Satinder Lal

Satinder was born on 15 May 1926 in India. He studied medicine at Glancy Medical College in Amritsar, gaining his final professional MBBS in 1950 from Punjab University. He was awarded first prize in physiology. After spending a year as a Medical Officer in Uganda, he arrived in the UK in 1952 for further training. Postgraduate training included junior posts in various hospitals. He obtained membership of both Royal Colleges of Medicine, in Edinburgh as well as London. He worked as Registrar at Hammersmith Hospital for two years. Then in June 1963, he accepted the post of Senior Registrar in medicine with the Professorial Medical Unit at Leeds University. He was appointed Consultant Physician with special interest in respiratory medicine in 1964 in Bury. His was probably one of the earliest appointments of a South Asian immigrant to a Consultant post in general medicine. He has published a wide range of papers during his time working for the NHS, presenting them nationally as well as internationally. He was well respected in his field. He also participated in a Tomorrow’s World programme in the late 1970s and finally retired in 1992 after working for the NHS for 40 years.

Promoting work with the elderly

Geriatrics beds were used as a dumping ground for people they couldn't help, mostly patients with long-term illnesses. I tried to persuade my Geriatrics colleagues to go on a rota with us but failed. Finally, we appointed a Consultant Geriatrician, and he was able to say to the physicians, 'My beds are not a dumping ground for patients you do not want to manage; you will need to learn to manage or not to accept them in the first instance'. It was difficult for that generation but we did a lot of good work for the region and got Geriatrics recognized.

Satinder Lal

India