Dr. M. A. Ahmad Ali, a wizard of surgery

A boyhood friend remembers the wizard going down the memory lane

By Shafee Ahmed Ko., TwoCircles.net,

Dr. M. A. Ahmad Ali, a renowned gastroenterologist and proctologist of Chennai, has been honoured as Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) by the Tamil Nadu M.G.R. University.

Since I was associated with Dr. Ahmad Ali right from boyhood, I feel it privileged to remember his boyhood days.

Dr. Ahmed Ali and I were class mates right from Mazharul Uloom Elementary School, and Mazharul Uloom High School Ambur of then North Arcot Dist Tamil Nadu. Though he could not enjoy all the luxuries from his family as a boy, a thirst for knowledge was great in him. He had great photographic memory.

It was the Meelad celebration of our School and its date was approaching fast. Our Urdu Munshi made an assignment to few students, to get ready by memorizing ten pages of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) out of twenty pages from an Urdu book, at a given short period of days. On next day, Ahmad Ali came out in the class to recite all the 20 pages to our surprise and Urdu Munshi was so happy and he rewarded him with full of blessings and with a chalk piece. Ahmed Ali was genius in Mathematics but a dull boy in play grounds. He had multiple promotions in the school days.

During the school days he was a voracious reader. I remember he used to tell me that he could read 60 pages in Tamil, 50 pages in English, 40 pages in Urdu and 30 pages in Hindi all per hour. If he took a magazine, I remember he would read every part of it from A to Z.

He passed all the classes including Pre University in Islamia College, Vaniyambadi, in distinction and joined the prestigious Madras Medical College, Chennai.

He was nick named in Pre University class (PUC) as “Scoundralia PUC ka” as he could recite all the botanical and zoological terms from the flick of his memory such as “mimosa pudica”. In this period he was reading a book titled “Man, Microbe and Maladies”.

After a graduation in medical field, he was elevated from lecturer post to professor in surgery and he obtained doctoral honours such as M.S., M.Ch (Medical name, Magister Chirurgiae or the English form of Master of Surgery.) PhDs as gastroenterologist and proctologist and now the Doctoral honour as D.Sc.

He was the only son to his parents. Very obedient son was he that he had obtained a job in Albany Hospital New York, and gave up the idea of joining it just because his mother never wished her son to be far away.

It so happened in one of the surgical patients who underwent surgery with a senior surgeon in Chennai. But the lump detected in the abdominal cavity of the patient stayed as such intact even after three openings. The patient remained in the hospital helpless. As an ultimatum Dr. Ahmed Ali was approached. First Dr. Ahmed Ali took permission from the senior surgeon and conducted surgery in the presence of his senior. The lump was removed within hours. His respect to his senior was remarkable. There are numerous cases so complicated which went so easy in the deft hands of Dr. Ali. Masha Allah, he is so skilled in the surgery, he makes a professional cuts on the human body as if an artist plays with his brush. Such complicated cases are under record as rare cases in professional authorities.

One of his students Dr. Hari Mohan writes as follows, “One never missed an occasion to be in the theatre when he operated as his skills were superb and a delight to watch, cracking jokes he would go about the most complicated ones with practised ease”

Professor Dr. Ahmed Ali remains a devoted Muslim, follows all the principles of Islam in devotion to Allah. His philanthropic approach is appreciable. He has brought laurels to the town of Ambur and many more should be inspired by him.


Mr.Shafee Ahmed Ko has done

Mr.Shafee Ahmed Ko has done well in introducing Dr. Ahmed Ali in his own inimitable style. Kudos to him for this excellent write-up.

Now let us see what Dr. Hari Mohan says about Dr. Ahmed Ali:

"This blog is about one of my revered teachers ,it is about one of the persons who had directed my life to a certain extent and about a person I have admired a lot .

Even before I joined medical college ,in my preuniversity days when I was at Secretariat colony ,Kilpauk ,Chennai ,Dr Ali was our family doctor .

He was then an young surgeon in Kilpauk Medical College ,with a healthy practice in family medicine and I remember occasions when I was one of the patients who lined up in his waiting room with trivial complaints of a fever or a pain here or there ,one never grudged the long wait as Dr Ali was a busy person ,

I still remember his baritone voice giving instructions to patients in his chamber as we waited for our turn ,seeing him would melt away most of our troubles as he made small of our complaints and with his characteristic light hearted banter making us at home .

He probably was one of my many inspirations to become a doctor ,I longed to dismiss patients like him with a hearty laugh ,but behind this his keen clinical acumen never ever missed anything and he would arrive at the diagnosis unerringly and then the day came when I too got into medical college and that too in the very same medical college where he was the teacher the Kilpauk Medical college Chennai .

He had a soft corner for me then as he knew I was a father less boy staying with my mother .
In college I came to know more of Dr.Ali ,he was far from a humble general practioner we thought he was ,he was a surgeon known for his excellence and a great teacher .

It was only from our third year when we had our clinical postings that we started attending
Dr Alis classes ,huge crowds of students flocked to listen in his OP days ,here too he was brilliant in teaching with excemplary skill and in a very intresting manner ,he was quick ,agile and smart in all his actions .

One never missed an occasion to be in the theatre when he operated as his skills were superb and a delight to watch ,cracking jokes he would go about the most complicated ones with practised ease ,
so time flew ,and I had the luck to be in his unit for surgical postings in my internship too ,at these times he would occasionaly take me home in his car enquiring about me and my mother on the way .

On call days we usually had a makeshift dinner in the unit with one of us bringing dinner for all and we used to have fun late in the night over the exotic fare . Once it was the turn of my friend who today is a leading surgeon owning his own hospital in the south of India , 'J' i would call him was a hostelite those days and had arranged for an excellent biriyani prepared specially by his hostel mess ,it was all ready and we were all waiting with bated breath in the small room waiting to begin ,Dr Ali came and sternly looked at' J ' and said ," I find you didnt do the postoperative dressing for that patient in bed three "
'J ' trembeled ,he hadnt ,he had forgotten it in the confusion of arranging food .

Dr Ali was all fun except when it came to shirking your work and then he was a terror ,
"You go now and do it ,we shall wait for you ",
poor J ran and came back after his job and then it was Dr Ali back to his happy self .

Once my internship was over he called me and said " Hari you look after my clinic for a few days as Iam going out of station ,and also ,do give insulin injections to my mother everyday ",
a budding me was wary of the big responsibility then ,and I hesistated

"Sir clinic Iam not very confident ,and your mother is it OK ? "

"of course you have to learn havent you ? "
Well that was the trust he bestowed on me ,

I took the challenge and finally I sat in his hallowed seat and saw his patients and unerringly gave the injections too !

It was Dr Ali who made me take up radiotherapy ,he told me oncology is a good field and you could go into that ,somehow whatever he told I felt was sacrosanct and I have never regretted the descision till day .

Dr Ali never stopped studying as he rose up ,he joined for Mch gastrosurgery at an age any other senior consultant in his position would have laid back and enjoyed life ,he did it in Madras medical college at the same time I did my DMRT and came out in flying colours which was expected with his skills and experience and immense academic knowledge .

The best part of him like all great persons was , how he could relate to every patient rich or poor ,old or young and we all had a lot to learn from him .

I moved to Kochi in kerala but kept him abreast of all the happenings in my life good and bad ,to me he was always a mentor .

Dr Ali rose to become Director of Gastroenterology Dept in MMC a coveted post before he retired .
I went to meet him in Chennai recently before I came to UAE to get his blessings ,and he was still the same jolly person with a warm smile on his face ,he was in Mehta hospital in his chambers and he welcomed me profusely ,he was as active in his profession as ever .

Today he keeps in touch with many of his students with his enlivening e mails and forwards ,Dr Ali never ages he becomes younger at heart and mind day by day and keeps others too the same with his positive attitude .

May I wish him and his family long years of prosperity and health."


Congratulations ,
I am proud that Dr.Ahmed Ali happened to be the student of my father Late PESHIMAM HAFIZ ABDUS SAMAD SAHIB, THE THE TEACER OF Ambur Mazhar Ul Uloom Primary school.Behind every successful person there is a great teacher guiding, motivating and ispiring.


Few words from me..

Yes. He is good doctor and nice human being. I find few people like that in medical profession. Once i went to him for some trouble in my stomach during my college days. He just explained the problem clearly and with kind words. The way he talk will itself cure your disease. Thanks to him. I wish and pray for his health.

Contact details of Dr.Ahmed

I would like to see Dr. Ahmed personally as i have been suffering with a disease for last ten years. i am 35 years of age. Can anybody give me his contact details?? i will be really thankful. my phone number is 09810625595. I reside in Delhi

Padma Shri


I hope you all know that Dr. Ahmed Ali was awarded Padma Shri by the Govt. of India for 2011.