Lives of the fellows

Mahendra Narain

b.9 November 1937 d.30 April 2005
MB BS Patna(1962) MRCP FRCP(2000)

Mahendra Narain was a distinguished Indian physician, based in Patna. He was born in Gaya, Bihar, India, the son of Sarju Prasad Narain, a lawyer, and Gulab Kuer Narain. He was educated at Gaya Zila School, TNJ College, Bhagalpur, Bihar, and then went on to study medicine at Patna Medical College. He was a house physician and then senior house physician at Patna Medical College Hospital, and then became a civil assistant surgeon to the government of Bihar.

In 1966, he decided to continue his studies in the west. Between April 1966 and July 1969 he worked as a senior house physician (medicine), first at Plymouth General Hospital and then at Newsham General Hospital, Liverpool. While working as a medical registrar-cum-senior registrar at Fazakarley General Hospital, Liverpool, between July 1969 and December 1973, Narain passed the exam of the American Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. The following year he passed his membership of the College. From March 1974 to February 1975 Narain served as a consultant physician and clinical lecturer in medicine, St James Hospital, Leeds. During this time he also took up a teaching assignment as a clinical lecturer for undergraduates and MRCP students.

In April 1975, he decided to return to India, to be near his ailing father. From 1975 to 1983 he served first as assistant professor, then associate professor and then head of the department of medicine at Nalanda Medical College, Patna.

Within years Mahendra Narain became a household name. Patients from Patna, the state of Bihar and neighbouring states, and also from neighbouring countries, such as Nepal, thronged to his clinic for consultations. He would work long hours seeing his patients. 'Service above self' became the motto of his life and soon Mahendra Narain became the friend, philosopher and guide to the rich and poor alike.

Narain's work brought him many awards and accolades. In recognition of his exemplary service, Narain was honoured with the prestigious Patna ratna (the gem of Patna) award in 1990 and Bihar Vibhuti (the doyen of Bihar) in 1995. He served as the personal physician to his excellency the governor of Bihar for over 25 years.

Narain delivered a series of lectures in various cities in India and had a number of articles to his credit published in magazines and medical journals. He was often invited by social organizations and All India Radio to deliver awareness talks on medical and health related issues. He was an honorary visiting consultant to the Indian Red Cross Society.

Narain participated in a number of medical conferences and was associated with various medical organizations in India, in varied capacities as patron, vice president or life member. He was also appointed as an examiner in medicine for undergraduates and post-graduates for several years at different universities in India.

Narain lived his life like a 'man possessed' - a man who immersed his self in others. Unfortunately, his own health suffered and, after a brave battle with illness, he died in New Delhi, away from his beloved Patna. He is survived by his wife Renuka Narain and their three sons, who carry forward the legacy of their father.

S R Nandi

(Volume XII, page web)

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