Dr. Mallika Quraishi, DGO, Stanley Medical College, Madras University, 1977

“Among the women who trust her to handle their delivery are those whom she had helped come into this world. It’s a unique privilege that comes with being an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist for more than 40 years and my Aunt Dr Mallika Quraishi feels blessed to have it.
Dr Mallika was among a handful of doctors who practised in Nanganallur in the late sixties. In fact, she was the only lady doctor in the neighbourhood in those days. In all these years her patients have come to repose tremendous faith in her and her treatment and it is easy to see why. Her simplicity and motherly warmth puts her patients at ease.
My Aunt Dr Mallika’s energy belies her sexagenarian years. Her schedule is a hectic one for some of her age. I unravel the circumstances that helped her realise her dream.
SHE ALMOST MISSED BEING A DOCTOR: She was the fourth of twelve children and brought up in a typical Indian household with an Islamic background at Nagercoil. My grandfather was a government servant and not very well to do. So after my Aunt’s VIth form, there was a strong objection from my great grandmother who did not want my aunt to continue her studies. So she stayed put at home for the next four years. In her words ” I can never forget those days when I languished without knowing what my future held I used to feel that my dream of becoming a doctor would remain unfulfilled”.
But my grandfather’s (District registrar) transfer to Coimbatore was a blessing in disguise. She got her hopes renewed when he put her in Nirmala college for women there and she equipped herself with requisite qualification and began her practise. Today she has completed more than forty years in the profession.
MEDICINE HER PASSION: It takes years and years for some people to find out what their calling is and for others, it is something they have known all along. She cannot think beyond medicine and her love for this profession cannot be explained.
HER INTEREST LAY IN GYNAECOLOGY: Gynaecology is an uplifting speciality, for the most part, it deals with healthy patients during an exciting part of their life. It is a unique combination if Medicine and surgery. Her patieStannts include children who were born (including myself) in her maternity home at K F hospital Nanganallur, Chennai.
WHY SHE CHOSE TO PRACTISE AT NANGANALLUR: Nanganallur was not as it is today. There was not much by way of hospitals and clinics. A resident had to take his ailing wife to a hospital in the city as there was no maternity centre there. After a terrible ordeal, she got a place for a hospital and built one of her own.
HER FAMILY, HER SUPPORT: Her husband has been there throughout her professional life and helped her fulfil her dreams. He has been her pillar of strength. Her two daughters have been very supportive. She had missed many of our family celebrations but we have always understood her and never complained. But she is the first to attend and counsel all our family members in our challenging health conditions.
HER OTHER INTERESTS: She loves listening to music”

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