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Dr. Saudamini Chandramukhram Pandya
(Mother Teresa of Gujarat)

*Rohit Bhatt
** Dr.Smruti Ajit Rawal
Chief. Dept. Obst. Gynec

Bhailal Amin General Hospital. Baroda
Email : rohit.v.bhatt@gmail.com
**Consultant Obst.Gynec. Ahmedabad


Know your Pioneers


Dr. Saudamini Pandya
Birth 1-10-1917 Demise.13-1-2007

Saudamini Pandya was born in Nadiad town in Gujarat on 1st, October, 1917.She had her school education in Bharuch in Gujarat. She had exceptionally brilliant academic career. She won most medals and prizes at all MBBS examinations. She passed MBBS from Grant Medical College, Mumbai in 1940.

She got several medals in all three MBBS examinations. When she received viceroy of India Gold medal during convocation, she was given standing ovation. She cleared her MD in 1942. She started private practice in Ahmedabad during the quit India movement .Though she was doing very well in private practice, her desire for serving suffering women made her   take full time teaching job in 1946 at famous Vadilal Sarabhai General Hospital (VS Hospital) and served till her retirement in 1976.She acted as a Dean and Superintendent of the hospital, Dean of the faculty of medicine at the Gujarat university and member of the academic council. When duty hours were from 9 to 5 pm, she used to see patients till late night. Her patients would wait for their turn because of their faith in her clinical judgement.Not only she was a good clinician, she was sympathetic, compantionate and helpful.

She was a brilliant clinician. She worked at a time when there was no endoscope, no ultra sound and no other elaborate investigation facilities. Emphasis was on clinical judgment and gut feeling.

Once unmarried resident doctor was admitted in the VS Hospital and was treated for diarrhea and vomiting. She was looking pale. Dr.Pandya diagnosed her as ‘Ectopic pregnancy’. Everybody thought she was crazy to suspect pregnancy in an unmarried doctor. She stunned all medical persons when on laparotomy, it turned out to be ruptured ectopic pregnancy. The patient was saved by her timely intervention (Smriti).

Saudaminiben was a brilliant teacher. She used to take clinics and lectures beyond her office time. Students from other medical colleges used to throng in large numbers to listen to her. She would give many practical tips to students. She would never loose her temper if the student or the resident made a mistake. She would quietly call the resident in her chamber and guide her/him so that same mistake is not committed again.

She received several awards for her devotion to health care of women.

Her life style was most impressive. She was always clad in white sari and never used any cosmetics for her make up. Though she was a member of Obstetric & Gynecology society of Ahmedabad, she did not wish to contest for any post in society or federation. Her mission in life was to serve the community.

She used to come to Baroda as examiner. She would stay at my place (RVB).She would pamper my son during leisure time. She would ask simple basic questions to students without frightening them. In the examination hall, she would come to the rescue of the student if other examiner was harsh or angry. Her needs were very few. She used all her energy and wealth for the upliftment of women.

Saudaminiben did not believe in rest. Even after retirement, when she could have taken well earned rest, she continued her practice till she suffered from stroke. Her activities were restricted because of the stroke. She spent the last few years reading religious books and watching TV news.

Saudaminiben became a legend in her life time and was rightly called, “Mother Teresa” by her students and patients. She lives behind her students who are occupying senior positions.

Take home message

  • Simple life style
  • Compassion for patients
  • Emphasis on clinical judgment
  • Dedication for women empowerment
  • Helpful to students in need
  • Love for teaching and patient care
  • Encourage young talents for research