I was encouraged by my friends and classmates to write a memoir reviewing my scientific accomplishments, particularly by my college (Mrs. A. V. N. College, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India) and medical school (Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatnam) classmate, Dr. Gopalrao Nemana, a retired cardiologist from Sacramento, California. But, I did not want to undertake such a task, given my health and other academic commitments. Suddenly, Dr. K. C. Chaudhuri Foundation/Indian Journal of Pediatrics bestowed upon me the honor of Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017; the award required that I present an "Oration" outlining my lifetime accomplishments at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi in September 2017. It was also required that the oration is published in the Indian Journal of Pediatrics. The published oration (Rao PS. The Journey of an Indian Pediatric Cardiologist: Dr. K. C. Chaudhuri Lifetime Achievement Award/Oration at AIIMS, New Delhi, September 2017. Indian J Pediat 2017; 84:848-58.) rekindled the thought of writing the memoir and forms the outline for this book.
The field of Pediatric Cardiology was in early development when I began my carrier in mid-1960s. I had the opportunity to witness first hand the stepwise evolution of Pediatric Cardiology over the last 50 years. Therefore, unique historical perspective can be provided. I have bestowed considerable attention to the development of new knowledge while providing care of patients with heart disease over a 50-year period. These developments along with my contributions to Pediatric Cardiology were included in a companion book entitled "Pediatric Cardiology: How It Evolved Over the last 50 Years". In this memoir I will portray my journey and include subjects that are not in the purview of evolution of Pediatric Cardiology. Along the way, art and science of interventional pediatric cardiology will be presented, as applicable to each chapter in both books.
Developments such as early detection of the neonates with serious heart disease and their rapid transport to tertiary care centers, availability of highly sensitive noninvasive diagnostic tools, advances in neonatal care and anesthesia, progress in trans-catheter interventional procedures and extension of complicated surgical procedures to the neonate and infant have advanced to such a degree that almost all congenital cardiac defects can be diagnosed and "corrected". The defects that could not be corrected could be effectively palliated. Cardiac defects that were once fatal in infancy are now treatable. These principles will be incorporated into the respective chapters, as applicable. Although every attempt was made to minimize repetition, there was some degree of replication which was unavoidable to preserve continuity of thought/discussion.