“The best way to find yourselves is to lose yourself in others.” The saying is perfectly justified by doctors who are considered to be gods on earth. It undoubtedly takes something special to devote your life to the service of others. Today, India observes National Doctors’ Day to honour the profession and express our gratitude towards them. Though women entered the field of medical science a bit late as compared to men, they did introduce certain milestones to remember. Here are some of the prominent women doctors who made a mark in the history of India:

Anandibai Joshi: First Woman To Study Western Medicine In The United States

She was the first woman from the then Bombay Presidency of India to study and graduate with a two-year degree in western medicine in the United States. Addressing the community at Serampore College Hall in 1883, Anandibai made her decision of going to America public and stressed on the need of female doctors in India. However, after reaching America, her health worsened and she contracted tuberculosis. Despite the hardships, she completed her MD and was congratulated by Queen Victoria. After returning to India in 1886, she was appointed as the Physician-in-Charge of the female ward at the local Albert Edward Hospital. Sadly, she died of tuberculosis on 26 February 1887 (aged 21).

It is said that her husband encouraged her to study medicine. He was actually, obsessed with her education. He even beat her once he found her cooking in the kitchen, which was quite uncommon those days. She once addressed the lack of women doctors and said, “I volunteer myself as one.”

Anandi Gopal Joshi
Anandi Gopal Joshi

Dr Firuza Parikh: Gave India Its First ICSI Baby

Being a parent is a feeling some people fail to experience because of some biological reasons. However, Dr Firuza Parikh short-listed two such reasons why couples could not conceive normally. One of them was when a man had low sperm count and second was a woman was advanced in age; these kinds of couples faced a problem in becoming parents. Dr Parikh helped in correcting these issues. She gave not only India but South East Asia, its first ICSI baby, back in 1994. The procedure, over the years, has helped a number of couples to have babies.

Firuza Parikh
Firuza Parikh

Dr Indira Ahuja: Successfully Delivered India’s First Test Tube Baby

An infertility specialist in Mumbai, Dr Indira Ahuja successfully delivered the first IVF Baby in India. A municipal school student from Belgaum, Karnataka, she turned her fascination into reality as she succeeded in giving the country its first IVF baby. It was on August 6, 1986, that Dr Indira Hinduja successfully delivered India’s first IVF baby. Not only this, but she also gave country the first GIFT baby (Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer). The technique enables fertilisation in the Fallopian tube instead of a test tube. On January 4, 1988, we got our first GIFT baby.

Dr Indira Hinduja
Dr Indira Hinduja

Dr S Padmavati: India’s First And Oldest Woman Heart Specialist

Popularly known as the god of Cardiology in India, Dr S Padmavati started treating patients around 66 years ago. She is also a recipient of Padma Vibhusan, country’s second highest civilian award. She not only trained herself in UK and US but also taught several best cardiologists of the country. The cardiology veteran has many firsts to her credit: she is India’s first woman cardiologist; she set up the country’s first cardiology clinic; she created the first cardiology department in an Indian medical college; she founded India’s first heart foundation meant to spread awareness about diseases of the heart.

Dr S Padmavati Iyer (Pc- India Today)
Dr S Padmavati Iyer

Dr Jayashree Mondkar Is Known For Running Asia’s First Milk Bank

Many babies do not get access to mother’s milk. Mother’s milk is extremely important in a child’s overall development. For this purpose, Dr Jayashree Mondkar started the first milk bank of Asia, to provide mother’s milk to babies whose mothers cannot produce enough of milk. After the first milk bank was established, several others too were established, being inspired by the first one.

Dr Jayashree Mondkar
Dr Jayashree Mondkar

Dr Ajita Chakraborty Was One of The First Women Psychiatrists Of India

One of the first women psychiatrists of India, Dr Ajita Chakraborty’s studies included the visual hallucinations of gods and goddess that she noted were particularly common in women. She has been a member of the World Psychiatric Association, Transcultural Psychiatry Section, for 25 years.

Read More: India’s First Test Tube Baby Is A Mother of Two

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