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  Dr. Rajendra Kale

Dr. Rajendra Kale has created history of sorts. The Pune based Neurologist has become the first Non UK citizen to become the editor of the British Medical Journal. The unassuming Doctor is all set to leave for London to take up his new post.

Poonabest spoke to him and got an insight in to his new job

Q. Congratulations, Could you tell us how this new job offer came about?
A. The Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal sent me a feeler a month ago asking me if I was interested in editing. I saw it as a splendid opportunity besides being a challenge and so decided to take up the offer.

Q. Would editing of a medical journal be a new experience or do you have some editorial experience?
A.  I have been involved in the editing of medical journals for some time now and in fact was an Editorial Registrar for the BMJ in 1994. At that time I was a student in UK. On my return to India, I started my medical practice in Pune and at the same time was involved in editing the "Epilepsy Digest" and the "International Epilepsy News," both International Medical Publications. I also continued to be a visiting editor of the BMJ.

Q. Could you tell us something about your educational background?
I have done my MBBS and a MD in Neurology from Grant Medical College Mumbai. I have been practicing Neurology in Pune since 1985 and am attached to Ruby Hall and Inlaks and Budhrani Hospitals.

Q You seem to have a special interest in Epilepsy, any particular reason?
A. I am a Neurologist by training. I have to consider different aspects to Neurological disorders, though I must admit, I have a special interest in Epilepsy.

Q. As far as Epilepsy is concerned- how is Indian Medicine geared to treat it?
A.  We have a very wide training gap as far as Epilepsy is concerned. Our doctors need to get more training in the field of Epilepsy; unfortunately they do seem to get the requisite amount.

Q. Is the treatment for epilepsy expensive? How else do you explain the reluctance on the part of epileptic patients to go in for treatment?
A. The problem is not financial, as drugs that are needed to treat it are cheap. The reluctance to get treated is simply on account of the social stigma attached to Epilepsy. Besides, the treatment to cure epilepsy takes years.

Q. To get back to your editorial assignment, for what duration is it going to be?
A. I have committed for a year. I will be asking my colleagues to take care of my practise for a while.

Q. How has your family reacted to your shift of countries?
A. They are excited and looking forward to the stint abroad. My wife and younger son who is in the 9'th standard, will accompany me .My older son, Sanjay, is studying Fashion Technology in NIFT Mumbai. Since he is already in a good professional college, he plans to stay back.

Q. What do you like to do in your free time?
A. I like to swim and I like to sit and chat with my friends.

By Rahul Surkund
Photo-Courtesy-Dr Kale


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