Dr Balwant Ghatpande, a 102-year-old man, became one of the oldest practising doctors in Pune on March 15, 2017. Following his true passion, Ghatpande, with his traditional allopathic knowledge, continues to treat his patients in Pune. His dedication is such, that in this age, he has no plans of retiring.
“Until my death I wish to continue to practice medicine. I pray that I should die while working in the dispensary,” said Balwant Ghatpande, according to a Hindustan Times report.
“Being a doctor is one the most noble professions, where you can do the highest service to people. It gives humanitarian satisfaction, as well financial security. I have received everything from this profession, from reputation to money and the goodwill of people,” he added.
Notably, his grandson, Chaitanya Ghatpande, who is also a doctor, calls his grandfather a workoholic. Ghatpande agress to this and proudly says that he is a workaholic. I work over 10 hours a day and that also every day of the week.
“I don’t like to sit idle at all,” he says. When he is not working, the doctor is either engrossed in his medical journals or reading newspapers.
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He follows a strict routine. After waking up in the morning, he exercises for an hour and then sits to read newspapers.
Except a fracture that he recalls having in 1995, Dr Ghatpande claims to have never visited another doctor for any sort of illness. The secret is his healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a moderate diet.
About the current situation of medicine in India, he said that nowadays everybody wants a specialist. “After consulting a specialist people come and visit a general practitioner. Also, the old medicines are almost gone, so the new doctors don’t really come to me for advice,” said Ghatpande
With a meagre amount of Rs 30 per patient, he donates most of his earnings to charity, his son says.
Rajpathak Ghanasham, a loyal patient who has been going to the dispensary for the last 35 years, says, “ I blindly trust him. The unique thing about him is that he works on symptomatic treatment, where he manually checks the patients unlike today’s doctors.”