Dr M S Khuroo
Mohammad Sultan Khuroo was born at Kraltengh, Sopore, Kashmir, India in an educated and respected family. His family had established their permanent residence in this part of the historical town in the early part of the last century. Soon, the family came in touch with many Islamic scholars and Sufi saints and this became a seat of learning and Islamic teachings. Family grandparent, Late Haji Fateh Khuroo (1885-1958), was a scholar in Persian literature and his Quranic recitation was so impressive as to amaze/immobilize the audience. A handwritten version of the Quran on tree-paper available with the family is a great religious antique and a treat to view and recite. Late Haji Abdul Rahim Khuroo (1922-1995), the father was educated in Persian and spent most of his later life-time in social work.
Mohammad Sultan did his primary schooling in Government Baba-Yousuf school, passed his matriculation from Govt. High School Sopore and completed his FSC (11th& 12th grade) from Govt. Degree College Sopore. During this time, he was guided by many stalwart teachers who taught him discipline and mannerism. Based on his brilliant academic records he got admission to Medical College Srinagar in 1962 to pursue his training in medicine.
Dr. Khuroo has been a great family man who respects his wife to no end; he cares for his children no less than any other parent would.
In 1971, he married Haleema Pandith, daughter of Late Haji Abdul Jabbar Pandith. Haji Sahib was the elder brother of Late Haji Abdul Samad Pandith, a highly successful entrepreneur from Sopore. Haji Abdul Jabbar Pandith was a noble soul and had spent many years of his life in worship and social service. The marital union between Dr. Khuroo and Haleema has been a huge success and Dr. Khuroo believes all his successes in life to exemplary dedication his wife has shown behind him.
Prof Khuroo had all the chances to move, train and work in the West (As most of his colleagues choose) and many western organizations offered him lucrative offers. However, he stayed back to serve his society.
He graduated from Medical College Srinagar Kashmir, India in 1967. He had a brilliant career record with a Gold medal for “Best Outgoing Student” (1962-1967) and nine other awards for distinctions and first positions in most basic and clinical subjects. He completed his postgraduate degree in General Medicine (MD) from Medical College Srinagar in 1972 and joined the Department of Medicine Medical College Srinagar, Kashmir India, as a Registrar (till 1974) and then Lecturer Department of Medicine (till June 1976). For further pursuit in the knowledge, he joined the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, (PGIMER) Chandigarh, Punjab, India, for super-specialty (DM) in Gastroenterology. These 2 years (June 1976 to June 1978) were turning point in his career as he hardened his clinical skills, learned medicine as art to practice and teach and developed an interest in research to explore the unknown. During his training period, he described the syndrome of “Hepatic vein thrombosis following pregnancy” and published this work in a coveted paper in the “American Journal of Medicine (1980; 68:113)”.
Discovery of Hepatitis E brought him national and international fame, recognition, innumerable awards and stamped his position in “History of Medicine” as a “Discoverer”
He returned to Medical College Srinagar, Kashmir, India in June 1978. He was soon rewarded for his actions as he discovered “Hepatitis E” as a new disease entity (American Journal Medicine 1980; 68:818) and spent his next 30 years exploring the intriguing behavior of this entity and its agent (Hepatitis E virus). It is heartening to learn that Prof. Khuroo spent money generated from his private practice to fund research projects on “Hepatitis E” (the projects received no funding from any other source).
His scintillating lectures on “Death Dance of Biliary Demon” make any audience in the World go frenzy and all engulf a deworming pill the next moment if they had ever visited Kashmir or India.
Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) was established as a tertiary care center of excellence. In 1982, there was an acute need of senior physicians of J&K state to join this tertiary healthcare facility. Prof. Khuroo along with few other committed physicians joined SKIMS to realize the dream of its conceiver. Very soon he discovered the disease entity of “Hepato-Biliary Pancreatic Ascariasis”, a biliary disease so common in this community due to extremely high prevalence of the intestinal helminth, Ascaris lumbricoides. International Publications on this entity are a treat to read and the photographic representation of the “Biliary Ascarid (worm) Invasion” is known to all practicing gastroenterologists of the World. Prof. Khuroo build up a strong research team at the SKIMS and did extensive epidemiological studies on the peptic ulcer, gall stones, and oesophageal and gastric cancer and established the State of Jammu & Kashmir in the epidemiological map as a zone for distinctive disease pattern. He collaborated with national and international research centers to do basic research on hepatitis E, oesophageal and gastric cancer and biliary disease. Among these, the National Institute of Health (NIH) Bethesda Maryland and Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Atlanta Georgia figured on the top.
The work on proton pump Inhibitors in peptic ulcer bleeding was so important that it found a place in the Bible of Medicine (New England Journal Medicine 1997; 336:1054).
During the 13 years of stay at SKIMS, Prof. Khuroo did extensive studies on gastric acid studies in Kashmir’s, a subject of his interest from his early days. With the introduction of Proton Pump Inhibitors (Omeprazole) he, through gastric pH studies, proved that stomach can be made anacidic if omeprazole dose is raised to 80 mg (mega-dose) per day. For next 6 years, he did an exhaustive clinical trial on the role of Omeprazole in clot stabilizing property of patients with recent peptic ulcer bleeding (commonly known as Black motion: A disease very common in the State) and proved in an excellent randomized trial that Omeprazole in this dose can prevent rebleeding in this group of patients and in fact is lifesaving in most of these patients. The impact of this work in the West was so strong that this paper was discussed in the “Journal Clubs” in every clinical unit in the USA and Europe. “World Congress of Gastroenterology” at Vienna invited Prof. Khuroo for a special presentation on this subject and the lecture was attended by over 7000 delegates. Since then Proton Pump Inhibitors are the mainstay of medical treatment for peptic ulcer bleeding all over the world saving millions of lives.
In 1991, Prof. Khuroo did what had never been done in Medicine before!
For centuries surgeons gave a dictum that Hydatid Cyst (a cyst caused by a worm in the liver: very common disease in State) puncture and aspiration should never be thought of or done as it means anaphylaxis and death to the incumbent. Through extensive and very careful experimentation he proved that aspiration of hydatid cyst can be performed safely and in fact is the ideal way to manage most of the hydatid cysts in the liver (now commonly known as the PAIR technique). His first few papers on this subject rose international interest in this form of hydatid cyst management and a few years back more than 6000 patients of hydatid cysts had been managed by this technique in Southern Europe only. In 1997, he completed this work by doing a randomized comparative trial between surgical and PAIR and published in the bible of Medicine “New England Journal Medicine 1997; 337:881”.
In 1995, American College of Physicians conferred the Coveted title of “Master American College of Physicians (MACP)” to Prof. Khuroo, a title they give to few of their own legends
This entire journey found innumerable rewards for Prof. Khuroo; he traveled as a Guest Speaker to all major Institutions and conferences in the World, received honorary Fellowship of Royal College of Physicians England (FRCP) and American College of Physicians (FACP). During his 35 years of a teaching career, Prof. Khuroo guided 21 MD/Ph.D. projects and trained a large number of clinicians in the art of Medicine and Gastroenterology. During the 13 years of work at SKIMS, Prof. Khuroo held the position of Dean Medical Faculty (1985-1986) and Director SKIMS (1993-1995). In his capacity as a clinician and administrator, he immensely helped in the growth and development of the SKIMS. He showed a deep interest in the Health care delivery system and did studies on these to find a solution to problems of the health delivery system. A number of the publications on this subject were published locally and send to health planners for implementation.
Dr. Khuroo has an intense passion to impart par-excellent medical care to his patients.
Dr. Khuroo has maintained intense respect for his patients, and their beliefs. He believes strongly in the bill of rights for his patient’s which include the right to dignity and respect, right to information, right for the second opinion and has followed strictly this code of conduct. He has maintained a high standard of ethics, morals, and discipline of exemplary nature. Dr. Khuroo’s second passion has been to train his students. Throughout his career, he has kept a superb example of giving intense formal, In-service and practical training to his technicians, nurses, residents, and younger colleagues. It is most satisfying to note that one of his students who was a technologist at SKIMS and did a Ph.D. degree with him, is holding the chair of virology at the world-famous Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Atlanta Georgia, USA. Many of his students are at senior consultant level at SKIMS and at important medical institutions in the Middle East as well as in Western countries. In addition, the administrative capabilities of Dr. Khuroo have played a huge impetus for the growth of SKIMS. He has played a critical role in planning the policies and procedures of SKIMS right from its inception. He held the pivotal position of Dean Medical Faculty and Director, SKIMS and made a huge contribution to academic activities, infrastructure development and manpower planning of SKIMS. He has a deep understanding of healthcare policies and has written on these extensively over the years.
Finally, his commitment to his soil brought him back to Kashmir in January 2005.
In 1995, Prof. Khuroo was offered the position of Head & Consultant of Gastroenterology and Liver Transplantation at the prestigious King Faisal Hospital and Research Centre (KFSH) Riyadh Saudi Arabia. The positions in this premier institution are open only to the Whites (American borne and trained) and Prof. Khuroo is and possibly shall remain only Indian Trained physician to find a slot on the faculty of the Institution. During 10 years he spend as a consultant gastroenterologist and hepatologist at KFSH he helped to set up a program of Liver Transplantation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He worked and published extensively during these 10 years and found a special place in the Institution, country and among his patients.
Finally, his commitment to his soil brought him back to Kashmir in January 2005.
0n his return to Kashmir, India, he established a tertiary Care Digestive Diseases Centre in Srinagar. Apart from excellent patient care, this center conducts extensive educational courses for the medical fraternity and for this runs a very active web site (www.drkhuroo.com). The center continues to indulge in research programs related to hepatitis E, hepatobiliary parasites and upper GI cancer and is collaborating with national and international organizations.
Prof. Khuroo has 226 scientific publications; he has traveled extensively as an invited speaker to deliver guest lecturers in international conferences and as visiting professor to Institutions of repute. Prof. Khuroo has made a significant contribution to Medicine and Science which include “Discovery of Hepatitis E virus”, recognition of “Hepato-Biliary and Pancreatic Ascariasis”, “Hepatic Vein thrombosis in pregnancy”, “Portal Biliopathy”, “PAIR for Hydatid Liver” and “PPI in peptic ulcer bleeding”.
QUOTES OF OTHERS
Quote NO. 1
Dr. Khuroo is a person of great character and integrity.
Dr. Saleem Kamili, Ph.D. Chief, Division of Viral Hepatitis, CDC Atlanta, Georgia USA in his article entitled “With love from student, in the honor of my mentor, teacher, and friend Prof. Khuroo” wrote: I have had the distinct honor of being Dr. Khuroo’s Ph.D. student (1992 to 1996). This period I spent with him as a student taught me a life-time lesson on how to pursue scientific research and gave me a rare opportunity to know Dr. Khuroo as a person. This genius of a man with a superpower memory could remember everything I narrated during my presentations and would ask “go back to page this, go back to paragraph this or that, make this or that change”. I find Dr. Khuroo had contacts and collaborations with the most prestigious research centers in the world. Dr. Khuroo is a person of great character and integrity and during his time as Director, SKIMS achieved new heights and excellence in providing the best of care to its patients. Even when Dr. Khuroo was in Riyadh, he never stopped thinking about improving health care in the valley. He wrote a comprehensive health care policy document that could serve as the guiding principle and could usher Kashmir valley in the 21st-century state of the art medicine. Dr. Khuroo and I were on a WHO sponsored conference call with more than a dozen leading experts from all around the globe to discuss hepatitis E. It was Dr. Khuroo all over; it was like a professor lecturing his students on the topic of his expertise-hepatitis E, the disease he discovered in 1978.
He has a lot of time for studying; he is completely at ease to discuss religion, sports, politics, and art.
Dr. Ashraf Jallu, Former Consultant Neurosurgeon King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre (KFSHRC), Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in his article entitled “It has been a great pleasure to know Dr. Khuroo over the years” wrote: Over the years we learned him to be extraordinary in Medical studies and indeed a career as a Physician, one had to be extraordinarily hard-working and totally dedicated. I believe high intellect and supernatural talent have a minimal role to play in this equation. Only a few possess the kind of commitment that is required to make it big in the medical world, therefore we only have few like Dr. Khuroo. His own understanding of the subject and the art of transfer of the information was simply magical. In 1995, my Chairman who was on the panel of approving the appointments at KFSHRC, Riyadh came to the room I was operating in. He popped over my shoulder saying, “we have just appointed a Gastroenterologist from your town, boy, he is damn impressive; do you know him?” Events made him join KFSHRC Riyadh. This was an opportunity for me to know him personally. Dr. Khuroo lives in a world of his own, nothing to deter him from what he wants to do. He has a lot of time for studying; he is completely at ease to discuss religion, sports, politics, and art. He is human!! He is a great family man who respects his wife to no end; cares for his children no less than any other parent would. Hard-working to the core and a terrific learner, Dr. Khuroo remains connected with tomorrow’s world. A spectator once, while watching a putt from champion golfer Greg Norman, remarked, “Greg you were lucky there”. Greg’s reply was, “the more I practice, the luckier I get”. This is what Prof. M S Khuroo is, lucky, immensely committed, hugely knowledgeable and enormously successful; all, through his HARD WORK; I have nothing but admiration for this gem of a doctor who has made us proud.
Dr. Khuroo, a very devoted family man and even a more dedicated professional, is a rare combination of great clinical skills and greater research acumen in his field.
Mohammad Maqbool Bhat in his article entitled “Knowing Dr. M. S. Khuroo” wrote: We have to learn to respect and honor our achievers in order to improve our society as a whole. Dr. Khuroo, a very devoted family man and even a more dedicated professional, is a rare combination of great clinical skills and greater research acumen in his field. This combination is rare world-over, but non-existent in our part of the world. His medical service record spread over four decades at various levels of his outstanding career has definitely made him a household name in the valley and deservingly a very well respected and revered name in his field all over the world. My son, Dr. Yasser Maqbool, Assistant professor Medicine at UCLA, in the United States of America, had first-hand experience of this international repute and acclaim of Dr. Khuroo, when at the beginning of his fellowship training program at Pittsburgh university (the First Level center in the world), in response to his introduction, the main response from that august medical fraternity was if he knew Dr. Khuroo from Kashmir. He obviously was delighted to know “Dr. Uncle” is held in such high esteem in this institute of highest learning. I am told of many other similar experiences by other doctor friends as well.
I am also reminded of a cold December late evening, during the peak of militancy in the valley, when coming out with Dr. Khuroo from his endoscopy center at SKIMS; he spotted an old man waiting in the corridor totally disarrayed in his behavior. With all due care he enquired from him about his condition and what he did for him perplexed me at that time but enhanced my respect for him as a human being and as a doctor manifold later. Knowing the old man’s condition, he did not only return to his endoscopy center immediately but even motivated his whole staff to stay another hour in those trying circumstances and tough times so that this old man would be able to go home satisfied. Even at the cost of accentuating my already simmering anger for that long wait during the whole evening, he was not deterred from doing what he felt was in the best interests of his call of duty. Such an exemplary sense of humanism is surely rare and not seen even at places where you pay for such services. Coming from a doctor of Dr. Khuroo’s status and position, from a free government hospital, is not only heart-warming but would make even his foes proud of him.
Dr. Javid Iqbal, a prolific writer on diverse social issues in an Ode to Dr. Khuroo described him as a legend; a decent professional, a dedicated academician and a devoted researcher.
His zeal for research never came in the way of patient care. He would never leave a patient unseen or unheard.
Prof Abdul Wahid, Former Professor, and Head, Dept.: Medicine, SKIMS in his article on “Lifetime Achievements-Dr. Khuroo” wrote: He was always a dignified person since his college days. I followed him closely during our training course in Medical College Srinagar. He rose to the dizzy heights of fame while he was simply a student. He was labeled as one of the best students of India by our Professor of Pathology Dr. Goyal, who otherwise was very miser in giving recognition or any sort of importance to even the best of his students. When I returned from Saudi Arabia in 1984, he persuaded me to join SKIMS. He gave me advice and desired that I should join him on his rounds in the wards of his department. The next morning, I entered his ward at sharp 10 am but to my surprise, I came to know that he had finished the round and had just left for the laboratory to do investigations on patients. I was told that he reaches the institute earliest at 7:30 am and starts his work at sharp 08:00 am. His department was full of activity even during nights. It was a vibrant show, now a story of the Past. Dr. Khuroo believed in a 24-hour activity. He still is that tireless doctor who has no parallel even today. I joined him on rounds a number of times and his every word would be thought-provoking and his every sentence inspiring. His zeal for research never came in the way of patient care. He would never leave a patient unseen or unheard. He would himself record the patient’s history (of illness), discuss it thoroughly with his colleagues and come to a final diagnosis. His patient was his research material. His publications are his hard objective conclusions and not mere imaginations. These publications gave the invincible statue to Dr. Khuroo. When I was in Saudi Arabia, people would ask me about Dr. Khuroo. They wanted to know more and more about him. Dr. Khuroo had not as yet come to serve in the kingdom, but his name and fame had already reached there.
In recent times, many Kashmiris have excelled and deserved acclaim. Mohammad Ashraf, Former Director General, Tourism Department, Govt. of Jammu & Kashmir J&K and a strong supporter of Adventure tourism and prolific writer on social issues in his article on “The scientist deserving acclaim!” wrote: In the recent times, many Kashmiris have excelled in different fields such as medicine, information technology, and space research and many other areas. They have received appreciable acclaim outside Kashmir but have remained unknown and unsung in their own homeland. Among these is Dr. Mohammad Sultan Khuroo, the globally renowned gastroenterologist.
1. Kuwait Medical Association (KMA) and Indian Doctors Forum (IDF) international award and oration delivered to Prof. M. S. Khuroo presentation proceedings held at "Al Andalous Ballroom-Hotel Crowne Plaza, Farwaniya Kuwait on 27th April 2008
2. Doctors Association of Kashmir (DAK) award INTERNATIONAL FIGURE OF KASHMIR proceedings held during their annual meeting held on 20th September 2006.
3. Life Time Achievements Dr. Khuroo- www.youtube.com/drkhuroo (part 1 https://youtu.be/EO2KYvzMR3U and part 2 https://youtu.be/AVtioELf1Uc)