Lives of the fellows

Shantilal Chhaganlal Sheth

b.29 October 1912 d.24 January 1990
MB BS Bombay(1937) DCH(1947) MRCP(1948) MD Bombay(1948) FASc India(1964) FRCP(1965) FIAP India(1977) Hon FAAP USA(1964)

Shantilal C Sheth was born in Palitana, Gujarat (India), where his father Chhaganlal Narandas Sheth was an auditor. He received his early education at the Harris High School, Palitana. His decision to study medicine took him to the Grant Medical College, University of Bombay, where he graduated. After holding house appointments at the Sir J J Hospital and Grant Medical College, his interest in paediatrics brought him to Britain for postgraduate training at the Institute of Child Health when Alan Moncrieff, later Sir Alan, was in charge [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.343]. He obtained the DCH and followed this with membership of the College before returning to India in 1948 to take up an appointment as honorary director of paediatrics and head of the paediatric department at the Topiwala National Medical College and B Y L Nair Hospital, Bombay. He was later appointed honorary consulting paediatrician to the Kasturba City Fever Hospital and the Bhatia General Hospital, both in Bombay.

Shantilal Sheth made an outstanding contribution to the cause of medical education in India. His untiring efforts contributed substantially to the integration of the Indian Paediatric Society and the Association of Paediatricians of India - which became the Indian Academy of Paediatrics, of which he was successively general secretary and president. He was president of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Bombay, from 1953-58; senior vice-president of the 1st All-Asian Congress of Paediatrics; vice-president of the Indian Medical Association; a member of the senate of the University of Bombay for 25 years, and chairman of the board of studies and member of syndicate for a period of nine years. For over 10 years he represented the University of Bombay on the Indian Medical Council and also served on the Executive Committee, representing all Indian universities.

From 1969-75 he was president of the Council and chairman of its statutory postgraduate medical education committee. He was influential in providing coordinated and effective leadership both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels of medical education and in assessment and control of standards. He was also elected a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences. He was honorary physician to the President of India and honorary surgeon commander to the Indian Navy. He wrote many scientific and research papers and was joint editor of the Indian Journal of Child Health. In 1972 he was awarded the prestigious Padma Bhusan award by the President of India for ‘meritorious, distinguished contributions and services in the field of medical education, medical research and medical care.’ Sheth achieved international as well as national fame; he was elected an honorary fellow of the American Academy of Paediatrics in 1964 and a Fellow of the College in 1965. He was also a JP and a life member of the St John Ambulance Association.

Shantilal married Hiralaxmi, daughter of Vakharia Girdharlal Trikamji, a cotton mill manager, in 1932 and they had two children - a son and a daughter. His son, Shirish, is professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Bombay and his daughter, Leea, is a chartered accountant.

S S Sheth

[Medical News, 24 Sept 1965; Felicitation Address, 30 Apr 1972]

(Volume IX, page 467)

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