Dr. Ramchandra Dattatraya Lele is a medical doctor who has distinguished himself in the fields of medical education, medical research, medical practice and hospital administration, and above all in pioneering the practice of Nuclear Medicine in India.
In 1968, as Professor and Head of the Department of Medicine at the Grant Medical College and Sir J J Group of Hospitals in Mumbai, he established a shadow – shield type whole body counter in collaboration with the Health Physics Division of the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), and showed the clinical utility of this endogenously made equipment for measuring absorption of iron and vitamin B12, and gastrointestinal blood loss and protein loss without the need to collect samples of urine, stools or blood.
In 1973, while he was Dean of Grant Medical College and JJ Hospital he was invited to join Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai, as Chief Physician and Chief of Nuclear Medicine. There he created the first full fledged hospital based Nuclear Medicine Department in the country, including radio-immunoassay of 75 ligands of clinical interest. He pioneered the intravenous use of Technetium-99 m based radio pharmaceuticals in India, so also Nuclear Cardiology in 1978, Nuclear Stethoscope in 1982 and Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) in 1988.
Today, Jaslok Hospital has a triple head gamma camera, the only facility in Asia outside Japan. As a clinician, he has attained the status of a super – consultant, who practices scientific as well as humane and compassionate medicine, emphasizing the need to consider the patient as a person. His book “Clinical Science and Clinical Research” (1993) and “Clinical Approach” (Oxford University Press 1997) have been widely acclaimed as worthy companions for the practicing doctor.
He was the first recipient of the “Gifted Teacher Award” instituted by the Association of Physicians of India in 1991.