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Giving Selflessly To Service

Cover Story December 2017 Health and Wellness

Giving Selflessly To Service

Empathy is the most essential quality and only those doctors who believe that strangers in need are just like their families can help their patients the best.

Dr V P Gangadharan

A man of few words with a heart full of infinite compassion” is how one of his patients, Kochuthresiamma, describes Dr. V P Gangadharan, who shares a wonderful bond with his patients. A doctor with immense patience and undaunted hope, he believes that medicine is not just a profession but an allegiance to serve, a divine calling that requires tireless energy, optimism and the power to instill confidence in the patients. Sheer commitment and skill as an oncologist are also the reasons for his popularity among his patients.

Born in 1954, Dr. Gangadharan stepped in to support his father’s family business immediately after graduating in Chemistry from Maharajas College, Ernakulam. But soon his father understood that a greater destiny awaited him and it was not in business. So he asked him to join a course of his own choice. That’s how Dr. Gangadharan entered the world of medicine. He chose oncology as his specialization at a time when it was considered to be a doomed specialty as oncologists saw only death and no other alternative to cancer. Even his senior professors suggested that he should not take up oncology as it was not a concept understood by many at that time. But his decision created history and made him the legend that he is today.

Dr. Gangadharan decided to move to Delhi to specialize in radiation oncology. His experience with radiation oncology was the reason why he was drawn into doing DM (Doctor of Medicine) after his MD. He practiced in the Cancer Institute of Chennai for a few years and in 2003, joined PVS Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi, and has been heading its Oncology department since. Currently, Dr. Gangadharan is also a consulting doctor at two other leading hospitals, namely Welcare Hospital in Kochi, and Caritas Hospital, Kottayam.

In the midst of his busy schedule, he makes it a point to spend time with family and friends, watch movies, enjoy football matches and listen to music. An avid reader, he has authored two books and is also involved in medical research. He fondly speaks about the support and co-operation of his family and friends, his father’s commitment and sincere involvement in his business and how that has inspired him professionally. He makes a special mention regarding Dr. Shanta V, chairperson of the Adayar Cancer Institute, Chennai, and his professor Dr. Mathew Parackal, as they are two individuals in this field who have greatly motivated him. When asked about cancer society and groups which aim at providing cancer care and spreading awareness he suggests that the “best alternative to this is that the temples, mosques, and churches in our country could take up the area in and around them and ensure that they provide treatment to all those who live in their circle. In this manner, they could ensure that no individual dies due to his inability to get himself treated.”

“Empathy is the most essential quality and only those doctors who believe that strangers in need are just like their families can help their patients the best” is what Dr. Gangadharan has to say about his profession. On a personal note, he shared what he had told his son when he decided to become a doctor: “If making money is what you are looking for, this isn’t the profession you should aim at.” His selfless service stands testimony to his remarkable personality


Dr. V P Gangadharan
Medical & Paediatric Oncologist

  • Works at PVS Lakeshore Hospital, Kochi
  • Consulting doctor at Welcare Hospital, Kochi and Caritas Hospital, Kottayam
  • Has published in over 40 national and international medical and oncology journals
  • Winner of over 60 awards for medical excellence and community services
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