4 Victoria Terrace: Memoirs of a Surgeon covers tumultuous times in recent history, beginning from the later years of British Rule. Rarely does one come across a doctor''s account of what it meant to experience and handle human tragedies of the magnitude of the Bengal Famine or the Partition of the country.
Apart from being a doctor''s travelogue, there is hardly any major city in the world that Dr Chatterjee has not visited, this book also unfolds an extremely perceptive description of one of our most important social institutions: medical colleges and hospitals. We also get an inside view of the medical profession itself, one of the most politicized at every level, but not without enduring friendships and knowledge sharing.
These pages contain some tragic stories of dedicated brilliant doctors, who become the victims of their own profession. There are also accounts of almost miraculous surgery that saves patients, all but dead, and often just a few hours old.
The book ends with a reflection on the ethical dilemmas inherent in the medical profession in general and pediatric surgery in particular.
Prologue: Two Memorable Days
1. My Homes
2. My School
3. My College
4. Life in the UK
5. My Hospitals: Nil Ratan Sarkar Medical College, Calcutta
6. My Hospitals: Ramkrishna Mission Seva Pratisthan, Calcutta
7. Pediatric Surgery, My Passport: North America and Europe
8. Pediatric Surgery, My Passport: Australia, Africa and Asia
9. Indian Travelogue
10. The Park
11. Park Medical Research Centre
12. Ethical Dilemmas of Pediatric Practice
Professor Subir K. Chatterjee is a major figure in world pediatric surgery and has pioneered the speciality in the eastern region of the country, especially, in the city of Calcutta (now Kolkata) and continues at 85 years to dedicate his life to treating patients and teaching surgery to his students. Some of his students have become leaders in their fields. Professor Chatterjee has authored numerous learned papers in national and international journals and is also the author of Anorectal Malformations (Oxford and Delhi, 2006).
‘This is an account of the journey through life of one of the foremost paediatric surgeons in this country. To those of a similar vintage it will evoke fond memories of a late twentieth century Calcutta, where there was stylish living, albeit for a few, and a surgical career path that has all but disappeared which consisted of a basic degree here followed by further training in the United Kingdom culminating in the passing of the dreaded and prestigious FRCS examination. Many then went to the United States for advanced training as did the author where he worked with many of the greats in the field.’
-Samiran Nundy, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi
‘It is an honour and a serious responsibility to be asked to introduce Subir Chatterjee's Memoirs…. His book is a remarkable account of a life outstanding for its achievements from trainee surgeon struggling with the Fellowship of theEnglish College of Surgeons to Honorary Member of the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons and becoming a major figure in world paediatric surgery…. I commend it highly to all who know Subir and equally to those who will come to know him through its pages.’
-James A. S. Dickson FRCS Ed. & Eng. FRCPCH, Emeritus Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, Sheffield Children's Hospital and Honorary Member The British Association of Paediatric Surgeons