Lives of the fellows

Mahankali Seetharama Rao

b.25 August 1906 d.?
MB BS Madras (1929) MD(1935) MRCP(1935) DTM&H(1936) FRCP(1965)

Mahankaii Rao was an Indian Army physician and one time personal physician to Jawaharlal Nehru. He was born in Bellary in South India, where his father worked as a civil servant for the British government. He was educated at Muthialpet High School and then studied medicine at Madras University. As a student he won many prizes before qualifying in 1929. He went on to hold junior posts at Madras General Hospital. In December 1936 he was commissioned into the Indian Army Medical Service and a year later became a medical specialist. During the Second World War he spent three years with the 34th combined general hospital in the Persia-Iraq force. He later spent a period in base and general hospitals in the Indian command.

After the war he continued his career in the Army, as medical adviser to various commands. In 1949 he was appointed a professor of medicine to the Armed Forces Medical College in Poona and in the next year became a consultant physician to the Army headquarters in New Delhi.

He left the Army in 1954 and became a consultant physician to the government of India and head of the department of medicine at the Safdarjang Hospital in New Delhi. He also served as a member of the faculty of medicine at the University of Delhi. In January 1964 he went to London as medical adviser to the High Commissioner for India.

From 1952 to 1964 he was personal physician to the Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, and honorary physician to the President of India from 1962. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1962 by the President for distinguished services to the state.

He married Meenakshi Amma in 1933 and they had one son. His hobbies were classical Indian and Western music, literature and sport, including football, hockey, tennis and cricket.

RCP editor

(Volume X, page 401)

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