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|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 961-962
Dr. Sanatan Rath
Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon, Kalinga Hospital, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
|Date of Web Publication||26-Aug-2020|
Dr. B S Das
Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon, Kalinga Hospital, Bhubaneswar - 751 021, Odisha
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Das B S. Dr. Sanatan Rath. Neurol India 2020;68:961-2
The demise of Prof. Sanatan Rath on 9th June 2020 was an irreparable loss to the neuroscience community of India. For the eastern states, a patriarch has departed. A mentor to many, he was a friend to his colleagues and students alike. Prof. Rath inducted me into Neurosurgery and hence I am personally aggrieved.
The eldest son of Chintamani Devi and Manmath Rath of Atenda, Narasingpur, he joined SCB Medical College, Cuttack (1953) after intermediate studies at Ravenshaw College. After graduation (1957), he opted for state governmental service and worked in remote areas; on occasions, he had to walk miles and cross a river in spate! Dr. Rath obtained MS (Surgery) from the Patna University (1962) and plunged into specialization in Neurosurgery at CMC Vellore soon thereafter.
On returning to Orissa in 1965, he set forth establishing the department at SCB Medical College, Cuttack. At his behest, the Govt. of Orissa graciously deputed a team comprising an anesthetist, a ward nurse and a scrub nurse for a year's training at Vellore. Soon Dr. G.C. Mitra joined the college after DM (Neurology) at CMC. Dr. Rath was my senior in the medical college and on his advice, I had joined the fledgeling department as Registrar.
It was a herculean task to build the neurosurgical services within the department of Surgery. He was ambitious and possessed the tenacity to achieve. Very soon, we had a Shonander skull unit, A-mode Echo scanner, and an EEG machine. The OT was furnished with a dedicated operation table, requisite neurosurgical instruments, and a Bovie electro cautery unit. Dr. Rath interacted personally with ancillary departments to garner willing support from all quarters. The services offered by him gathered appreciation in the state and beyond. He lectured widely to create public awareness on head injury, brain tumor, brain stroke, etc., A head CT-Scan unit at SCB in 1981 was the second such in a government medical college in India. The initiation of the M. Ch course (1982) was a right step in manpower development.
He was kind hearted, soft spoken, empathetic, and lent a patient ear to the sick. The master surgeon that he was, patients from neighboring states including Assam, Tripura, and Bangladesh sought his expertise. He maintained meticulous patient records and his notes had precise information—a trait that is fast disappearing.
Prof. Rath was a keen academician. Despite constraints, he penned several papers in national and international journals. He organized the annual conference of the Neurological Society of India (NSI) at Cuttack in 1982. After serving as the Principal, SCB Medical College (1991–1992), he was elevated to be the Director of Medical Education, Odisha till his superannuation in 1994. Dr. Rath was a founder member of the Association of Neuroscientists of Eastern India (ANEI). Subsequently, he was the President of NSI (1994) and ANEI (1995). After retirement, he set up the first successful neurosurgical private practice in the state at “The Ideal Clinic,” Cuttack. This consumed most of his time, yet he was always the first to reach an academic meet!
He was married to Smt. Sushama, a homemaker and source of great strength in all his pursuits. The couple were known to shower affectionate care to all. Some of their household helps have been around for over 50 years! I had a long association with Prof. Rath and we shared a cordial family relationship.
Dr. Sanatan Rath stood tall amongst his contemporaries and proved to be more than a worthy student of his teacher Prof. Jacob Chandy.