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Biographical entry Patel, Chunnibhai Shankerbhai (1905 - 1968)

MRCS 1932; FRCS 1932; MB BS Bombay 1929.

13 October 1905
Palana, India
14 September 1968
General surgeon and Thoracic surgeon


C S Patel was born on 13 October 1905 at rural Palana, went to school there, and afterwards at Baroda and Poona. His medical education was at the Grant Medical College and the JJ group of hospitals in Bombay. He had a brilliant career as a student obtaining 13 prizes, medals and scholarships; he qualified in 1929. After doing resident posts in Bombay he went to London for his postgraduate education obtaining his fellowship in 1932.

On his return to India he was appointed at first tutor in surgery and subsequently honorary surgeon to the JJ group of hospitals in Bombay. He finally became Professor of Surgery at the Grant Medical College and senior surgeon to the JJ group of hospitals.

Patel took a keen interest in medical education and was instrumental in developing medical facilities throughout the country. He was elected President of the Medical Council of India, the youngest man to hold this post, and in this position he did yeoman service in uplifting medical education in India. He held the post of President for 17 years, being re-elected four times; a record tenure for this office. He was the first to introduce thoracic surgery in Bombay and established a thoracic unit at the JJ group of hospitals, of which he was the head. As a teacher he was brilliant and most popular with his students; he was also a sound and able surgeon, ranking with the best of his time in India.

Though primarily a surgeon he had a good insight into business and held directorships in many important companies. For his services to the armed forces he was awarded the rank of Honorary Surgeon-Captain in the Indian Navy.

During his life he held many important posts, amongst them being Fellow of the University of Bombay; Member of the Academic Council; Member of the Indian Parliamentary and Scientific Committees; Fellow of the Indian Academy of Medical Sciences; and many others.

Patel was rough with his opponents but kind and considerate with his friends, an elder statesman and able administrator. He was a loyal friend, loving father and a pleasant companion. Latterly he was the subject of high blood pressure and diabetes, and died in his sleep on 14 September 1968.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from V L Parmar, FRCS of Bombay].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England