Dr. Suresh K. Pandey- MY LIFE, MY STRUGGLE AND MY MESSAGE
Journey of Doctor From an Indian Village to one of the World's Finest Eye surgeon
Dr. Suresh K. Pandey, MBBS, MS (Ophthalmology, PGIMER), Ant. Seg. Fellowship (USA & Australia)
Director- SuVi Eye Institute & Lasik Laser Center, C 13 Talwandi, Kota, Rajasthan, India; Phone 9351412449;
President: Kota Division Ophthalmological Society
Past Honorary Secretary, Indian Medical Association, Kota Branch
Visiting Assistant Professor, John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Dr. Suresh K. Pandey: Ophthalmic Entrepreneur
Dynamic Eye Surgeon with Passion
For Teaching & Research to Eliminate Preventable Blindness from India
I am self-made man and I rose from very humble beginnings to receive the best possible Ophthalmic Surgical training in India and overseas, and I am happy I could come back to my own area and people and do good work among my own people. I want to encourage and inspire young doctors to come back to their roots and provide good services in areas, where they are needed and valued. SuVi Eye Institute & Lasik Laser Center established in Kota by Ophthalmic Entrepreneurs- Dr. Vidushi Sharma Pandey and Dr Suresh K Pandey in February 2006 with goal of competent care with compassion is providing world class eye care services to all patients.
1. What have you specialized in ?
I have specialized in Eye Surgery, also known as “Ophthalmology” and my specific interests include routine and complex anterior segment eye micro-surgery, Phacoemulsification and Zepto assisted micro-incision cataract surgery and premium intraocular lens implantation, Lasik laser refractive surgery, phakic intraocular lenses. I consider myself fortunate to be trained from one of the best medical institutes of India, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (P.G.I.M.E.R.), Chandigarh and I also completed advanced clinical fellowship from prestigious John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, U.S.A. and Sydney Eye Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
2. Tell us about your young age. How were you brought up ? (Environment, Parents, Surroundings)
I was born on august 12, 1968 in a village called Mohna, near Rawatbhata (District Chittorgarh) in Rajasthan. My father (Shri Kameshwar Prasad Pandey) was a school teacher and my mother (Smt. Maya Pandey) was a housewife. We were a family of four siblings, and always had financial problems because of many family issues and all 4 of us studying. There were no roads or electricity in the village. It was a typically mundane Indian village with hardly any motivation to excel. I studied in the village Primary School (Govt. Primary School, Mohna) and then moved to Eklingpura, a nearby village (Govt. Secondary School, Eklingpura, and then Rawatbhata (Govt. Senior Secondary School, Rawatbhata). I completed B.Sc. Part 1 from Govt. College Rampura, M.P. I always maintained my first rank during my entire school education and also achieved first rank in Vikram University, Ujjain, M.P. during B.Sc. Part 1 examination.
3. How did it all start?
Somehow I always knew that I would have to work very hard to dream of a life beyond my small village. In spite of several adverse situations and lack of well-organized educational facilities, I had a dream to become a doctor (an eye surgeon) inspired by my grandfather (Late Sh. Kamta Prasad Pandey), who was freedom fighter and had learned some basic eye treatment and art of cataract surgery from P. D. Giridhar Eye Institute, Bhiwani. He was a freedom fighter and practicing in Ballia, UP, till 1942 but moved to Rajasthan (year 1943) after civil unrest against British rulers (known as “Baagi Ballia Movement”). Cataract Surgery was not very advanced in those days of my childhood (1974-84) and patient needed thick glasses of plus 10 diopters but I was very impressed to see blind patients expressing their gratitude to my grandfather when they were relieved of their eye problems (getting back their functional vision) after using thick glasses. So, I had set my eyes on becoming a doctor and specifically an ophthalmologist.
4. Why choose the clinical profession?
I wanted to become a doctor because I wanted to enter into a noble and respected profession that will allow me to go home knowing that I have made a difference (MAD) to someone's life. That difference may be something big, like saving a life, providing gift of sight or it may be something smaller like relieving somebody's pain. In a large part, it was because of the influence of my grandfather, who was very popular and highly respected by the people due to his ability to provide eye sight to patients who were bind due to cataract. Also, the medical profession has had a timeless appeal for youngsters, and at that time, there were hardly any other professions that I knew about, other than agriculture and education. In addition, since my childhood, I enjoyed interacting with patients and was always fascinated by a doctor’s ability to make a difference in their patients’ lives by medical or surgical treatment.
5. What were the initial challenges?
My first challenge was that realizing the dream of becoming a doctor in that remote, dusty village was no easy task. Unlike the extremely well organized coaching institutes and very experienced teaching faculties these days, there were no resources and no one to guide me in that village at that time. However, I took refuge in studying as hard as I could, and secured an N.T.S.E. (National Talent Search Examination) scholarship, which was a big motivation. I continued on my journey with borrowed books, visits to the Library, reading inspirational life stories to keep me motivated and so on, and despite all odds, managed to get selected in the M.B.B.S. course at Netaji Subhash Chandra Medical College at Jabalpur, M.P. I was selected in first attempt to be admitted in Medical College without taking any tution/coaching.
6. Entrepreneurship- Challenges Faced to Set up SuVi Eye Institute & Lasik Laser Center at Kota, India:
We faced another challenge when my spouse (Dr. Vidushi Sharma Pandey, an eye surgeon educated from AIIMS, New Delhi) and I returned to India from overseas and started medical entrepreneurship with little money and tried to set up SuVi Eye Institute, in Kota (Rajasthan) in rented premises on February 5, 2006. Within 3 years, we have built a new 4 storey building of SuVi Eye Hospital having 15000 square feet area with 30 bedded hospital in Talwandi, Kota. We started with auto-refractometer and operating microscope and a phacoemulsifcation machine. Initially our O.P.D. was 5-10 patients per day. Within one year, good word spread about our work and patient numbers increased slowly and gradually to 100-120 patients per day and now we see approximately 250 patients everyday and perform 8 to 10 laser/major and minor eye surgeries per day. So far, I have done more than 50,000 successful cataract surgeries (phacoemulsification with foldable lens implants) done with very high success rate and about 2000 eye surgery free of cost to the needy patients. Now SuVi Eye Hospital has “World Class Eye Surgery Facilities” including Rajasthan’s first Visx Lasik Laser Machine (for freedom from glasses), Signature Phacoemulsification machine/Zepto Cataract Surgery system (Phacoemulsification or suture-less cataract surgery ), Zeiss Lumera operating surgical microscope and DORC Eva phaco vitrectomy machine (for suture-less vitreo-retinal surgery), Oculus Pentacam (for diagnosis of corneal disorders), Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Specular Microscope, IOL Master (for lens power calculation), Retinal Green Laser and Fundus Fluorescein Angiography (FFA), and several other valuable diagnostic and surgical equipments to treat all routine and complex eye problems. Our center is recognized by Govt. of Rajasthan for corneal transplantation. Now we have a team 5 full-time competent doctors (Dr. Suresh K. Pandey, Dr. Vidushi Sharma, Dr. Arun Pandey, Dr. Nipun Bagrecha, Dr. Satyendra Kumar Gupta), one visiting retinal doctor (Dr. Abhiskhek Kothari) and total 50 staff members to help us in day to day activities of the hospital. My father-in-law (Late Gp. Capt. K.M. Sharma) was the force behind this vision, who inspired us to return to India from overseas and he also put in a lot of effort for staff training and human resource management at our hospital.
7. Tell us about journey of progress with education, higher education, schooling etc.
After securing admission in M.B.B.S., I again faced some problems as I had studied in Hindi Medium throughout, and found it hard to cope up with medical education in English. On top of it, I faced financial problems, and for quite some time, survived on just one meal a day and borrowed books. However, my seniors were helpful, and that was a big support. Slowly, I improved my academic performance and by second Professional examination, I could improve my ranking substantially (7th rank in the class of 140 medical students). After securing good rank in the state pre P.G. examination, I secured Ophthalmology subject for specialization at N.S.C.B. Medical College, Jabalpur, M.P., but after more than a year, I realized that to do really well, I should pursue my specialization from a really good institution. I appeared again for the Post Graduate (P.G.) entrance examination and now secured a P.G. seat in Ophthalmology in the prestigious Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (P.G.I.M.E.R.), Chandigarh. After completing P.G. in Ophthalmology from PGIMER, I moved overseas for advance training and worked as fellow and later on instructor for five years in USA (Storm Eye Institute, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C., and John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, U.S.A.) and two years in Australia (Sydney Eye Hospital, Save Sight Institute, Sydney, Australia).
8. Who have been your close friends, supporters in this journey?
The journey was difficult but I was exceptionally driven in those days. My family members were always a big support. I would also like to remember my friends Dr. Man Singh Chandel and Dr. Yogendra Kothari with whom I used to have Group Discussion and these group Studies were extremely helpful for me. However, some of my Seniors in Medical College helped in many ways, and helped me survive the initial challenges. I would like to mention the name of Dr. Somesh Gupta, Dr. Avadh Bihari Parashar, who was a very helpful colleague in medical College. Also, my relatives in Jabalpur were helpful and took care of many of my problems. I got married on June 23, 2002 and my spouse Dr Vidushi Sharma Pandey has been the biggest supporter since them in my professional and personal journey like a friend, philosopher and guide.
9. Your inspiration?
My first inspiration were my family members, in particular my parents and my grandfather. Later, there were times when I felt extremely de-motivated, as my ambitions seemed more and more difficult to achieve. It was during these times that I started reading magazines of the Gayatri Pariwar headed by Shriram Sharma Acharya, and found his articles (published in Akhand Jyoti Magazine) very uplifting. I once wrote to him and was pleasantly surprised to receive a hand-written reply, which gave me a lot of hope and strength. I also read books by Swami Vivekananda and also a lot of inspirational life stories of people who had faced struggles in life. While pursuing ophthalmology residency training, I was inspired by biography of Dr. Sohan Singh Hayreh and Dr. P. K. Basu that were published in Survey of Ophthalmology.
10. Who is your Guru ? Tell us about the teachers who have been important in the learning and knowledge you possess today ?
I have been lucky to have received the best possible medical training in India and overseas (USA & Australia). I would like to mention about Sh. Arvind Kumar Lakkad, a physics teacher from Govt. College, Rampura, M.P. My teachers in Medical College Jabalpur, M.P. and Advanced Eye Center, PGIMER, Chandigarh, particularly Prof. Jagat Ram (now director of PGIMER, Chandigarh) were very helpful not only in giving the best training, but also in instilling the best work ethics and professional standards. I am also grateful to (late) Professor David J. Apple (USA) for giving me the opportunity to participate in international eye conferences, Dr. Anthony J. Maloof, Dr. E. John Milverton (Director of Intraocular Implant Unit, Sydney Eye Hospital, Sydney, Australia) were instrumental in shaping and refining the surgeon in me, as they taught me the art of eye microsurgery using both right and left hand. Mastering eye microsurgery was difficult for me as I was left handed surgeon and I needed to copy the surgical steps from right-handed surgeons. I consider myself very fortunate to have come in contact with Late Sir N. Harold Ridley (inventor of Intraocular Lens) and Late Dr. Charles D. Kelman (Inventor of phacoemulsification machine) who are most influential ophthalmologists of the 20th century. I was also inspired by Indian doyens of ophthalmology, notably Dr. Govindappa Venkataswamy (Founder of Aravind Eye Care System, Madurai), Dr. Sengamedu Srinivasa Badrinath (Founder of Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai) and Dr. Gullapalli N. Rao (Founder of L. V. Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad).
11. What is the role of your family in your progress ? How are you as a parent ?
My parents has always been important and always supported me at each and every step. My grandfather was an inspiration from the beginning. Later, it was my strong desire to provide financial stability to my family and parents that motivated me. I was lucky to get married to Dr. Vidushi Sharma (MD, AIIMS, FRCS, UK), who is not only an excellent ophthalmologist (Lasik and Oculoplastic Surgeon), but is also very level headed. It was because of her insistence that we moved back to India and settled in Kota (Rajasthan). She has supported me in all my endeavours, yet has a personality of her own, and our different approaches keep things balanced. She also played very valuable role to prepare 300 educational videos on YouTube (link- https://www.youtube.com/user/Drsureshkpandey ). She has also written a motivational book (Meri Kitab Meri Dost) for coaching students and youngsters to motivate them.
I have one 11 year old daughter (Ishita Pandey), and right now I am also evolving as a parent as she is growing. Ishita is my only child and a happy child and she keeps me busy when I am at home.
12. Your passion apart from profession?
I enjoy photography, travelling to new places, meeting new people and making friends. My passion is to motivate young students to become better citizens of India and to excel in their field. I share my passion with my better half Dr. Vidushi Sharma Pandey and she has written a motivational book “Meri Kitab Meri Dost” for motivating coaching students of Kota City. I, together with Dr Vidushi, had the opportunity to conduct several motivational seminars in famous coaching institutes (Resonance, Aakash, Career Point, Btrix, Sarvottam and Vibrant) of Kota City. Both of us also had the opportunity to participate in “Live Positive Campaign” by Dainik Bhaskar. I also enjoy doing public health awareness activities being president of Kota Division Ophthalmological Society and Past Secretary of Indian Medical Association (IMA, Kota Branch), I have had excellent opportunities to educate the public about the prevention of diseases by celebrating important health days.
13. Kindly give us your favorite quote about life/motivation/success
My Formula for success in the Medical Field is “Competent Care with Compassion”. Nothing in this world can take the place of Dedication, Determination and Diligence to achieve success. Talent alone will not get you success: nothing is more common than unsuccessful person with talent. Genius will also not get you success; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will also not get you there: the world is full of educated derelicts. Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success in any field.
14. Awards & Recognitions
Dr. Suresh K Pandey & Dr Vidushi Sharma Pandey Receiving An Award from Film Star Mr Shekhar Suman in Mumbai, India
Dr. Suresh K. Pandey was awarded Achievement Award by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He received several prestigious awards for his research & surgical innovations, which include Best-of-Show Video Award, Best Poster Award, Best-Paper-of-the-Session Award for the surgical videos, scientific posters and papers in the national and international ophthalmology congresses such as American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS) and Asia Pacific Academy of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (APACRS).
APACRS Film Festival Award at Shanghai (China) for Video prepared from Dr. Suresh K Pandey & Dr Vidushi Sharma Pandey
Academic Achievement: Dr. Suresh Pandey has presented more than 46 scientific papers in various international ophthalmological meetings and authored more than 15 peer-reviewed scientific papers/communications, textbook chapters, and 8 ophthalmic textbooks. Dr. Pandey’s book on Pediatric Cataract Surgery (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, USA) remains the bestseller on this topic.
Live Surgery in National & International Ophthalmology Conferences: Dr. Suresh K. Pandey was awarded Gold Medal by Indian Intraocular Implant and Refractive Surgery Society twice (in July 2000 and in July 2013). Dr. Pandey was invited to perform “Live Surgery” at international meeting at Milan, Italy as well as at Delhi Ophthalmological Society (DOS) and Rajasthan Ophthalmological Society (ROS) conferences (five times). Dr. Suresh K. Pandey and his spouse (Dr. Vidushi Sharma Pandey, MD, AIIMS, FRCS) were honored by Govt. of Rajasthan for their outstanding work done in the field of ophthalmic teaching and elimination of preventable blindness.
Dr. Suresh K. Pandey performing Live Surgery During the Delhi Ophthalmological Society (DOS) Conference, New Delhi, India
Dr. Suresh K. Pandey performing Live Surgery During the Delhi Ophthalmological Society (DOS) Conference, New Delhi, India
Leadership in National & International Medical Association: Dr Suresh K Pandey is member of international committee of All India Ophthalmological Society (AIOS). He is the youngest member (among 6 members from India) of International Intraocular Implant Club (IIIC). Dr. Pandey is currently president of Kota Divisional Ophthalmic society and past secretary of Indian Medical Association, Kota Branch.
Teaching & Research in the Field of Ophthalmology: Dr. Suresh K. Pandey’s contributed more than 300 videos related to several topics related to doctors and medical practice- His educational video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/user/Drsureshkpandey Dr. Pandey is regularly conducting phacoemulsification (routine and complex), Lasik laser refractive surgery training program at SuVi Eye Institute and Lasik Laser Center, Kota, Rajasthan, India. Several doctors (ophthalmologists trainees and observers from India and abroad) have visited Kota, India including from USA, Switzerland, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan and Iraq.
Editorial Reviewer- International Journals: Dr Pandey is also participating as editorial reviewer for peer-reviewed journal such as Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Eye, Survey of Ophthalmology, Ophthalmology, British Journal of Ophthalmology, Journal of Postgraduate Medicine, American Journal of Ophthalmology, etc.
Charitable, Social & Health Awareness Activities: Dr. Suresh K Pandey and his team is actively doing several charitable, social and health awareness activities during past decade. Few of them include celebration of important health day (World Blood Donation Day, World Sight Day, World Glaucoma Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Heart Day, World Diabetic Day, Doctors Day, etc). Dr. Pandey and his team are also actively involved in various social work initiated by IMA. Dr Pandey’s team running Mobile Eye Care Unit and providing eye care facilities to the patients residing in the rural area of Rajasthan and adjoining Madhya Pradesh since 2006. During past 10 years, more than 1,00000 OPD patients were benefited and free eye surgery performed in several needy patients.
Dr. Suresh Pandey and Dr Vidushi Sharma Pandey Receiving Award from Sh. Shanti Dhariwal (Home Minster of Rajasthan)
15. Summary of your professional life.
I have had a varied journey in my professional life as a successful eye surgeon (ophthalmologist) and an entrepreneur in the medical field. For almost a decade while working in USA & Australia, I was extremely active in academics and participated in all the major International Conferences (in various countries of North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Middle East), presenting my clinical and research papers and videos in these Conferences. Then I took an unusual turn in life, returned to India and set up world class eye care facility- SuVi Eye Institute and Lasik Laser Center near my birth-place (Kota) with the goal of competent care with compassion. After a few years, I again became active in academics and now have the satisfaction of serving my own people (Private Practice) as well as academics. Dr. Vidushi and myself are also enjoying motivating thousands of coaching students of Kota city.
16. What's your vision/plan ahead ?
SuVi Eye Hospital and Lasik Laser Center was established on February 5, 2006 and our motto was “Competent Care with Compassion”. It was my dream to provide the latest cutting edge technology services in eye care in a friendly manner to people of my own area, and I have been lucky to have achieved this goal to a large degree in a short period of one decade. As a successful entrepreneur in the medical field, I want to continue to provide good services, and also want to train and inspire more and more young doctors to excel in their work, and provide services near their hometowns. Kota City is very famous in the field of Education (IIT and Medical coaching) and it is our dream to make this city famous in the field of eye surgery as well. In addition to the work related to eye surgery, I would like to continue my passion to motivate all coaching students to do their best efforts to get success and also to live positive to stay happy in their life.