Dr. Saroj Chooramani Gopal

President, National Academy of Medical Sciences (India).

Dr. Saroj Chooramani Gopal, is an Indian medical doctor, medical educationist and considered as the first woman M.ch paediatric surgeon from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi in the country. She is currently the President, National Academy of Medical Sciences (India). She was honoured by the Government of India, in 2013, by bestowing on her the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, for her contributions to the fields of medicine and medical education.

Saroj Chooramani Gopal was born on 25 July 1944, in the pilgrim city of Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India. After schooling, she chose a career in medicine, graduated from the Sarojini Naidu Medical College, Agra in 1966 and did MS at the same college, in 1969. This was followed by securing MCh in paediatric surgery from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, in 1973, the first woman to obtain a degree in paediatric surgery in India.

Saroj Gopal's career started by joining the faculty of the Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University in 1973 where she worked till her retirement in 2008 as the Medical Superintendent of the medical college hospital and as the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine.That year, she was selected as the Vice Chancellor of the King George's Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow, becoming the first woman to head the university which for a while during the reign of Mayawati, was under the name, the Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University. She retired from the university in 2011.

Scientific and administrative contributions:

Gopal is credited with many low cost innovations intended to benefit the financially compromised people. The National Research Development Corporation, (NRDC) New Delhi have issued patents for six of those innovations to Saroj Gopal. She has also been reported to have invented new surgical techniques and she has published the details of three of such techniques. She helped establish a well equipped Department of Child and New Born Surgery at the Institute of Medical Sciences during her tenure at the institute.

Saroj Gopal is a recipient of many honours such as:

1. Commonwealth Medical Scholarship, 1984

2. Senior Commonwealth Medical Scholarship, 1994

3. INSA Senior Fellowship - Indian National Science Academy - 1994

4. Indo German Fellowship - 1997

5. Indo Finnish Fellowship - 1994

6. University Grants Commission Fellowship

7. National Academy of Medical Sciences Fellowship

The Government of India conferred the Dr. B. C. Roy Award on Gopal in 2002 and followed it up with the civilian award of the Padma Shri, in 2013. She has also received the President's Medal in 1966, Shushila Nair Shield for excellence in studies, Dr Mridula Rohtagi Oration Award of the Association of Pediatric Surgeons of India in 2005, Col. Sangam Lal Oration Award of Indian National Medical Academy in 2007.

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