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Dr Sivaramakrishna Padmavati – India's 1st & Oldest Woman Heart Specialist

Dr. Sivaramakrishna Iyer Padmavati commonly known as S. I. Padmavati or S. Padmavati (born 1917) is an eminent Indian cardiologist. She is director of the National Heart Institute, Delhi and the founder president of the All India Heart Foundation. 

She was the first woman cardiologist in India in 1954 and established the first cardiac clinic and cardiac cath lab in North India. She was the President of 5th World Congress of Cardiology, New Delhi (1966), and was awarded India’s second highest civilian honour the Padma Vibhushan in 1992.

She is not just the mother figure or godfigure, but she is the god of cardiology in India,” says renowned cardiologist Dr Ashok Seth of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute about Dr Sivaramakrishna Iyer Padmavati, who, at 96, is as active now as she was when she started treating patients in India 60 years ago.

Enduring the War

Just after she completed her medical studies in Rangoon, Japan invaded Burma at the height of World War II and she had to return to India. “We had to run for our lives, literally,” says the noted cardiologist. “My parents were told to vacate the house in 24 hours. My father was there for many, many years. Then we had to fly out from Mergui by the last flight. The men were left behind and only the women went. Things were quite bad,” she recalls.

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