Parsi Times is delighted to report, that in the field of Respiratory Medicine, from among 5,000 doctors globally, reputed pulmonologist and our community’s much respected Dr. Zarir Udwadia, has been recognized as among the world’s prestigious top 2 per cent, as per the latest Stanford University report, which ranks scientists and doctors amongst the top 2% in their fields, globally.
This database was created by experts at Stanford University led by Dr John Ioannidis. It has been created on the basis of standardised citation indicators, such as information on citations, h-index (a rough measure of the scientist’s standing in the scientific community), co-authorship, and a composite indicator, including the number of research papers published and the number of times an expert is cited. Across India, about a thousand scientists and doctors have made it to the list that rank in the top 2% scientists worldwide.
Our community’s leading medical expert – Dr. Zarir F. Udwadia is a consultant chest physician and MD, DNB, FCCP (USA) and FRCP (London) attached to the Hinduja Hospital & Research Center, Breach Candy Hospital and the Parsee General Hospital. Seeing over ten thousand patients annually in his extremely busy clinics, Dr. Udwadia balances his busy clinical practice with internationally acclaimed medical research, with over 170 PubMed indexed medical research publications in the world’s premier academic medical journals. His special areas of interest include TB, MDR-TB, ILD, Asthma, Pneumonia, Sarcoidosis, Sleep disorders, COVID-19 and Bronchoscopy.
Parsi Times thanks Dr. Zarir Udwadia to have taken the time to share a few words with our community, which is elated and proud over yet another precedent of excellence set by him:
PT: How does it feel to be recognized and honoured as among the world’s leading, top 2 per cent of scientists in Respiratory Medicine?
Dr. Zarir Udwadia: It came as a surprise to be honest because my primary job and passion will always be that of a Physician clinician, seeing and trying to help patients with their medical problems. The others on the list are in the main pure researchers or attached to large Public hospitals where the emphasis is reversed and is on research first and foremost.
PT: You are known for your kindness and simplicity despite your varied achievements. How do you strike the right balance in your extremely busy schedule to accommodate your successes?
Dr. Zarir Udwadia: It’s so easy to get caught in the humdrum of one’s medical practice, that one tends to keep doing just that – seeing patients almost on autopilot. To my mind, clinical practice without research would be sterile and I do believe that it is possible to juggle two hats – that of the clinician with that of the researcher. Of course, this makes life even more demanding and cut’s into ones limited leisure time but it can be extremely rewarding and the two can merge one with another (patient care and research) making one a more balanced and astute doctor. So, even with my very busy schedule I ensure one day in the week is reserved for contemplation, writing, and pursuing my research activities.
PT: In keeping with the ongoing pandemic, where we live under the threat of a second wave and with many countries going into a repeat lockdown, could you kindly share a few guidelines / suggestions for our readers in the current times?
Dr. Zarir Udwadia: Don’t let down your guard as yet, for the SARS-CoV2 virus has not finished with us or gotten tired of us, yet! A virus has one single-minded aim, which is to infect as many host cells as possible. So, let’s stay vigilant. I’ve sadly seen too many patients die of the coronavirus. This is a once in a century medical pandemic which may not necessarily be the last that we see.
Again, it’s possible to combine looking after these critically ill patients and medical research and all my other diverse research passions like TB are on hold and have shifted exclusively to COVID related research, publications and lectures. There has been exciting Phase 3 vaccine news just out and let’s hope this is confirmed and the herculean task of equitable distribution of this vaccine to each and every Indian rapidly proceeds. For, without a vaccine helping us achieve herd immunity, there is no respite from COVID. Till then, let us continue to mask up and stay isolated. As an ageing community, us Parsis are especially vulnerable to this virus.
PT: What message you would like to share with our community?
Dr. Zarir Udwadia: I feel blessed to get up every day knowing that I am going to impact patients’ lives in a positive way; and then have the added privilege, at the end of the day, to be able to plan research and write up my clinical observations. It’s like being a foot soldier and general both at the same time. I suggest that we should cultivate multiple passions at work, so one is never bored; and each day is a challenge and an opportunity!
Dr. Udwadia is on the Core Committee of doctors elected by the Indian government to inform on Bombay’s COVID-19 pandemic response. He is also recognised as the first doctor in India to report on Totally Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis. This stirred up intense medical and media attention in 2012 with 2500 articles in newspapers and news sites across the world including BBC, CNN, Reuters, Times UK, Canadian Globe, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Science, Nature and a special feature on him in the prestigious Lancet. He has been an advisor to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and was invited to Geneva on several occasions to help formulate the current TB and MDR-TB guidelines.
In 2017, he was nominated by the prominent ‘Open Magazine’ as one of the world’s Twenty-Five top minds for his Impact on Public Health. He is regularly invited to speak at conferences and universities across the world, including the Royal Society of Medicine (London), the Royal College of Physicians (London), the European Respiratory Society, the American College of Chest Physicians, the International TB Union, and several lectures at Harvard University, Boston. He has been featured on two prestigious ‘TED Talks’ – on ‘Drug Resistant Tuberculosis’ and on ‘COVID-19’ – both of which have been widely viewed.
On behalf of the community, Parsi Times extends heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Zarir Udwadia on this prestigious recognition and thanks him for his compassionate and invaluable services that add to the Zoroastrian pride and legacy!