A look at the journey of India’s first and oldest cardiologist

Dr Sivaramakrishna Iyer Padmavati, India’s first cardiologist, turns 101 this month. A recipient of the Padma Vibhushan in 1992, she still serves as the director of the National Heart Institute, Delhi

A look at the journey of India’s first and oldest cardiologist

She is the woman who took to monitoring of hearts for the first time in India. She sought an appointment with Rajkumari Amrit Kaur, the then health minister, way back in 1954. Following which she was offered a lecturer’s position at Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Medical College.

She completed her MBBS at the Rangoon Medical College, and moved to London in 1949. She was also a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh. Sivaramakrishna went on to study at Johns Hopkins University and Harvard Medical School.

She has established first cardiac clinic and cath lab at the Lady Hardinge Medical College, Delhi. She has also initiated India’s first Doctorate of Medicine in Cardiology and has set up cardiology departments at the prestigious Maulana Azad Medical College, GB Pant Hospital.

She did all this while medical treatments related to heart ailments were relatively unknown to Indians. As heart disease has become one of the biggest killers in modern times, her contribution to the field of cardiology is quite remarkable.