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Biographical entry Seyal, Nur Ahmad Khan (1920 - 2008)

FRCS 1951; MB BS Glancy, Amritsar, 1940; FRCOG.

16 July 1920
Jhang, Pakistan
19 July 2008
Obstetric and gynaecological surgeon


Nur Ahmad Khan Seyal was professor of obstetrics and gynaecology and a former principal of King Edward Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan. He was born on 16 July 1920 and received his early education in his home town of Jhang (Punjab). In 1936 he went to study medicine at Glancy Medical College, Amritsar, qualifying in 1940. He then went to Iran, in 1942, and joined the medical department of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company in Abadan. Over a period of ten years he held various surgical appointments in the 500-bed Abadan Hospital and gradually rose to the status of a consulting surgeon. During this time he twice spent time in the UK, gaining his FRCS in 1951.

A year later, in 1952, he returned to Pakistan, where he was appointed clinical assistant to the professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at the King Edward Medical College, Lahore. In 1954, when Nishtar Medical College was established in Multan, Seyal was selected to take up the new chair of obstetrics and gynaecology, the first professorial appointment on the clinical side. He went on to establish a department that was recognised as “outstanding” by Sir Hector MacLennan, president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, who visited in 1961. C M Gwillim, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London, also visited the hospital and recognized the department as easily comparable to the best abroad, and called Seyal’s devotion to duty “saintly”.

In 1967 N A Seyal was appointed as professor of midwifery and gynaecology at King Edward Medical College and medical superintendent of Lady Willingdon Hospital Lahore. He completely reorganised the hospital and very markedly improved the clinical facilities available there. He took over as principal of the King Edward Medical College in 1969 and reorganised the teaching programme and formulated a number of schemes for the improvement of this premier institution.

Seyal was nominated as a founder fellow of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Pakistan in 1962, and was elected to serve on its council. He was also a member of the Pakistan Medical Research Council for over six years. In recognition of his service to the medical profession, the government of Pakistan awarded him the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz, followed by the Sitara-i-Khidmat.

After his retirement, Seyal was involved in the establishment of the Fatima Memorial Hospital and was the leading consultant for obstetrics and gynaecology. He retired to California in the early 1980s to be closer to his children.

He died on 19 July 2008, just after his 88th birthday. He is survived by his wife (Iran Shafazand Seyal), his sons (Masud Seyal, professor of neurology at the University of California, Davis, and Mahmood Seyal, a business executive) and by his daughters (Mahnaz Ahmad, a scholar, and Farnaz Seyal Shah, a psychologist). He had seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Masud Seyal

The Royal College of Surgeons of England