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I am a great believer in serendipity and I am convinced that nothing in life happens just by chance, but that there is a divine will, which directs everything.Hence, to cut a long story short, I decided to take-up medicine as my career. Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre, WHO Collaborating Centre for Noncommunicable Diseases Prevention and Control, IDF Centre of Excellence in Diabetes Care and Education & ICMR Centre for Advanced Research on Diabetes, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India Correspondence Address: Dr.
As I was passionate about writing, I started getting involved in research right from my MBBS days, although several of my teachers tried to dissuade me, saying it was a sheer waste of time. Looking back, I am now convinced that unless we start inculcating the passion for research in medical students during their undergraduate days, it is very unlikely they will develop interest in research or take-up medical research as a career.
The other lesson I have learned, all through my career as a researcher, is the power of collaboration.
One such experiment that I did during my MBBS was later published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology.
We carried out subtotal pancreatectomy in dogs to produce an animal model to mimic what we now call as type 2 diabetes.
Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre, WHO Collaborating Centre for Noncommunicable Diseases Prevention and Control, IDF Centre of Excellence in Diabetes Care and ICMR Centre for Advanced Research on Diabetes, No 6, Conran Smith Road, Gopalapuram, Chennai, Tamil Nadu India Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None This article describes a 40 year journey in diabetes research of an Indian diabetologist, starting as an undergraduate medical student.
The article describes how collaborations with multiple stake-holders is necessary if one is to advance one's research from the simple studies that one starts with and take it to higher and higher levels.Perspect Clin Res [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Sep 7];3-22. 2018/9/3/113/236485It is often believed that it is difficult to do medical research outside of the university set up or academia.This is particularly true in developing countries like India where only a negligible number of doctors do serious research. Viswanathan is often referred to as the “Father of Diabetology in India” as he set up the first Diabetes Clinic in India at the Government Stanley Medical College and Hospital at Chennai in 1948.This article demonstrates how if one starts early, develops sustained interest in a particular field and most importantly, is willing to collaborate, high quality research can be done even in developing countries like India. Till today, I am not sure what prompted him to set up a diabetes clinic or choose Diabetology as a speciality at that time, when diabetes as a disorder was virtually unknown in India.He continued working at the Stanley Medical College and Hospital but had to leave the government setup in 1970, well before his scheduled retirement age.The other person who influenced me greatly was my teacher Prof.Lalitha Kameswaran, Professor of Pharmacology at Madras Medical College (MMC) who later became the first Vice-Chancellor of the Tamil Nadu Dr. She encouraged us to use the facilities in the Pharmacology Department of MMC during our summer holidays to carry out our research.We then treated the dogs with a sulfonylurea and biguanide and compared the effect with the use of either drug alone.We showed a synergistic effect if both drugs were used, leading to a reduction of the dose of the individual drugs.Indeed, we did not even have a library or access to journals.If I needed to get copies of a large number of articles, I would take a flight to Delhi, go to the National Medical Library there, search for all the articles I wanted, pay for them in advance and the library would then send me the photocopies of the articles, which could take up to a month to reach Chennai.