L.B.M. Joseph (85), former director of Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, died at his residence on the Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs campus of the CMC in P.K. Puram village near Gudiyatham in the early hours on Wednesday.
He is survived by two sons and two daughters.
Dr. Joseph, who completed MBBS in Madras Medical College in 1950, worked at Katherin Lehmann Hospital, Renigunta, in Andhra Pradesh for about two-and-a-half years before joining the CMC Hospital as a Casualty Medical Officer in November 1953. Working as a tutor in surgery, he did his M.S. in Surgery at the CMC. He was appointed Junior Lecturer in Surgery in April 1959 and became the head of the unit almost immediately. Going on study leave, he worked as a Fellow in Surgery under Sir Edward Dunlop and E.S.R. Hughes at Royal Melbourne Hospital, Australia, during 1962-63.
Dr. Joseph's surgical skills and his sensitive concern for patients were well-known and widely appreciated. He developed special interest in the treatment of patients with malignancies and was involved in inter-departmental cooperative clinical as well as research programmes with radiotherapy and oral surgery in combined surgical, radiotherapy, and chemotherapeutic approaches. He was also a talented teacher. His teaching of surgery will be long remembered by his students. He was also a respected examiner in surgery. Despite his administrative responsibilities, he continued to accept his clinical and teaching activities and assignments as examiner in the CMC as well as in other colleges in the University of Madras, other universities, and in the National Board of Examiners in New Delhi.
Dr. Joseph's administrative talents were recognised early by the CMC management, and he was involved in administration in some way since 1959 when he came to head the surgical unit. He served as Head of the Department of Surgery from 1968 to 1971, as vice-principal during 1970-71, as Acting Medical Superintendent from 1971 to 1973, as deputy director from 1971 to 1973, and as director from 1974 till his retirement in March 1987.
Dr. Joseph became the director during a period of crisis in the institution when the labour indiscipline and agitations combined with the discovery of a major issue - corruption. His commitment to discipline and integrity was immediately put to the test. He led the institution through the crisis and a confrontation not only with the organised labour but also the government. His willingness to stand for principles of honesty and integrity, to insist on discipline and act against corruption and violence provided the leadership and inspiration for the institution to emerge from that crisis intact and with a renewed sense of dedication and commitment.
Alumni Association of Madras Medical College