Mysore Medical College Centenary : My Memories – 2
Feature Articles

Mysore Medical College Centenary : My Memories – 2

December 10, 2023

By Dr. C.G. Narasimhan

[Continued from yesterday]

Specialities other than the main Departments of Medicine, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology   were  ENT, Ophthalmology and Radiology. Other Departments like Paediatrics and Orthopaedics were started in 1960.

The 2-year PG courses in General Medicine and General Surgery were started in the year in 1962 with 4 students in each subject. Mine was the 6th batch in General Surgery. PG courses in other subjects were started one after the other. Super-specialities like Plastic Surgery, Thoracic Surgery, Paediatric Surgery were started in late sixties.

 Sports at MMC

The annual sports meet of MMC used to be held at J.K. Grounds. Events like 100 mts running, long and high jump, shot put were conducted. My senior Kalyatanda B. Subbaiah (elder brother of K.B. Ganapathy of Star of Mysore) and my classmates Shantharaj and P.K. Sriranga, Seetha Ganapathy (now Seetha Uthappa), Kokila (from Nepal) were good athletes winning prizes every year.

The College had good teams of Cricket, Football, Basketball, Tennis, Shuttle Cock and Table Tennis (TT).  L.N. Raja, M.S. Balasubramanyam, Lakshmi Keshav and later V.P. Ballal in Cricket, M. Papanna, Ramadas and Anandaraj in Football, G. Keshava Reddy and R.V. Murthy in Basketball, Lionel Nair in Hockey, P.R. Ramachandra and Rao Ramanath in TT, H. Balakrishna in Shuttle Cock excelled in their respective sports.

N.M. Sreenivas, my classmate, was a very good Tennis player. He was the National Junior Champion too. G. Keshava Reddy played for the State in Basketball. One Dr. Y. Nagappa was a great wrestler winning medals every time. I played Basketball and Kho-Kho for the College. The courts were on the North East corner of the main building where the Mortuary and IMA building exist now.

College Day celebration &  Student Secretary election

Student Secretary election at MMC was a keenly contested one with the candidates canvassing with pamphlets.  H.N. Ramprakash (now in the US) was a Secretary, an extremely friendly person liked by all.  Later I think it was C. Narasingbhan Singh, who became the Secretary.

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The Annual College Day used to be a big event with a music competition to start with. V. Venkataraman, Appu Rao, Ramachandra (brother of Dr. Madhavi Raja) among boys and Vyjayanthi and G.S. Leelavathy among the girls were good singers of mainly Hindi film songs. With no Karaoke of these days, they sang beautifully without mike to a packed audience of students in Anatomy Lecture Hall. They were judged by eminent musicians of Mysore!

But the most popular College Day attraction was the theatre plays. Late Dr. H.N. Doddanaranappa, a lecturer of Biochemistry and a gifted actor, used to lead the juniors like G.S. Leelavathy, H.K. Nanjundaswamy, Narayana Sharma, K. Srinivas Murthy and others. The common plays of T.P. Kailasam, Parwathavani and A.N. Murthy Rao were staged under the direction of  the famous  cine actor Sampath. Once he directed an English drama ‘Taming of the Shrew’ in which Seetha Ganapathy played the leading role with her mastery in the language and fluency of pronunciation.

Condensed MBBS Course

This concept of condensed years for MBBS degree was started in MMC in early 1950s to facilitate LMP doctors to complete MBBS course within two-and-a-half-years. Even Ayurvedic doctors with LAMS qualification were allowed but they had to complete in 5-and-a-half-years like others. LMP doctors, who served mainly in rural areas, chose this opportunity and got admitted every year in batches of 20 to 25. In our batch too, they were there. Several of them did PG degrees also.

Post Graduate Days

Out of the four who joined for MS in 1967, I was the only one to pass in 1969. I have to mention something special about our Professor of Surgery Dr. A.K. Gopalarajan (AKG). I think there is none in the past or present to match his commitment to teach the students and prepare them for the              examination.

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Those were the days when the foreign examiners used to come from the neighbouring States and they were quite strict too. By the time he retired from K.R. Hospital services, Dr. AKG was even coaching our batch of PGs which included Dr. C.B. Murthy, late Dr. K. Shivanna and others in his residence at V.V. Mohalla. This I am sure is unimaginable nowadays.

The other Professor of Surgery Dr. P.R. Sathyanarayana Setty, who later started the popular Ramakrishna Hospital in Jayanagar, Bangalore, was very considerate as a MS examiner in asking leading questions in both Clinical and viva voce exams that would help the students to perform better.

Our Teachers

Apart from being strict in the examinations, our Professors were very dedicated in teaching. Both Dr. Charles D’Souza (Pathology) and Dr. M.C. Devannaiah (Microbiology) used to take special classes at 7 in the morning which is unheard of these days.

Dr. A.K. Gopalarajan was the Professor and HoD of Surgery and Dr. M. Basavaraj Urs was the Professor and HoD of Medicine. Other teachers were Dr. P.R. Sathyanarayana Setty (Surgery), Dr. K.G. Das, Dr. Y.P. Rudrappa, Dr. N.A. Jadhav (all Medicine), Dr. Jayalakshmi Y. Iyer (Ob & Gynae), Dr. A.T.S. Iyengar (Jurisprudence) and Dr. P.S. Sambashivan (Dermatology).

It is interesting to note that when we had posting to P.K. Sanatorium, Superintendent Dr. S. Narayana Setty used to take classes under the tree as our number was that small and to avoid infection inside the hospital (No concept of N-95 masks then!). By the time we came to final year some time in 1962 the nomenclature of Principal of the College was changed to Dean.

The first Dean of Mysore Medical College (MMC) was Dr. J.J. Dharmaraj (his daughter Dr. Pramila Mathew lives in Mysore).  The Vice-Dean was Dr. H.V. Suryanarayana Rao  (HoD of ENT).

[None of the Professors except Dr. K.G. Das are with us now]

[To be continued]

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