Dr.Kakarla Subba Rao, MBBS, MS, FRCR, FACR, FICP,FSASMA, FCCP, FICR, FCGP is presently the Director and Vice Chancellor of Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences. Known all over the world as an eminent Bone Radiologist was involved in development of health care of Andhra Pradesh in a big way.
1. How did you feel on being conferred the Padma Shree Award?
A: Naturally, I was thrilled when I was told that I have been nominated for Padma Shri award by the Government of India. I know several other people also deserve it but I must say I am lucky to get it. However, I am not really surprised because as I see the number of people who got Padma awards have not rendered any more superior service than me.
2. In your long tenure as a world renowned Radiologist you must have presented papers at the National and International levels. In your opinion which was your best presentation and why?
A: I have presented several papers at the national and international levels. I cannot really pick out any single scientific paper. However, the paper on “Enzymatic Errors Reflected in Skeleton” has been acclaimed as the best for the innovative correlative ideas. Genetic Engineering and Gene Therapy are going to be the future of several genetic disorders. Hence, this paper brings out the importance of early diagnosis by the skeleton manifestations of genetic disorders.
3. With your vast experience in Radiology and Imaging, could you share with our viewers, which was the most interesting case you have come across.
A: I have seen a number of most interesting cases. I mean most challenging cases where the radiologist’s brain is picked and only knowledgeable radiologist can give a correct diagnosis by integrating all the radiological findings in the films. These challenges have been at various levels of my experience. To give an example, during my residency, I had diagnosed 'Acute Pancreatitis' on plain films of the abdomen only. Later, I got recognition several times by Radiological Society of North America for having been the first or second in giving the right answers to the quizes conducted by the society.
4. You have achieved the ultimate in Radiology in terms of academic excellence. What is your ambition now?
A: Frankly, I have not really attained the ultimate in radiology in terms of academic excellence. As radiology is progressing, there is so much to learn everyday and this learning is life long and there is no end to it. However, the younger generation is coming up with better brains more dynamism and much more aggressiveness. My ambition to day is to give the best of my services so that the poor and the people living in far off peripheral areas get best Medicare through my services.
5. In your opinion who is an ideal Radiologist?
A: An ideal radiologist should be a clinician first and a human being second. The third should be excellent image interpreter and help the clinician so that in turn he helps the patient. A cost-effective radiology with quality Medicare is absolutely necessary than doing a job by mechanical interpretation of the images. An ideal radiologist should involve in early diagnosis, management and rehabilitation of the patient.
6. The net is being put to tremendous use in disseminating information in all medical specialties. Would you think if CME programme in Radiology is regularly conducted ‘online’ will it have the same impact as the conventional method. Are we geared up to participate ‘online’ via net?
A: Most of the physicians are not yet geared up to participate online through net. It may take another couple of years, by the time the teaching through CME could be routinely online.
7. Whom would you rate an ideal Radiologist?
A: As explained earlier, an ideal radiologist is a generalist instead of being an equipment specialist. Today an organ specialist is absolutely necessary due to the in depth knowledge of imaging in specific organs. For example, if one can talk about neuroradiology and he is a super radiologist in a limited field. Today it is impossible to be a specialist in all the organs in the body. An ideal radiologist should have the capability of being a consultant to the specialist and superspecialist.
8. Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences has achieved the status of a centre of excellence under your directorship. How would you consider Radiology specialty in the hospital with the addition of Spiral CT and MRI. Are you proposing for any more modalities?
A: No doubt Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences has achieved the status of a centre of excellence in radiology and imaging. However, many more papers have to be delivered from the institute by the radiologists and some amount of research also has to be conducted in order to call the department a super department. There are some lacunae in our training of the young radiologist. For example, they do not have on the spot training in certain specialties like Obstretics and Gynecology, Paediatrics, ENT, etc. We are also proposing to obtain equipment for mammography, subtraction radiography and also digitize the entire department to keep up with modern technology.
9. Majority of doctors feel that radiology is the least interactive (with patient) medical specialty. Do you subscribe to this opinion?
A: It has been traditional for the radiologist to sit in his room and interpret films that are produced by the technician. Today this tradition has changed and the radiologist has to interact with patients in various specialties. He has to know the signs, symptoms and pathogenesis of the disorders so that he can select the best modality to adopt in a particular situation. Fortunately, interventional radiology has come into vogue so that the radiologist is performing a cheaper and better job than the surgeon in some situations. Hence, I don’t think, the radiologist should be least interactive with the patient. He should be more interactive not only with patients but with all the specialists concerned.
10. What is the message you would wish to convey to young Radiologists and Postgraduates?
A: A message that I can convey to the young radiologists and the postgraduates is to achieve excellence in their field of interest. For this they have to know a lot more clinical medicine and much more pathology so that he can integrate the imaging methods to give to final diagnosis and suggest treatment. He should feel that he is “consultant for consultants”. Unless he is ultimate in his own field, he cannot be a consultant to the consultants. He should establish credibility that he is the ultimate in diagnosis.
11. It is known that you have been instrumental in creating a trust called KREST and that you have without any hesitation donated property worth Rs.50,00,000/- to house the trust. This gesture of yours is worth emulating. In that direction would you like to lead KREST. Can viewers be of any help in fulfilling this noble cause?
A: KREST has been formed so that there will be a centre of excellence for the young radiologists to meet, to interact and to get trained so that the specialty can be improved and the training and teaching methods are available atleast to the peripheral radiologists. The viewers can contribute if not monetarily but technologically as well as with the contribution of their most interesting cases to the teaching file.
12. It is said that there is a proposal to install a PET scanner in the campus of your hospital and that you have been instrumental largely in brining all the agencies together. When will this happen?
A: The proposal of a PET scanner in our campus has been postponed for a while. However, all the members of the superspeciality hospitals of Hyderabad are still thinking to obtain a cyclotron with a PET scanner by their own contributions so that we can catch up with the rest of the world in latest imaging.
13. When you left a very lucrative position in the US forsaking all the comforts in life and settle in Hyderabad. Did you every get a feeling of regret? Or the sacrifice you have made was too satisfying?
A: I never look back nor regret in the decision of coming back to this country and serve my country people. Infact, in all my decisions, I sincerely follow my conscientious decisions whether it is right or wrong. After all, satisfaction is most important in life and I achieve this. There is nothing more that one would like to aspire.
14. How do you use spend your Leisure?
A: There is not that much leisure for me to do whatever I like to do. For instance, I would like to read extensively, particularly the literature both in English and Telugu. I would like also to do a little gardening, which I do at my leisure time. I would like to look after my family and spend more time, but I cannot.
15. There is an increased tendency for young Radiologists to get maximum exposure on new modalities like ultrasound, CT, MRI at the cost of ignoring conventional radiology. This imbalance is being noticed all over the country. Do you have any suggestions to correct this imbalance.
radiologist is the basis for all new imaging modalities today. It may not have
100% use in future but it still would play some role in future. Unless one is
proficient in conventional radiology, he cannot be a good specialist in the
newer modalities. It is unfortunate that the young radiologists are fascinated
by newer modalities. However, I strongly feel that they should have one full
year of training in medicine and other specialties before they take up
radiology. That will give a good grounding in the interpretation of the
conventional radiological methods. It will take another decade or two before we
adopt latest modalities in taking medical care to each and every citizen of the