Dr. Rajendra Kale
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
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
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
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