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men of heart

India's top cardiologists


What is it about our cardiac surgeons and cardiologists that sets them apart from other doctors? What makes them so glamorous, so sought-after ? There are two crucial bits of statistics that may lie at the, well, heart of it all. Dr S Padmavati, one of the rare woman cardiologists in the country, told us during research for this story that there are only 4, 000 cardiologists and 1, 200 cardiac surgeons for a population of over a billion. The desired ratio is 50 cardiologists per million. Also, the Indian heart, due to a faulty genetic makeup, is more prone to diseases than an African or a Caucasian one, making it the No 1 killer in our country. It is not by chance that many of India's most recognised doctors are associated with cardiac care. TOI-Crest profiles some of India's top heart doctors - it is not a ranking, nor is it an exhaustive list as that would, in all fairness, need to include a lot more. Even as we celebrate the spirit of those who ensure that our hearts beat right we'd like to take this opportunity to wish our readers Happy Valentine's Day!

Walk into any hospital and chances are that the swankiest department belongs to cardiac care. Doctors running the department are the stars because they are the highest revenueearners for the hospital. They have the biggest consulting rooms, better emoluments and the best cars. It is not by chance that India's most recognised doctors are usually associated with cardiac care. Even the man on the street may just be able to identify Delhi's Dr Naresh Trehan, who got shutterbugs clicking him at the recent star-studded Jaipur Literary Fest, or Bangalore's Dr Devi Shetty, one of India's most photogenic medical men.

What is it about these Men of the Heart that gives them an edge over other doctors? First, it is the organ itself. The Indian heart, due to a faulty genetic makeup, is more prone to heart diseases than an African or a Caucasian one. Worse, several studies have revealed that Indians are likely to suffer heart attacks a decade earlier than other ethnicities. Factors such as urbanisation, the rapid Westernisation of the traditional diet and stress worsen the weak-heart syndrome. Civic death charts in Mumbai show that 97, 677 died due to heart problems between 2000 and 2010 in comparison to 84, 614 deaths due to TB. The death charts from other cities are unlikely to be any different. And, like any other demand-supply equation, it follows that if heart problems rule, then heart doctors will be the rulers. In fact, many would say that the cardiac care story is one of the biggest success stories of modern India - something worthy of a business school review.

Until the mid- '80s and even into the '90s, patients needing to get their hearts fixed rushed abroad if they could afford it;others just blamed their karma. Then began a trickle: young, Indiaborn doctors started returning home after having spotted an opportunity.

Doctors like Ramakant Panda, better known as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's doctor, returned from Cleveland Clinic (one of the best addresses in the world for heart care) and took up multiple assignments in various hospitals. A few of them dreamed of becoming entrepreneurs and putting up big hospitals like in the West. Escorts Hospital in New Delhi is one of the first to showcase the arrival of the heart doctor-businessman. There's been a drastic change in the storyline since: doctors in India are considered the best in cardiac care because they have managed the biggest volumes. A doctor operating on a diabetic heart (another one of the epidemic situations in India) has to provide optimum care and handle the worst complications. Statistics show that bypass surgeries are growing in India while they are falling across the world.

These were some of the reasons that prompted us to showcase some of India's top Men of Heart, those who have made a difference to heart care in particular and healthcare in general. Most of them are trail-blazers having started a trend or a new surgical technique, have done innumerable surgeries and have had the best outcomes. Practice has made these men perfect. Some have set up health cities, while some others have just concentrated on teaching others the ropes. TOI-Crest looks at India's best cardiac caregivers - from Chennai to Delhi, from Mumbai to Kolkata.

Meet India's top cardiologists

Reader's opinion (40)

Byju JoseJul 21st, 2016 at 18:34 PM


Mohan Das Dec 1st, 2011 at 12:29 PM

Where is the list ? Only 3 surgeons mentioned in the article.

Yesu Jeevan AtluriJul 12th, 2012 at 21:38 PM

Dr Alla Gopala Krishna Gokhale did the first successful heart transplantation in Andhra Pradesh in 2004.

Yesu Jeevan AtluriJul 12th, 2012 at 21:40 PM

He is one of the best cardiac surgeon in India

Yesu Jeevan AtluriJul 12th, 2012 at 21:40 PM

He is one of the Best cardiac surgeon in India

Joy Oct 25th, 2011 at 21:13 PM

where is the actual list.article mentions the name of just three eminenet doctors

Sayali JadhavOct 12th, 2011 at 11:42 AM

It would have been better if u would have posted the list.I really needed it.

Vimal Kumar JhunjhunwalaSep 2nd, 2011 at 23:49 PM

Where are links to further reading of the lisy of india's best cardiologists?

Raju ParekhAug 13th, 2011 at 17:40 PM

Where is the list?

Demonpundit Mar 29th, 2011 at 18:02 PM

Where is the list man? A long preface to blank!!

Joy SanyalFeb 16th, 2011 at 14:19 PM

well being an interventional cardiologist myself the story made interesting reading.cardiology has grown by leaps and bounds India but there is much work left to be done as the care and caregivers have to reach the scores of people who cannot afford swanky hospitals.

Bishnu MohantyFeb 15th, 2011 at 10:49 AM

cardiac care should be affordable to common man . prohibitive cost prevents people below poverty line to get heart treatment. Can any one suggest a way out ?

Salil RoyFeb 15th, 2011 at 08:23 AM

even in tertiary care hospital there is no pattient education. pricedures like angioplasty are performed with out consent and prior explanation of risks and benefits. the follow up care is very

Vikas KumarFeb 15th, 2011 at 07:15 AM

I am sad to read this article which is no more than a marketing gimmick to draw readership and fall short of promoting an integral health system which is the need of the future. All medical specialities or sub-specialities need to be weighed equally.

Pakyaraj RajkumarFeb 15th, 2011 at 06:22 AM

It will be very useful,if you could provide a list of best cardiologists,State-wise.

Greg SeniorFeb 15th, 2011 at 01:34 AM

I agree with all who mentioned that India will soon become the Cardiac capital of the world, now that can be changed if only we eat less deep fried snacks, make it a point to work for ourselves and(not work to make money for our Grand children)we will find less heart paitent's.

Maria SebastianFeb 14th, 2011 at 23:49 PM

I too was not happy as I did not find the list of top cardiologist as the title suggested. Infact the title is no way connected with the content....why ?

Chandramouli AlagappanFeb 14th, 2011 at 20:19 PM

Where is the List of Top Ten Cardiologists? Misleading Heading.
Total Article is waste.

Benson JoelFeb 14th, 2011 at 19:47 PM

im proud to be a resident in cardiovascular surgery :) will give my all to be the best

Dr.anil BhargavaFeb 14th, 2011 at 19:45 PM

Thanks to TOI for this article.Being a Doc myself living in usa ,the article gives a sense of pride that despite all the negativity about India at least our cardiac care doctors are the best in the world and have raised our flag flying high in the world.Long live Dr. Trehan,Padmavat,Shetty,Panda,

Partha BalFeb 14th, 2011 at 18:45 PM

I am bit surprised there are lot of good Oriya Cardiac surgeons in India take instance Dr. Ramakant Panda(Asian Heart Institute),Dr.P C Rath(Apollo Hyd),Dr.K P Mishra(Apollo Chennai),Dr. M.P Tripathy(Care Hospital).Really feel proud for them and they are doing a great work silently saving lives.

K Vikraman VikramanFeb 14th, 2011 at 18:36 PM

There are more cardiologists and more cardiac surgeons because in medicine this dept. is the most advanced area. Perhaps cancer dept. is still in its infancy.

Sudhir SajwanFeb 14th, 2011 at 18:07 PM


Ashis AshisFeb 14th, 2011 at 16:58 PM

The article would have been more informative and helpful to the readers had the author thought of mentioning the names of cardiac surgeons zone wise. Without that its just waste of time.

Santha NFeb 14th, 2011 at 16:41 PM

no list of cardiologists given.most of the cardiologists are only interested in making money. i took my husband to cardiologists and we were made to wait endlessly and finally not saying anything about problem. they are for very rich and influential people

Nirav Feb 14th, 2011 at 16:32 PM

This article does not make sense. Its there to grab atte'n..where are you planning to go with it. At the end we don't see the list anyway.To make this article more credible, talk about bribes in stent field, negligence by various doctors, treatment almost unaffordable by low to mid income segment.

Basavaraj AnnapurFeb 14th, 2011 at 16:15 PM

The Best Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons in India is Dr. Vivak Jawalli, Bangalore.

Yagnaraman SundaramanFeb 14th, 2011 at 15:52 PM

Informative,but where is the list

Pradeep GulatiFeb 14th, 2011 at 13:35 PM

Was prompted to go thru this article due to the title, but couldnt find any list of 'top cardiologists'!!

Murugesh PillaiFeb 14th, 2011 at 12:33 PM

Finally who is the best doctor in India?

Chirag ShahFeb 14th, 2011 at 15:43 PM

Very cheap way of collecting database by giving a ekta kapoor type of end to a article

Challa.ravi Feb 14th, 2011 at 12:27 PM

The article is informative, but, I could not find the list of cardiac doctors as the title suggests..

Nihal JatanaFeb 13th, 2011 at 17:26 PM


Rishabh RanaFeb 13th, 2011 at 08:44 AM

dil se

Divina KumarFeb 12th, 2011 at 20:42 PM

TRUE Cardiac Care is glamorous.. But preventive care for the diseases too should be addressed so that the root of the problem be tackled.

Yadvinder DhaliwalFeb 12th, 2011 at 15:07 PM

I am extremely proud of our Indian Cardiac Care.,Cardiologists{medical doctors}.,Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons{by-pass drs},Cardiac Surgeons{valve and defect/damage repair } Indian Dieticians ,Cardiac Rehab and Ayruvedic Vitamin and Stress Free recuperation in 5 star hospitals.Drs sought GLOBALLY.

Sudhir SajwanFeb 12th, 2011 at 13:12 PM


Rakesh LakraFeb 12th, 2011 at 13:06 PM

yeah it very true that India will be capital for cardiac coming few years. we need more excellent Cardiologist to take care of that coming burden, further we need to increase the Institution to produces more brilliant caregiver for needy heart!!!

Dr Debakanta NaikFeb 12th, 2011 at 12:27 PM

We are Having Sachin Tendulkar, but We dont win World cup..Why?????
Smoking is still in public, Awareness photo in Cigar pack doesn't make any sense...When A coorporate loby food system...believes only in profit.promotfast food cPublic opinions and Media looks towards hifi ,technology and contd...

Sujit BhattacharyaFeb 12th, 2011 at 09:15 AM

I am extremely sorry that the writing is below par ,incoherent and lacks sense .

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