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The Doyen Of Neurology Inspired Generations Of Doctors

He was a stalwart in the field of neurology – a highly respected doctor and teacher, and a stickler for discipline and punctuality. Padma Bhushan Prof (Dr) Jagjit Singh Chopra, founder father of the Department of Neurology at PGI Chandigarh and founder-principal of the Government Medical College Hospital in Sector 32, passed away on Friday evening after remaining admitted in the trauma ICU of PGI Chandigarh for a month.

The who’s who of the medical fraternity and his admirers from all walks of life were in attendance at his funeral on Saturday.

The Doyen Of Neurology Inspired Generations Of Doctors, Lifeinchd

Photos By : Life In Chandigarh

Earlier in the day, a condolence meeting was held at the PGI with present and former directors, heads of various departments, senior professors, PGI faculty members, administrative officials and resident doctors paying their respects to the doyen of the medical field.

Prof JS Chopra (84), who had suffered a stroke in 2016, had lost his speech but he made a remarkable recovery with his knowledge, expertise and perseverance. He leaves behind a son and a daughter.

In October 2017, the celebrated neurologist, who had a couple of hundred scientific papers and dozens of national and international awards to his credit, was conferred with the Life-time Achievement Award by the World Federation of Neurology (WFN) at its XXIII World Congress at Kyoto, Japan. Being indisposed he himself could not travel to Japan and the award was received on his behalf. Later it was presented to him at a function organised by the PGI Neurological Society on the occasion of World Stroke Day.

Former PGI head of department of Neurology Prof (Dr) VK Kak and current head of the department Prof (Dr) Vivek Lal described Dr Chopra as a father figure who had inspired generations of young and upcoming neurologists.

The Doyen Of Neurology Inspired Generations Of Doctors, Lifeinchd

Born in Lahore, and having completed his initial medical studies at Government Medical College, Patiala, Dr Chopra pursued his post graduation and Ph.D. in UK. He was the youngest Indian FRCP (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians) in 1969. After working in various hospitals in UK, he joined the PGI as assistant professor and established the department of neurology in November 1968. He was gradually elevated to the post of professor and head of the department, which he held till his retirement in June 1995.

Dr Chopra was given the onerous responsibility of establishing another prestigious hospital in Chandigarh, GMCH-32, as its director-principal with additional responsibility of Secretary, Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh Administration, on deputation from PGI from 1991 to 1995. He did full justice to his assignment, and today his baby is ranked among the top 10 medical colleges in the country.

The noted neurologist trained many super specialists in neurology, most of whom are heading department of neurology at various establishments in India and abroad. He also trained many specialists in neurology for the armed forces. After his retirement, he remained Professor Emeritus at PGI and at the National Academy of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He conducted cutting edge research in diseases of muscles, peripheral nerves, stroke and infections of the nervous system in UK and India.

Dr Chopra was founder president of Indian Academy of Neurology and past president of Neurological Society of India. He was the first Indian neurologist to be selected Secretary General of a world congress of neurology at its XIV edition held in New Delhi in 1989.

The Doyen Of Neurology Inspired Generations Of Doctors, Lifeinchd

He was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the President of India in 2008.

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