince of Wales in 1876. The people of the Presidency raised a fund to build a hospital in memory of the late king. The secretaries of the memorial committee asked the Municipal Corporation to use the fund (Rs 575,000) for building the proposed hospital. The Government of Bombay donated 50,000 square yards of land on the estate of the Government House at Parel. (Till then, this former residence of the Governor of Bombay housed the Bombay Bacteriological Laboratory-later to become the Haffkine Institute.)

About that time, Sir Pherozshah Mehta, Sir Chimanlal Setalvad and Sir Narayan Chandavarkar helped settle a dispute among the successors of Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas of the Mulji Jetha family. As a token of gratitude, the heirs offered Rs 1,200,000 for the foundation of a medical school, named after Seth Gordhandas to be associated with the proposed hospital. At the instance of Sir Pherozshah Mehta, the donors also insisted that the professors and teachers to be employed should all be properly qualified independent Indian gentlemen not in government service. The Municipality approached the Bombay Medical Union for a detailed scheme for the organization of the medical college and hospital. Dr Jivraj Mehta, just returned from London after obtaining an MD degree, was approached by the union. He suggested a radical departure from the traditional design of teaching hospitals in India where isolated blocks housed separate departments. Dr. Mehta proposed that the entire medical college be housed in one large building and the hospital (including the out-patient block) in a separate building. This would facilitate coordination between the various departments. The two buildings were to be interconnected by covered corridors so that patients, students and staff could easily go from one building to another during heavy monsoon rains. (The Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital were the first multistoreyed institutions of their kind. The KEM Hospital was the first Indian hospital housing the out-patient department within the main hospital building.)

The plans were submitted to WA Pite who had designed the Kings College Hospital in London and was then a leading authority on hospital construction. The local architect was George Wittet. In those days it was thought that if an architect happened to be an Englishman, he was not only a fit person to draw up plans for a hospital but also to select its equipment. Wittet drew up a long list of equipment to be imported from England, including even ordinary beds for the wards, lockers and mobile screens.

The equipment committee (consisting of Dr Rustom Cooper, Dr PT Patel and Col. Hamilton) insisted on obtaining most items from Bombay. Wittet strongly expressed his resentment but was disregarded. When the hospital and the college were formally inaugurated on 22 January 1926, Wittet was presented a gold cigarette case by the Governor of Bombay, Sir Leslie Orme Wilson, in appreciation of his services. In the very first week, however, a large piece of the plastered ceiling of the operation theatre came down and within the first fortnight, the tiled floor cracked! The total cost of construction of the hospital was Rs 2,527,699 and that of the college Rs 1,364,574.

In making the first appointments to the staff, the Municipal Corporation was largely guided by Dr. GV Deshmukh—a very active member of the corporation and also a big noise in the profession (Cooper). Dr Jivraj Mehta was elected Dean of the college and hospital. The first batch of teachers included Dr MDD Gilder, Dr PC Bharucha, Dr. AS Erulkar, Dr PT Patel, Dr GV Deshmukh, Dr RN Cooper, Dr VL Parmar, Dr NA Purandare, Dr. VR Khanolkar and Dr. BB Yodh, who, according to Dr Jivraj Mehta, were individuals of the highest capability and deepest integrity. There was a great bond of striving towards a common aim—-ensuring a brilliant success for these institutions. Remember, these were the first medical institutions in the country staffed by Indians at the professorial and other levels and there was a great sense of pride in all of us.

The list of members of the staff in 1926 shows their designations as Honorary surgeon and lecturer in surgery, Honorary physician and lecturer in medicine and so on. Dr Rustom Cooper explained: To ensure smooth working, some departures from accepted policies were instituted. It was the usual practice in hospitals to have surgeons in order of seniority. The senior surgeon became, ipsottfacto, professor of surgery. The surgeons at the KEM Hospital decided differently. It was resolved to drop the high sounding title of professor and call the surgeons just lecturers. It must be said to the credit of Drs GV Deshmukh and AP Bacha that, though they had a senior standing in the profession, they agreed to this arrangement. This plan was accepted by all the other departments and has been responsible for the great fellow-feeling that has always prevailed. Many heartaches and petty jealousies were thus averted.

Part of the success was also due to the extraordinary qualities of Dr Jivraj Mehta. “I would come over to the hospital in the middle of the night . . . keep my car outside the hospital compound so that no one knew in advance of my presence and moved about the hospital, entering the wards through the servants staircase to check for myself that no one on duty misused his time. I preferred using the small, winding staircases near the toilet blocks so that I could check on the sanitary facilities. Call books were checked regularly and doctors not attending within a reasonable period were disciplined. I would taste the patient’s food from time to time and walk into the students hostel and resident’s quarters at midnight to see how they lived and worked. ...”

However, since those times and till this date, with increasing number of students, there have been many protests by resident doctors and under-graduates about the dismal living conditions prevailing in the institute, going into the hostels where the doctors return after a day and possibly many days and nights of toil, one can say that there must indeed be nobility in the medical profession that they all shall return tomorrow to their patients and give them service of life

Past Deans of the institutions

*Dr. Jivraj N Mehta
*Dr JP Padshah
*Dr. RP Koppikar
*Dr. RG Dhayagude
*Dr. SG Vengsarker

*Dr. dd Joglekar
*Dr. dd Rindani
*Dr. dd Deshpande
*Dr. GB Parulkar
*Dr. PM Pai
*Dr. RG Shirhatti
*Dr. Nilima Kshirsagar
*Dr. M Yeolekar

Some milestones

*Bombay Police Charges Act passed, making it mandatory for municipal corporation to provide medical relief

*Municipal corporation asked by committee to put up proposal for hospital

*Governor of Bombay appealed for donation in memory of King Edward VII

*Memorial Committee decides location of hospital in northern part of the erstwhile island

*Dr Jivraj N Mehta invited by Bombay Medical Union for committee meeting of the proposed hospital

*CR 8246 Passed Proposal for college
*Endowment by Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas

*CR 6575 passed Only Indians to be employed in KEM hospital

*Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College started
*It being the 12th medical college in India

*Seth GS Medical College and King Edward VII Memorial Hospital inaugurated
*KEM VII M Hospital actually started
*College affiliated to University of Bombay
*Training center for nurses
*Staff Honorary
*46 students
*28 RMOs
*100 Beds In hospital
*Gymkhana of college had 8 departments

*Poor Box Charity Fund started
*Nurses Training recognized
*Post Graduation Commenced in Ophthalmology and Pathology with diploma and Degree Respectively
*260 beds in hospital
*Maternity cases shifted to Wadia

*Hospital pharmacopoeia published
*MD, MS recognized
*First blood transfusion at KEMH

*Annual Sports Day started
*Clinical term for pediatrics in Wadia Children’s Hospital
*BSc affiliated to university of Bombay

*Staff Society started as Bahadurji society

*Circle duty system for nurses started

*80 students admitted
*Pathology Museum christened Seth Jamnadas Lallubhai

*Social Welfare Center started
*First college magazine released
*Biochemistry and Biophysics incorporated

*Co-operative credit society started
*Formal Instructions for MD Course started

*RMOs Mess started

*370 beds in hospital
*Accommodation for 28 students in ladies hostel

*66 PG students
*426 beds in hospital

*Tata Hospital started
*Skin ward started

*Blood Bank started

*Ward 17, 18 started

*456 beds in hospital

*Radiology Dept at no 10

*Sion Hospital started with 50 beds under KEMH

*Formal Inauguration of Sion hospital with 100 beds
*Past Gosumecs society started
*Psychiatry OPD started
*DA Bombay University started at KEM

*Gymkhana Seth GSMC had cultural dept as 10th unit

*Old RMO Quarters started in place of the then Nurses’ Home
*D.M.R.E. started
*Seth GSMC Gymkhana canteen started

*Gift Shop Started
*Dr NA Purandare stadium constructed on college play ground
*Psychaitry in-patient

*Research Society started from Silver Jubilee Fund

*RBI ward started
*EEG Machine obtained in psychiatry department
*1st Intracardiac operation in India performed at KEM Hospital
*Neurology ward started

* Journal of Postgraduate Medicine started

*Full Time departments started
*First radioisotope unit in city at KEM Hospital
*Obstetric ward created
*76 RMOs

*Blood group research center started
*First municipal employees (Labour) strike

*WD 15A gynaec extension ward started
*Convalescent home occupied
*Non residential system for nurses
*Padma Bhushan to Dr RJ Vakil
*separate department of Pediatrics was established in 1958 with two Paediatric Units and a total strength of 48 in patient beds

*Ceremonial opening of convalescent home
*Family Care clinic started by preventive and social medicine department
*Occupational Therapy entrance post inter from post degree

*Mycology Lab started
*Midwifery Training started
*Pyrogen testing unit started in pharmacy department above blood bank
*Psychiatry ward extended
*MD (Pediatrics) started
*First endoscopy unit established

*Biochemistry Department started functioning independently
*Plastic Surgery Department used part of neurosurgery operation theatre
*Home Nursing Classes started for general public
*The first biplane cardiac angiography unit in the country
*The first cardiac and peripheral angiography performed in India

*Ward 19 started
*Auxiliary nurse midwife training started
*Convalescent home converted into orthopedic center
*1st Dialysis unit in Mumbai
*1st open heart VSD correction using extracorporeal circulation

*Child guidance clinic started
*Medical Records Department established

*Under five clinics started
*Mobile Health Care started by the department of preventive and social medicine following an epidemic of gastroenteritis
*Bombay Municipal Blood Center made a separate unit
*Cardio Vascular Thoracic center fifth floor given to nurses
*3 units in Orthopaedic Department
*Orthopedic radiology in OC

*First renal transplantation in India at KEM Hospital
*MD Psychiatry & DPM started

*Cardiovascular Thoracic Center started
*School Health clinic started
*First ICCU in India
*D.M.R.D., D.M.R.T. and M.D. Radiology started
*Image intensifier with TV monitor installed in radiology

*PFT started
*3rd Pediatric unit started
*Chest ward started
*BSc OT & PT started
*Kiil dialyser arrived

*Pediatric surgery ward started in obstetrics -gynecology building
*Neonates totally under care of the pediatric department
*First Liver Transplantation in India at KEM Hospital
*M.D. Anaesthesia started
*World’s 5th and 6th heart transplants

*Staff Society took over journal
*Padmabhushan to Dr. PK Sen

*Post Partum program started
*Well Baby Clinic started
*CVTS Radiology shifted to CVTC
*Neonatal Care Unit started

*Endocrine unit started
*NSS started

*Arthritis clinic started
*Modern blood gas equipment operational
*MCh Pediatric surgery started

*Hiking department added to Gymkhana

*CR Elections started

*Cancer investigation and immunology laboratory started

*Micro ear surgery workshops started

*OT/PT 31/2 year course
* ‘High risk new born’ OPD started

*Malvani (Field practice area for PSM) started
*MCh Urology commenced

*Pediatric Research Laboratory started
*USG in radiology started
*Plastic surgery obtained operating microscope

*World Congress of pediatric surgery held at KEM Hospital
*Electric cautery installed in Skin department
*Burn’s unit started

*Pediatric surgery theatre and intensive care unit started
*All India Annual ISA conference

*DM Endocrinology started

*KEM Hospital became the first teaching institute to start emergency clinical microbiology laboratory services
*Dr. MD Motashaw Renal Transplant and Research Unit started
*Tissue processor and Cryo started in Skin Department

*Library started photocopying facility

*AIDS Surveillance Center initiated

*D.M. Nephrology started
*First test tube baby in India
*Library started audiovisual facility
*First Gastroenterology Oration in city started at KEM Hospital
*First national workshop on endoscopic sclerothrapy held
*Geropsychaitric consultation started
*Special binocular microscope came in Skin

*National Plasma Fractionation Center started
*HIV/AIDS Surveillance center started

*Library added computer facility
*Hormone Assay laboratory started

*Gastroenterology department given 25 beds in multistoreyed building
*Level II neonatal care unit started
*RMO quarter in multistoreyed building
*Residency system started

*Central Clinical Biochemical laboratory established
*Shidori started
*Urology department shifted to multistoryed building

*International workshop on laparoscopic cholecystectomy held
*Esophageal laboratory with manometry facilities started in gastroenterology department
*Level III pediatric intensive care unit started
*Level III neonatal intensive care unit started

*Janus started
*CT Scan obtained
*Medical Intensive Care Unit upgraded to
*Medical -Neurology- Neurosurgery ICU
*DCH started
*Library added MEDLINE facility
*MET Cell started
*PSM started general OPD

*DM Neonatology started
*Yoga classes started

1995 Website inaugurated
*Spine OT complex started
*pH studies in esophagus started

*Immunoperoxidase techniques used in Skin

*Cadaver kidney transplant performed
*E-Mail and Internet facility started in the library
*Dr. B.C. Roy Award to Dr. G.B. Parulekar (most eminent medical man of the year)
*Female deaddiction ward started

*BOTh BPTh 41/2 year course under MUHS
*Padmabhushan to Dr GB Parulkar
*M.D Forensic Medicine started

*D.M. Hematology course approved at KEMH
*Laminar airflow started in Mycology laboratory

*A specialised Emergency Medical Service was started
*Humane approach to neonatal care started
*Dhanvantari award to Dr. I.N. Hinduja
*New department of Surgical Gastroenetrology established2001
*Intranet and Internet Facility inaugurated

*Platinum Jubilee year
*GOSUMEC Foundation (Alumni Association) started in USA
*Old Pediatric intensive care unit is renovated into State of the art Pediatric intensive care unit with capacity to cater up to 10 beds with most advanced intensive care. []
*Multislice Spiral CT scanner installed

*Biplane angigraphy system installed

*Flat panel cardiac cath lab inaugurated
*MRI installed

*New Ultrasonography section started

* President Mr Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan singh visit bomb blast victims
* DNB degree in Surgical Gastroenterology introduced
* Gosumeet 2006 - 80 years anniversary celebrated

* A tastefully renovated, OPD block inaugurated on the first floor of the main building - the forerunner of the complete make-over of GSMC and KEMH over the next 5-10 years.
* Ambitious renovation of the college building started. The offices, lecture halls and museums (amongst others) will be totally renovated with restorstion of the stately stone building to the glory that it deserves.

ome proud moments

*The first Indian Medical College of modern medicine to be fully staffed by qualified Indian doctors.
*The first Occupational Therapy School in Asia
*The first Physiotherapy School in Southeast Asia
*The first Plasma Fractionation Unit in Asia
*The first Indian hospital to have an Ayurveda Research Centre in conjunction with an allopathic set-up
*The first Indian Medical College and Hospital having an indexed medical journal (Journal of Postgraduate Medicine)
*The only Department of Sexology for a billion people
*The first clinical pharmacology ward in the country
*The first dedicated Orthopaedic department in the country
*The first department of Cardio-thoracic Pathology in India
*The first Nutrition Research Unit attached with a physiology department in India
*The first department of cardiovascular and thoracic anaesthesia in India
*First specialized epilepsy surgery department in Western India
*First department of interventional electrophysiology in western India
*First dedicated Esophageal Laboratory in the country
*First Intensive Cardiac Care Unit in India
*The first Indian hospital to perform a live donor kidney transplant in India
*The first Indian hospital to perform heart transplant surgery
*The first liver transplant in India (1968)
*The first documented test-tube baby in India
*The first Indian hospital to acquire an ECG machine
*The first mitral commisurotomy in India (1952)
*The first Indian hospital to perform craniofacial surgery
*Pioneering work on the use of diethylcarbamazine in tropical eosinophilia
*Pioneering work on the use of Rauwolffia serpentina in hypertension
*First balloon atrial septostomy procedure in the country
*First balloon dilatation of cor-triatriatum in the world
*First fetal echocardiography-guided interventional therapy in the country
*First transcatheter closure of ASD in Western India
*The first cadaveric temporal bone and micro ear surgery workshops (1976)
*The first Department of Preventive and Social Medicine to start a Mobile Health Unit in India (1964)
*Highest annual processing of blood samples in India (about 36,000/year in 1998, 1999)
*Highest annual collection of blood unit in India (about 30,000/year in 1998, 1999)
*Highest number of blood donation camps held by a single blood bank in India
*Single largest collection in India with a single Blood Bank in a day: 5679 units of blood
*Pioneering work on in-vitro testing of Indian hepatoprotective agents
*First intravenous anesthesia with Thipentone sodium (1940s)
*First hypothermia technique for ASD (1953)
*First All India Conference of Indian Society of Anesthetists (1949)
*First total spinal technique for controlled hypotension (1954)
*Largest numbers of presidents of Indian Society of Anesthetists from a single Institution (five)
*First cardiac catherisation in India 1959-60
*Pioneering work on recreation of reptilean heart vascular pattern in mammalian heart (1965)
*Pioneering work on the association of tuberculosis with non-specific aortoarteritis (1963)
*First interventional radiological procdures in India 1975
*Discovery of Bombay Blood group
*Pioneering work on release and grafting of trismus in submucus fibrosis

ource and acknowledgement

On the wings of time .... A saga of Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital 1926-2001: The Platinum Jubilee Souvenir of the Institutions

ee also

*Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
*Medical College (India)
*Medical school
*Residency (medicine)

External links

* [ Insitutions' Website]

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