On Sunday morning, Dr Kirpal Chugh passed away owing to blood cancer, with which he was diagnosed with about two years ago. He will be fondly remembered as the father of nephrology in India, who single-handedly separated this discipline from medicine and then developing it into a super-specialty.
He was a renowned professor and the former head of Nephrology Department at the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh.
Dr Rajesh Kumar, Nephrologist at Hiranandani hospital said, “Dr Chugh was a mentor for many nephrologists in the country. He did what people had not realised at the time when there was nothing in nephrology. He started the speciality of nephrology and groomed many nephrologists. Today, many of them are doing a good job.”
He was a philosopher and a guide to budding doctors, a great associate for his fellow workers, a saviour for his patients and a role model for many and that is how everyone remembers him to be.
“Dr Chugh was a doyen of Indian nephrology and will be missed forever by his family, colleagues, students and patients. He was largely responsible for putting India on the map of global nephrology. Stalwarts like him are hard to come by. May his soul rest in peace,” said Dr Jatin Kothari, Nephrologist, P. D. Hinduja Hospital.
Coming from Patti in Tarn Taran, he was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honour, in 2000.
“Dr Chugh was the pioneer of nephrology in this country, a researcher, teacher, and clinician at heart. He laid the foundation for the development of nephrology as a sub-specialty in this country,” said Dr Vishwanath Billa, Consultant Nephrologist and Transplant Physician at Bombay Hospital.