Ramnik and Jyoti Parekh create a scholarship for young doctors

An exciting and generous scholarship has been created by two well known Indian colleagues, Drs Ramnik and Jyoti Parekh (pictured above), who are also WONCA's first couple to join as Direct Life Members - Dr Raman Kumar, WONCA Executive Young Doctor representative provides this report.

At the recent WONCA South Asia Regional Conference Chennai, Dr Jyoti Parekh and Dr Ramnik Parekh, senior colleagues from Mumbai, announced a special gift for the young family doctors of the South Asia region. The couple committed Indian Rupees 100,000 every year to support the Spice Route Movement (the South Asia region movement for young family doctors).

The scholarship shall be awarded every year to deserving young doctors in South Asia region towards supporting their participation in regional exchanges, global exchange program FM360 and WONCA conferences. The Parekh couple has also generously offered to host any exchange visitor from across world at their home in Mumbai. They live in a three bedroom apartment and one AC room shall be made available with vegetarian food with a prior request.

WONCA acknowledges the significant generosity of this scholarship and on behalf of the future young doctor recipients says a big "thank you" to Ramnik and Jyoti.

From Jyoti and Ramnik: A Message to Young Family Physicians

Having spent over 50 years in healthcare and decades as family doctors in Mumbai, the one remarkable fact we have observed is that the family physician is the only doctor who can provide 'easily accessible, affordable, continuing, comprehensive healthcare; being fully aware of a family's socio-economic and psychological aspects.' Your choice to practice family medicine is a rare privilege.

We must confess that being direct members of Royal College of General Practitioners (UK) and WONCA from our early professional life has contributed significantly to our growth, professionalism and high values in life. We encourage all young professionals to do the same. Be a part of an incredible world community - WONCA. May God bless you all to bloom to become ideal family doctors.

About Jyoti Parekh

Jyoti practiced Family Medicine in South Mumbai, with successful family and paediatric practice for over 40 years starting from 1964.

She was the first doctor in Mumbai to start a private immunisation centre, where Smallpox, Triple, Polio, measles, MMR, Typhoid and anti rabies injections were given. She maintained the records of all the children and a reminder system for future follow-ups. Records of more than 5000 childrens’ immunisations were kept in her clinic. Along with immunisation, guidance about child care and a diet chart was given. Parents were regularly reminded by mail for repeat and booster doses. She was also the first family doctor to use a computer in practice, in 1982. She conducted a child guidance clinic with a team of a child psychologist, a counsellor and a psychiatrist.

She has, in the past served as the President of General Practitioners Association of Greater Mumbai and Honorary Secretary of IMA College of General Practice, Mumbai. She has presented a number of scientific papers in national and international conferences. She also had teaching assignments in Sophia College polytechnic and SNDT University.

Since her retirement in 2011, she has taught science, history, geography etc. to street children, through Vatsalya (an NGO). At present, she continues writing a health column in Good Housekeeping Magazine. She is also a Trustee for Antim Samskar Seva, a community service for dignified funeral and cremation of the departed. She, with Dr Ramnik Parekh, coach family physicians on Art, Culture, Music etc under the banner of Culture Club.

About Ramnik Parekh

Born in 1936 in Karachi, Ramnik graduated in medicine in 1962, and after 20 years of Family Practice qualified in Occupational Health from Mumbai & London. He is an Honorary Fellow of IMA College of General Practice and also an Honorary Fellow of Indian Association of Occupational Health.

He was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by the General Practitioners’ Association -Greater Bombay and National Safety Council. He is the Immediate Past President of Federation of Family Physicians’ Associations of India (FFPAI). He is a foundation member and past-president of General Practitioners’ Association of Greater Bombay and has provided pioneering activities for the cause of family practice. He is the official representative of FFPAI on WONCA world council.

Ramnik founded the “Journal of General Practice” and co-authored three books including “Introduction to General Practice” and “Tax & Accounting for Medical Professionals”. His recent international publication with an Australian co-author is “Occupational & Environmental Health – A Practical Manual”. He was previously editor of the “Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine” and that of “Physician’s Digest”.

After retiring from healthcare practice, he acquired Diplomas in Graphic Design and Digital Film Making from the New York Film Academy. A solo and later a joint exhibition of his photographs was held at Mumbai in March 2009, and in November 2012. He also was casted in a film ‘Ship of Theseus’ which won several international awards and won India’s Best Feature film 2013 award.

Contact Details: 1004 Phoenix tower ‘b’, Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, MumbaI 400013
 e-mail: ramnik.parekh@gmail.com