Dr. Sunil Ghosh’s long and distinguished career helping patients at the Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital was recognized by the Canadian Medical Association.

Trail doctor honoured for achievements

Dr. Sunil Ghosh was pivotal in many innovations for diagnosing patients in Greater Trail

A Trail internist is receiving recognition for his instrumental achievements in the medical field in Trail.

Dr. Sunil Ghosh, 78, is now an honorary member of the 2013 Canadian Medical Association for his contributions to the community.

“They pointed out what contributions I made to this community and that was a big thing for me I think,” he said, pausing to reflect on his work. “You know you’re busy, you work and have a family, all kinds of things happen.

“You don’t realize that you have made some difference to the community.”

Ghosh has spent most of his career, 38 years, as an internist at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital and is known for promoting compassionate care, mentoring peers and advancing medical capacity.

By pursuing advanced training and learning bronchoscopy, a procedure that allows doctors to look inside a patient’s lungs, Ghosh brought a Level 2 pulmonary laboratory to the region.

He also started a renal unit, pioneered local cardiac risk stratification and stress testing and formed a diabetic team to deliver care.

The soft-spoken doctor has a reputation as a keen teacher, but feels recognition is also due to mentors Ken Wagner, John MacKay and Len Scotland, who influenced his career path.

“I think they helped me a lot,” he said. “What I am today is because of their help and the honour that I got, they are due the same.”

Ghosh graduated from Calcutta University and Medical College in 1960 before he trained at the Royal Infirmary in Dewsbury, England, and continued on with residences at Lincoln County Hospital and King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.

After earning his certification in internal medicine in England in 1969, he moved to Canada – first to Thompson, Man., and then to Trail.

Though his wife hailing from Castlegar may have been the initial pull to the area, Ghosh said he decided to stay in Trail because he had more opportunity.

“I dialyzed patients, I put in pacemakers, I did stress testing, I did look after sick, diabetic patients,” he said. “All of these things I couldn’t have done in a bigger place.”

Ghosh has watched and been part of medical developments over the years but admits that health care has become fragmented over time.

“The responsibility that we had then is a lot more than now,” he said, adding that there are more physicians covering specific areas in the hospital now.

“When I came here, this hospital had a lot more beds, there was 130 acute beds, now it’s half,” he added.

Ghosh acknowledges the strides made in outpatient care, which may speak somewhat to bed reduction, and also points to the regionalization of care by sending, for instance, heart patients to Kelowna when most care was previously done at the Trail facility.

Though his hair has changed in tint over time, Ghosh said he still feels fit to work and plans to continue to do so.

“I would like to work as long as I can,” he said. “I’m in good health and I enjoy work.”

The Canadian Medical Association, the largest association of doctors in the country, advocates on behalf of its members and the public for access to high quality health care, and provides leadership and guidance to physicians.

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