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Dr. Vijayaraghavan, Cardiologist, Welcare Hospital

Our Personality in a nutshell
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"Read Erich Segal's 'Doctors' before deciding on a medical career for your child much against his will". This advice coming from somebody who has been in the profession for nearly 36 years makes a lot of sense. Meet Dr. Vijayaraghavan, a veteran of Cardiology in Dubai.

His Tight Schedule
Dr. Vijayaraghavan, walks like a colossus in the spacious and busy corridors of the Cardiology Department in the Welcare Hospital, arousing awe as well as inspiration. At the age of 57, he starts off his vigorous schedule at 8.30 in the morning, meeting the in-patients, treating the visiting patients and supervising the junior doctors and his assistants. At the end of the day Vijayaraghavan may be physically tired but the kindly smile on his face lacks no luster. "It is an extremely stressful job but the sense of satisfaction and achievement is unparalleled," says Dr. Vijayaraghavan. "A doctor can never relax completely. He has to be on the spot whenever there is an emergency."

First Open-Heart Surgery
At a young age, having watched his father suffer the trauma of a heart attack, Vijayaraghavan decided to take up the profession of a heart doctor. Unlike many others who were forced into the medical profession, Vijaraghavan opted for the demanding profession out of his own free will. Participating in the first open-heart surgery at the Vellore Hospital in Madras back in 1971, the young professional was enthralled by the intricate structure and functioning of that small mass of flesh. "It was quite exciting to see how the heart stops for sometime and then starts beating again," he explains.

Establishing the Department
In Dubai, the credit of establishing the department of cardiology in the Welcare Hospital, which boasts of the latest technologies in the field, goes to his untiring efforts. "At the age of 50, it was a challenge to establish a cardiology department in a foreign country." recalls Vijayaraghavan, the head of the cardiology department at the Welcare Hospital.

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Our Personality in a nutshell

I love my work becauseThe sense of fulfillment after seeing a smiling patient is truly rewarding.
My hobbyTake a break from my busy life and camp out in some hill-station.
I dislike Bland personalities who lack vigour do not inspire me.
My role modelMy chief at Vellore Hospital, Prof. George Cheriyan.
My guiding principleMaximum hard work and discipline in profession.
If not a doctorI would have been a lawyer. It is an equally interesting profession.
My favourite spots in DubaiThe mountains beyond Hatta.
My favourite cuisineChinese. It is very appealing to the taste buds.
Happiest memories of my childhoodReading Children's Mahabaratha (the greatest Indian Epic) while in school.
My fitness regimeA few hours of walk whenever I get the time.

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After completing his MBBS and MD from Trivandrum Medical College, Kerala Viajayaraghavan took his Doctorate in Cardiology from Vellore Medical College in Madras, India. During his short span of service in the University of California, he standardized the methodology called Doppler Echo Cardiography which can measure the flow of blood within the heart. The book named `Doppler Echo Cardiograhy- A practical Manual' published in USA in 1985 is a major milestone in his successful career.

Dubai Hospitals
Hailing from Trivandrum in Southern India, Vijayaraghavan worked in Kuwait University before he joined the Welcare Hospital in 1988. After having worked in India, United States and other parts of the Middle East, how does he feel being in Dubai? "Hospitals in Dubai are equipped with modern technology that is on par with the world standards, but the lack of an active research group comes as a handicap while working in a hospital," explains the Doctor.

Health Scenario in Dubai
What is the expert's view on the general health scenario in Dubai? With fifteen years of experience in treating heart patients in the middle East, Vijayaraghavan has much to say about the Dubai lifestyle. "Heart ailments among Dubaities are very common. The fast life and the junk food culture that results in obesity, high cholesterol and blood pressure are the main reasons for cardiac complaints," says Dr, Vijaraghavan. When the people in other countries get the disease in their late 40's and fifties, Dubaities are at a higher risk developing heart ailments in their early thirties. "Though genetic factors also play a role, healthy food habits and regular exercise are essential to keep heart problems at bay," he asserts. But it is an irony that he who preaches the importance of regular exercise to his patients seldom practice it. "Little do I find time for myself from my busy schedule," says the Doctor.

Vijayaraghavan advises the patients, "When you are suffering from a severe chest pain, don't just go to a doctor, rush to the nearby hospital. There is not much a doctor can do in his clinic."

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