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Top UK Honour For Indian-Origin Doctor

Shiv Pande given Royal College of General Practitioners’ (RCGP) ‘lifetime achievement 2024’ award…reports Asian Lite News

Shiv Pande, who gained medical qualifications in India, moved to the UK in 1971 and has given 62 years of service to medicine, general practice and supporting a wide range of causes, has been awarded the prestigious ‘Lifetime Achievement 2024’ Award by the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

The award was conferred at a glittering ceremony in London on Friday, June 21, 2024. A conspicuous star with the words ‘Dr Shiv Pande MBE’ is to be embedded at the RCGP’s headquarters next to Euston Square (see photo below).

The award honours an exceptional member of the RCGP whose career has been characterised by an unparalleled commitment to the profession. It recognises individuals who have dedicated a substantial part of their professional journey to enhancing both the field of general practice and the diverse communities associated with the college, leaving a lasting mark on the profession.

Pande, 85, whose service has been widely recognised, celebrated and awarded over the decades, has been felicitated with MBE and the ‘Citizen of Honour’ conferred by the Liverpool City Council, among others. He has been closely involved in raising thousands of pounds for several causes, including for victims of the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy and for Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. He has organised cricket matches involving Test cricketers from India, Pakistan and other countries as part of charity initiatives.

Pande was among four exceptional doctors short-listed for the award; the other three were Paul Cousins, Gill Tonge and Ruth Chambers.

Throughout Pande’s 62 years in medicine, he has worked in India, London and finally settled in north-west England where he spent the last 30 years as a GP. He is a strong supporter of minority groups and has been instrumental in setting up many associations to support local, national and international communities.

He has lectured all over the world on various topics and is a visiting professor and senior lecturer at several establishments, including University of Bolton and Gauhati University, Assam, India. He held several key roles in the RCGP over the decades, initiating best ways to effect change from within. In 2016, he received the RCGP President’s Certificate of Commendation Award. He was honoured by her Majesty the Queen in 1989 for services to General Practice. 

One of Pande’s lasting contributions is his defining role in ensuring that Part -1 of the PLAB test is held in India and various countries, which began as a pilot study in India in 1996 and is still going strong in many countries. 

The other three candidates for the award have also had exceptional careers and engagement with the community they served over the decades.

A popular GP, Paul Cousins saw patients face-to-face during the Covid-19 pandemic, especially those who really needed a doctor’s input. He is a GP partner, but also a great leader. He is known for promptly responding to messages, calls and queries. His patients cannot praise him enough; some mention how he looks after their whole families.

Gill Tonge, is a GP at the Peterloo Medical Centre, Middleton, for over 25 years, but throughout that period and now she continues as a GP Trainer and Educational Supervisor. In recent years, she has mostly been a GP Trainer for the GPSTs who are really struggling with passing their exams. She has an amazing success rate: many have gone on to become GPs with her support, patience and time.

Ruth Chambers has since made a real difference to her community and the world of international medical education through her extensive and prolific writing. She has co-authored 83 books and countless academic papers that have been widely quoted. Until her retirement in 2017, she worked in some of the most deprived areas of Stoke-on-Trent. Since 2000, she has successfully written bids totalling more than £6 million for improvement projects. She was awarded OBE in 2012 for services to Primary Care.

The RCGP has over 54,000 members and functions as the professional home for GPs, led by GPs, maintaining the highest standards in patient care.

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