Dr. Pai, besides being an MD gold medalist at the University of Mumbai & Masters of Science in Clinical Embryology and Andrology from the Eastern Virginia Medical school USA , has also been the recipient of the Rashtriya Ekta award, the Best Doctor award from the Indian Medical Association, the Navshakti award for yeomen service in medicine, and even the Jai Hind College alumni award. What these awards show are the many facets of this man who is more than just a reputed doctor, an academic, and a social worker.
Pioneering new techniques in the field of medicine:
Encouraging the Development of specialties in the branch of medicine- Assisted Reproduction Techniques.
Dr. Pai’s career began with his graduation from the most prestigious medical college in Mumbai, G.S. Medical College, with three distinctions followed by 2 gold medals in his M.D. In 1989, he went on a clinical fellowship to the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne, where the world’s second test-tube baby was born. Mastering the technique in a year, he returned to Mumbai and set up his first IVF center in 1991. Over the years, he has performed over 10,000 test-tube babies procedures, enriching the lives of hundreds of childless couples. During this process Dr Pai has introduced numerous path breaking and pioneering techniques in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology:
- He is one of the earliest Gynecologist in India to foray into the world of Assisted Reproductive Technology, way back in 1991.
- He is the fourth Gynecologist in India to introduce the technique of Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in 1996.
- He is the first Gynecologist in India to introduce the technique of assisted laser hatching to enhance pregnancy rates in IVF, in 1998
- He is the first Gynecologist in India to introduce the technique of Preimplantation Genetic diagnosis in 2000
- He is the first Gynecologist in India to introduce the technique of outpatient diagnostic and operative office hysteroscopy which can be done without general anesthesia, in 2004.
- He is the first Gynecologist in India to introduce the technique of Spindle view to visualize the chromosomal spindle during ICSI procedure
- He is the second Gynecologist in India to introduce the technique of Embryo freezing using Vitrification technology in 2007.
- He is the first Gynecologist in India to introduce the technique of oocyte freezing in 2007
- He is the first Gynecologist in India to introduce the technique of ovarian tissue freezing in young women suffering from cancer in 2007.
- He is the first Gynecologist in India to introduce the technique of Intracytoplasmic morphologically selected sperm transfer during ICSI procedure in 2009.
- He is the second Gynecologist in India to introduce the procedure of In Vitro Maturation of oocytes in 2009.
- Dr Pai is the Founder Editor of The Journal of Gynecological Endoscopy & Surgery, which is launched in 2009, when he was President of the Indian association of Gynecological Endoscopists.
- He has one of the ten IVF clinics in India, who has been recognized to offer Fellowship in superspeciality of ART by the National Board New Delhi..
Dr Pai’s learning curve is steeply sloping upward, with new innovations being implemented as Science progresses.
“A leader is just an average man with a vision, and the compassion to impart it to others”
Though Dr. Pai has been academically and professionally active, he has a vision for Science and humanity, and propagates this through teaching. He is an Asst. Adjunct Professor at East Virginia Medical School, USA, Post graduate teacher in Gynaecology at the National DNB Examinations, and has trained more than 1000 Gynecologists.
Recently, Dr Pai’s IVF Centre was selected by the National board of examinations, New Delhi, as one of the few centres to award the fellowship Degree in the super-specialty of Assisted Reproductive Technologies.
Dr Hrishikesh Pai was the President of the Mumbai Obstetrics & Gynaecological Society (2008), a-2200, 55-year-old society which conducts numerous academic and social activities, including conducting medical camps & spreading health awareness amongst the women of our country.
He was also the President of the Indian Association of Gynaecological Endoscopists, from 2007 to 2009, comprising of 1500 endoscopic surgeons.
He is also the current Vice President of the Indian Society for Assisted Reproduction popularly known as ISAR. ISAR is the national body of all Gynaecologists (900) dealing with the treatment of infertile couples.
Lastly, he has been the Senior Vice President of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India, popularly known as FOGSI, in the year 2006. With 22,000 members, Dr. Pai has led a large number of FOGSI academic and social programmes for the welfare of women and doctors. One of its very popular grass root programs is the Bharat Jagruti Ganga Yatra, wherein the FOGSI members travel on cycles or vehicles from town to town and village to village, spreading awareness about relevant health issues.
Another very popular program of FOGSI is the EMOC, in which paramedical workers in remote areas of India are taught how to conduct deliveries including caesarean sections, thus reducing the problems of maternal complications and death following delivery. The FOGSI is also at the forefront in promoting the PNDT act. It conducts numerous public awareness programs including those on adolescent sexuality and health, anaemia prevention, safe delivery, Family welfare and promoting equality amongst the sexes and preventing female feticide.
Recently Dr Pai has been elected to the post of Treasurer of FOGSI (for the year 2009) which is a very prestigious administrative position.
Dr Pai has also been Chairman of the Genetics and Fetal Medicine Committee of FOGSI from the year 2002 till 2006. During his tenure, Dr Pai spread the message of using folic acid in the antenatal period to reduce the incidence of genetic malformations in the new born children.
“Recognition is secondary. I think it is important for people to know who I am so that they know of my work, which can only be beneficial to the efforts.”
In addition to his many awards and recognitions, Dr. Pai’s work has been extensively written about in the print and electronic media. His interviews have been printed in top magazines such as India Today, Newsweek, and Chitralekha. Dr. Pai was featured on the front page of the Times of India for his pathbreaking work in the field of infertility in 2004, 2006 and 2008. His work has been highlighted in articles in numerous leading newspapers such as Times of India, Indian Express, DNA, Economic Times, Hindustan Times, The Hindu and the Deccan Chronicle, in addition to many local newspapers all over the country. Dr. Pai has figured in patient information programs on a number of occasions, on Doordarshan, Zee Marathi, Zee 24 hours and Care Television. He has also been interviewed by news channels such as Zee News, Aaj tak, Star News, CNN IBN and NDTV 24x7. Recently he had been interviewed for an article in the Wall Street Journal USA.
Throughout his public interactions and media appearances, Dr Pai has dwelt on various issues pertaining to the promotion of women’s health in India.
“What is life without service?”
Dr. Pai has been giving back to society since his college days, when he joined the National Social Service, and when he received the Best Intern’s Prize for vaccinating children in the slums of Malawani, Mumbai, against the evil of Polio. Through his work at FOGSI Vice President as well as Mumbai Obstetric Society President, he has conceived of and organised several programmes aimed at rural women, adolescents, and urban women: ranging from cancer screening camps to awareness talks. Even after his tenure, he continues to be an active participant in these activities.
In the past, he has been the Community Service Director for the Rotary club of Mumbai, organising several health check-up camps, cataract surgery camps and family planning camps.
He holds the post of Medical director of Pearl Family Welfare Hospital. This is one of the pioneering hospitals in the field of family welfare and planning. Over the years, the hospital has won numerous awards from the Government of Maharashtra.
One of his most significant appointments is the Honorary Asst. Consultant in Gynecology post he held at the Bhabha Municipal General Hospital at Kurla from 1991 till 2007. He regularly devoted time to serve the people of Mumbai for free with nominal honorarium of Rs 1000 /- by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.
Another project which is very dear to him is the Nirala Vrudhashrama. This home for the aged was started by Dr Pai’s father, Padmashree Dr D.N. Pai in 1980s. The home provides care for the aged at very subsidized rates. The home is not aided by any organization. It is supported by Dr Pai’s private resources.
“I have many roles in my life: that of a doctor, a teacher, a mentor, a student, a family man: however there is one role that has transcended any form of classification. My role in the shaping of my country: I am willing to be a dutiful son, a guiding friend, a doctor or a visionary if it leads to the overall progress of the nation.”
Dr. Pai lives by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s quote: “I measure the progress of a community by the degree of progress which women have achieved.” The progress of woman in the nation is his utmost priority, and demands constant commitment. Despite having participated in various social service programmes, he feels there is a dearth of conclusive solutions being taken to purge the problems of infertility, malnutrition & anaemia especially for expecting mothers, female infanticide etc.
From 2009 onwards, he is the Treasurer of FOGSI, a post under which he plans to implement programmes targeted to spreading awareness of reproductive health and emancipation all over India, especially in mid-scale towns and rural areas.
Recently, he formed a charitable trust The Infertility Health Foundation which seeks to provide subsidised, high quality healthcare for low-income families in terms of family welfare and reproductive health.
Dr. Pai believes in the power of information: he advocates information centres and help-lines (and has also himself implemented an Infertility helpline), alongside extensive education, to purge the demons of female infanticide and sex-detection. Through his rich experience in leadership and teaching, he has an impeccable picture of practicality and the functioning of the medical community, and believes in both sensitizing people and doctors. Together, he says, the doctor community can unite under the purpose of women’s health and make a sustainable change to the most common problems that underprivileged women face.