Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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OBITUARY
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 91-92
 

Dr. Eddie P. Bharucha (December 28, 1916–December 14, 2017)


1 Consultant Neurologist, Fortis Hospital Mulund, Mumbai, India
2 Pediatric Neurologist, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Date of Web Publication29-Mar-2018

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Pravina Shah
Consultant Neurologist, Fortis Hospitals, Mulund, Mumbai
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_21_18

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How to cite this article:
Shah P, Seshia S. Dr. Eddie P. Bharucha (December 28, 1916–December 14, 2017). Ann Indian Acad Neurol 2018;21:91-2

How to cite this URL:
Shah P, Seshia S. Dr. Eddie P. Bharucha (December 28, 1916–December 14, 2017). Ann Indian Acad Neurol [serial online] 2018 [cited 2019 Oct 17];21:91-2. Available from: http://www.annalsofian.org/text.asp?2018/21/1/91/228824






He completed his MBBS and MD in both Mumbai (Bombay) and London. He was appointed as Honorary Physician in Medicine at KEM Hospital and GS Medical College in 1945. Between 1949 and 1952, he trained in neurology at the Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Queen Square and the Maida Vale Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London. He then proceeded to the United States where he worked for 3 months each under Dr. Houston Merritt at Columbia University and under Dr. Denny Brown at Boston City Hospital. He returned to India in 1952 and became the first neurophysician to establish a Department of Neurology in India, at the KEM Hospital. The departments of neurology and neurosurgery were inaugurated in January 1953 with 12 beds each. By the time Dr. Bharucha retired, the KEM Hospital had all the core elements of the clinical neurosciences including neuropathology, electroencephalography, and electromyography, and the Department of Neurology had established a reputation nationally and internationally for excellence in patient care, teaching, and academic endeavors. Dr. Bharucha also established the Department of Neurology at the Bombay Hospital and continued in private practice until his mid-80s.

He was ahead of his times in many ways: he promoted and practiced seamless multidisciplinary care and established an epilepsy clinic at the KEM Hospital and later with the late Drs. Anil Desai and Noshir Wadia founded the Indian Epilepsy Association. He and his wife, the late Dr. Piloo Bharucha, promoted and practiced pediatric neurology long before all these were established concepts in many centers in more advanced economies. From the mid-1950s onward for many years, they ran clinics for neurological and pediatric assessment of children with poliomyelitis and cerebral palsy at what was formerly the Children's Orthopedic Hospital. He also played a pivotal role in establishing the Spastics Society of India (now Able Disabled All People Together).

Dr. E. P., as he was fondly known “Eddie” to his peers, held several positions in national and neurologically related international organizations and was widely respected. From a national perspective, he was a steadfast member of the Neurological Society of India and president in 1961. He was also a member of the Council of National Academy of Medical Sciences, served as a Medical Council of India inspector, and was an examiner for the DM and Diplomate of National Board examinations throughout India. He was also appointed an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Armed Forces and as a physician to the Reserve Bank of India. He received the Dhanvantari Award in 1991 for his outstanding contributions to medical sciences, especially in the field of neurology.

He put Indian Neurology on the international arena by holding positions such as President of the World Congress of Neurology (1989), Vice President of the World Federation of Neurology (1969-73), honorary member of the Association of British Neurologists, special member of the International Cerebral Palsy Society, and honorary member of the American Association of Neurology.

Together with other eminent collaborators, he studied and published papers on a number of important neurological conditions including infections (tuberculous meningitis and postconjuctival myeloradiculopathy), nutritional disorders (especially the relationship between Vitamin B, malnutrition, and chronic alcoholism), toxic disorders (lathyrism and mass screening of those exposed to toxic gas in Bhopal within a week of the tragedy), congenital abnormalities (atlantoaxial dislocation), epilepsy, and epidemiology of neurological diseases in the Parsi community. He was on the editorial advisory board of the Handbook of Clinical Neurology (eds., P. Vinken and G. Bruyn).

Dr. Bharucha was a consummate physician who relied on a clinical assessment rather than imaging studies. Notwithstanding his academic achievements and his work to advance the practice of neurosciences, his primary concern always remained the best interests of his patients. This, combined with his deep empathy (particularly towards the underprivileged) and ingrained sense of social responsibility, led to his involvement in several projects aimed at alleviating the stigma and distress suffered by those with neurological disorders. One example of this was the 12-year campaign that he led which ultimately led to the repeal of a law that deemed people with epilepsy to be insane.

He was a man who, by virtue of character and example, came to fulfill many roles for many people – clinician, teacher, mentor, friend, husband, father, and grandfather. Piloo and he had three sons – Nadir, Manek-Phiroz, and Adil, eight granddaughters, and two great-grandchildren. In 2004, the students, friends, and family of Dr. Bharucha created the Eddie and Piloo Bharucha Fund at the World Neurology Foundation to support a perennial named lectureship at World Congresses of Neurology.

His greatest legacy will be his personal qualities. He did not seek positions of power or prestige or honors. He was noble in his attitudes and unconcerned about material rewards. He was unpretentious and humble. He was always good-tempered and radiated good cheer, kindness, and caring. He was concerned as much for the welfare of his trainees as he was for the welfare of the patients and families who came to him for care. The culture was infectious, and everyone including the nurses and “ward boys” showed similar attitudes. He was a modest but superb clinician and gently stimulated his students and trainees to think critically and respected their views. The collegial relationships with the Department of Neurosurgery (Dr. Homi Dastur: another role model, in charge) and with the entire Neurosciences group in Mumbai, owe a great deal to his personal traits. He epitomized many of the medical teachers and pioneers of his generation that India was blessed with. But to those who were closely involved with him, especially, his trainees, there was something extra special about Dr. E. P. He “exuded nay-radiated humility, simplicity, and love.” These were qualities he continued to exhibit to family and visitors right to his last days. Truly, such souls are eternal and will continue to inspire us long after the physical body has been shed. We mourn his physical passing but know he remains very much alive in the hearts and minds of all those he touched. We hope we have passed on his philosophies to those we have come in contact with during our professional and personal lives.






 

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