Lives of the fellows

Khushwant Lal Wig

b.30 September 1904 d.8 June 1986
MB BS Punj(1929) MRCS Eng(1930) DTM&H(1930) MRCP(1931) FCCP(1950) FRCP(1961)

Khushwant Lal Wig was born at Gujranwala, Punjab, India, the son of Mohan Lal Wig, a landlord, and his wife Dhan Devi Chib, daughter of Kanahya Lal Chib, also a landlord. He was educated at the U P Mission High School, Gujranwala, and the Government College and D A V College, Lahore. He studied medicine at the K E Medical College, Punjab University, Lahore, pursuing his clinical studies at the Mayo Hospital, Lahore. He did postgraduate work at the Charing Cross Hospital medical school, London, obtaining his membership of the College and subsequently being elected a Fellow.

From 1941-46 he was assistant professor in the department of medicine at the King Edward Medical College and the Mayo Hospital, Lahore. In 1947 he was appointed professor of medicine at the Medical College and senior visiting physician to the V J Hospital, Amritsar, a post he held until 1958; he was also dean of the medical faculty at Punjab University. He was invited to become the first professor of medicine at the All India Institute of Medical Science, New Delhi, a post which he took up in 1958 and later became director of the Institute until 1969.

In 1959 Khushwant Wig was awarded a travelling grant by the Rockefeller Foundation, to study modern methods of medical education in the United States and United Kingdom. On his return to India he made a significant contribution to the teaching methods being adopted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He also introduced many improvements in training methods at the medical colleges attached to Punjab University, of which he was a fellow and member of the senate.

He contributed some 35 articles to scientific journals and was president of the board of editors of the Punjab Medical Journal for some years.

Wig was a member of the board of the medical faculty of Lucknow University, and of Delhi University, and a member of the clinical trials sub-committee of the Indian Council of Medical Research. In 1961 he was president of the annual conference of the Indian Association of Chest Dieases. He was elected a fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians in 1950 and was the governor of the Northern India Chapter. He was an authority on tuberculosis and lung diseases.

Before the partition of India, Khushwant Wig was an examiner for the MB BS at Punjab University, Lahore, and after partition to Punjab University, Chandigarh. He also examined for the universities of Lucknow, Patna, Delhi, and Madras.

In his earlier days Khushwant Wig had an extensive private practice but he gave this up to concentrate on the advancement of medical education in India. He received the prestigious Dr B C Roy national award for eminent medical men, and as a recipient of the Padma Bhushan in the early ’60s he attended the 6th Congress of International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War at Cologne, West Germany, as head of the Indian delegation.

He married Shanta Puri, daughter of a lawyer, in 1934 and they had a son and two daughters.

He died at Bern, Switzerland. His wife and children survived him.

Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
V Luniewska

(Volume VIII, page 533)

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