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An eminent Physician with a great sense of Humor

Shaukat Ali Jawaid

Prof. Khwaja Sadiq Husain is an eminent physician of the country who enjoys tremendous respect not only in the medical profession but in other segments of the society as well. He played his professional innings well, was an excellent teacher with exceptional command on clinical skills. He remained affiliated with country’s oldest and premier medical institution King Edward Medical College and also had the distinction of serving as its Principal which is a dream of many. He earned honourable retirement some years ago. He also had the distinction of serving as President of College of Physicians & Surgeons of Pakistan. He has yet another unique quality that he has a great sense of humour.

It was a pleasant surprise to receive a personal letter from him in the first week of April and I decided to visit him to pay my respects during my next visit to Lahore. Hence, I went to see him on April 18th 2024. I thanked him for the kind words he had written for me. Though physically he looked very weak having lost lot of weight but was otherwise good. Since the letter he wrote me was on April 1st, he started it with the sentence that “The date is a mere coincidence and No One is fooling any one in this world except oneself because the final result has yet to come”. During the discussion he said, I have not taken wheat chapatti now for almost a year. I have no pain, no symptoms, nausea or vomiting but I can only see food and cannot eat.

I just survive on an egg in the morning and a cup of tea. Perhaps this is also the cause of his too much weakness. I remember many ears ago responding to a question he had remarked that he does not want to be remembered as a man with Sad IQ. I told him that yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting yet another eminent medial personality and former Principal of King Edward Medical College Prof. Mahmood Ali Malik who asked me to convey his Salam and regards when I see you.

He further told me that a few days ago he felt that his time has come hence he wrote three letters as my last communication. The first letter I wrote was to you, the second I wrote to my cardiologist Prof. Shahryar Sheikh and the third one to your favourite General. I immediately got it and said was he referring to Lt.Gen. Mahmood Ahmed Akhtar former Principal of Army Medical College who retired as Surgeon General of Pakistan Army as he writes for my publication Pulse International regularly, to which Khwaja Sahib said Yes. Then he said, it is also a coincidence that all Mahmood love you may it be Mahmood Ali Malik or General Mahmood Akhtar. I wrote to you and I am very pleased and delighted that you remember me and have come to see me today. It is also a coincidence that I wrote to Gen Mahmood Akhtar and he responded and then showed me his reply received just a day before. Instead of sitting on another sofa, Khwaja Sahib came and preferred to sit with me and then explained that it is because he uses hearing aid and sitting close to each other will help us communicate better.

Praying for his good health and long life, I asked him if he had any wish which was not fulfilled he said, No. Allah Pak has been very kind to me. I have lived enough, all my children are married, well settled in life. Above all Allah Pak blessed me with contentment. I cannot ask for anything more. He prayed for my success and success of my children and family members. He was delighted to know that the mission of promoting the discipline of medical journalism which I had initiated some years ago was progressing well. It may be mentioned here that he was the Chief Guest at a seminar on Medical Writing I organized at Mayo Hospital on September 12th 1992 where other guests of honours were late Prof. Bashir Ahmed the renowned neurosurgeon of Pakistan who was Principal of King Edward Medical College in those days, late Prof. Ijaz Ahsan another noted surgeon and Prof. Mahmood Ali Malik while Prof. Javed Akram was our organizing secretary.

Khwaja Sahib was again the Chief Guest at the meeting at UHS Lahore when in collaboration with Pakistan Association of Medial Editors (PAME) we started Certificate in Medical Editing and now Diploma in Medical Journalism has also been started at UHS which is a joint project of UHS and PAME. Khwaja Sahib was also very kind to write Foreword for my autobiography “Plight of a Medical Editor” published a few years ago. One can always enjoy his humorous remarks during the conversation and this latest meeting was no exception.

While speaking as the Chief Guest at the international medical conference organized by CPSP as a part of its Golden Jubilee celebrations few years ago, he highlighted the importance of professional ethics. He further stated that now unfortunately medical profession has been infected with a new virus which he named “CC Virus” the CC stands for “Corruption and Commercialization” hence adding a unique virus to the family of viruses. Every one present enjoyed it the most so much so that the President of Royal College of Physicians in his address referred to it more than once.

Prof. Khwaja Sadiq Husain is known as soul of the medical profession who has always talked about upholding professional ethics whenever he got a chance to speak at a conference and himself also practiced ethical medicine. Unfortunately we have very few such people who can be considered as Good Role Models. I spent an hour with him, thoroughly enjoyed his conversation full of pearls of wisdom before I took leave. Despite his not so good health, he insisted and came out to see me off which yet shows his greatness and love for me for which I remain indebted forever. May he live long and enjoy good health. Aameen


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