Infectious Diseases
Designatory Letters: 
MB Karachi 1962, DTM&H Edin 1966, MRCP Edin 1966 Trop Med & Tub


Professor Shamsuddin H. Rahimtoola was born in Poona, India on 3 October 1936. He did his initial schooling from St. Xaviers in Bombay. He belonged to a prestigious family as his father was the mayor of Bombay. After moving to Karachi he completed his higher school education and matriculation from BVS Parsi High School in 1952. He then completed his intermediate studies and Bachelors in Science from DJ Science College in 1954 and 1957 respectively.

He went on to do his MBBS from Dow Medical College, from where he graduated in 1962. He was a house officer from 1962 to 1964. For his postgraduate studies, he went to the University of Edinburgh and was Greig Medallist (DTMH). In 1966, he cleared his MRCP on the first attempt.

His professional medical career in Pakistan commenced in 1968 when he was appointed as Senior Registrar at Dow Medical College and Civil Hospital. In 1972, he was promoted to Associate Professor and finally he became Professor of Medicine in 1975. This remarkable journey culminated as he was appointed Principal of Dow Medical College. At the same time, he was also serving as Medical Superintendent of Civil Hospital. He has remarkable administrative qualities and was a strict disciplinarian. His tenure as Medical Superintendent was much longer.

Moreover, he served as personal physician to the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan as well the many heads of state and foreign dignitaries to visit Pakistan since 1978. Finally, he was rightfully awarded the lifetime achievement award by the Dow University of Health Sciences in 2013.

He was a God-gifted physician, as a teacher had good communication skills and moreover an excellent human being. He did exemplary charity work for the poor patients of the largest tertiary care hospital in Karachi. He believed everyone, no matter what social class they belonged to, deserved good healthcare. His wards were always well-equipped and meticulously clean. He did not tolerate incompetence at any level and personally put forward his best. As a clinician he was sharp with a natural intuition. He belonged to the old school of good history, thorough clinical examination and practiced a certain kind of quick fix medicine. His initial diagnosis or judgment was always accurate and treatment was executed with minimal fuss. He was respected not only for his intellect and professionalism but also for his generosity and graceful nature. He will always be missed by his students, colleagues, patients and family.

Professor Khalid Mahmood

Ex-Dean Faculty of Medicine and Allied Sciences,

Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi.