Lives of the fellows

Mazhar Hussain Shah

b.3 June 1902 d.21 February 1979
MB Punj(1926) MRCS LRCP(1930) MRCP(1932) DPM(1938) FCPS Pak(1964) FPAS(1973)

Mazhar Shah was the son of Mahbub Shah, a civil servant of the Government of India. Born in Gujrat in the Punjab, he graduated in medicine in 1926 at Lahore from the King Edward Medical College, winning a gold and silver medal for being first in medicine. The usual house posts followed at the Mayo Hospital in Lahore, and in 1930 he passed the conjoint diploma.

In 1931, he was commissioned in the Indian Medical Service, and in 1932 he was admitted an MRCP. He transferred to the civil side of the Indian Medical Service and soon became interested in psychiatry. He returned to England and passed the DPM. He was later physician in charge of the Irwin Hospital, Delhi, and civil surgeon for Delhi, and also lecturer in medicine at the Lady Reading Medical College. During the second world war, he served as consultant in medicine at various hospitals in SE Asia Command.

With the partitioning of India in 1947, Shah moved to Karachi and founded the Jinnah Central Hospital (today the postgraduate medical centre of Pakistan). He was also civil surgeon and the chief medical officer of Karachi. In addition, he was honorary professor of medicine at the Dow Medical College, Karachi.

In 1951, he was awarded a Fulbright fellowship and spent a sabbatical year studying cardiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. On his return to Pakistan, he founded the ‘Heart Clinic'. He was also personal physician to the governor general of Pakistan from 1949 to 1957.

Shah finally retired in 1957, but his insatiable interests led him to found the Naveed Clinic for group practice. He was also the first president of the Pakistan Cardiac Society, and the first president of the Pakistan Academy of Medicine.

He wrote on various aspects of medicine, but his main interest was in Avicenna, and his desire was to integrate ancient systems of medicine with modem theory and practice. He was tireless in his pursuit of medical advances, always concerned with the mind and the mental state in systemic disease, and he brought a humanity both to students and patients which was unequalled.

In 1934, he married Suraiya, daughter of Mian Afzal Husain. They had two sons, the elder of whom became a surgeon.

RB Khambatta

[Brit.med.J., 1979, 1, 1349]

(Volume VII, page 526)

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