TheCheckup COVID Obituary: Dr. R K Himthani

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“The good physician treats the disease; The great physician treats the patient who has the disease”

–William Osler

This is indeed true for Dr R K Himthani, who always put his patients before everyone and everything else! Here is a TheCheckup tribute to this great physician and human being written by his resident Dr. Sanchit Singh.

DR RK HIMTHANI

Dr R K Himthani

Image Source: https://www.medx-health.com/doctors/dr-r-k-himthani/

A joyful, optimistic soul who left us too soon, an irreplaceable loss for the world of Gastroenterology!

There are very few doctors in the medical field who will leave an everlasting impression on you just by his innocent smile and approachable nature, DR RK Himthani, Head of the Department of Gastroenterology at Batra Hospital who has been a part of the hospital since it’s very inception was definitely one of them.

I had personally entered the world of Gastroenterology with a lot of self-doubt and apprehension due to the terminal condition of my father, who himself was a senior Orthopaedician, whom I lost in my first year itself. But it was the warmth and caring nature of Dr Himthani which helped me cope up with the loss, at the same time make giant strides in my professional growth, all with the encouragement and support of my guide and mentor! His presence itself was a calming influence in the department, and many a time, furious patients and relatives were dealt with with such grace and honesty that everyone developed instant respect and belief in sir!

In the time and age when most superspecialists don’t have time to even listen to all patients’ complaints, here was one clinician who used to sit at the bedside and ask – “Tell me all what ails you!”. These few words themselves were a big lesson in patient satisfaction.

Dr Himthani had started his journey in Gastroenterology from the well renowned PGI Chandigarh, after which he soon came to Delhi and joined Batra hospital and Medical research centre and lay the very foundation of Gastroenterology, the very first of its time during the early 1990s. The DNB programme was also initiated under his purview and guidance and since then he was responsible for shaping the careers of many young gastroenterologists. What set him apart was his approachable nature, as none of the people who trained or worked with him ever felt the burden of experience he carried with himself. The very first day I worked with him, he explained with intricate nuances of the training period, but in a manner that was unprecedented for me. Such was the dedication of the man that he was always the last man to leave the department, and never even missed a Sunday to see his patients.

The field of Gastroenterology is a rapidly evolving field, and young minds are overtaking the more experienced ones, but his clinical acumen and years of diligence was always the factor that trumped every time in difficult cases, the quality which gave him the large patient base who trusted his treatment so much. The COVID era was a warning for a majority of senior clinicians, and understandably many chose to keep it safe. But, here was a man who did not miss even one single day of his responsibility, even though the footfall was low, because the work ethic he set for himself was followed to perfection, not with a smirk of grimace on his face, but an optimistic and joyful smile!

Losing him was probably one of the biggest setbacks in my life, but his spirit and persona live through the values he imbibed in us and shall stay with us till eternity!  Long live the spirit of DR RK HIMTHANI  He lives on!

 

– The Check Up magazine would like to thank Dr Sanchit Singh, DNB fellow, Department of Gastroenterology and a Resident under DR RK HIMTHANI since April 2018 for this wonderful and touching obituary to a man he looked up to and was a fatherly figure to him. Our hearts go out to you and Dr Himthani’s family and may you gather the courage to tide over this profound loss and celebrate the wonderful person he was!

 

The death of people who die working for society is not really an end but a new beginning as they have set a path for others to move on. Along with doctors, TheCheckup also would like to dedicate this obituary and pay respects to all paramedical staff, nurses, ward boys, and countless others who came forward and fought COVID-19 at the forefront.

” Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure,

you are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure”

 

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