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Dr. Bhanu Prasad of Regina receives SMA Physician of the Year award for 2018

The Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) is pleased to announce Dr. Bhanu Prasad of Regina as 2018 Physician of the Year.

The award was presented as part of the SMA’s Representative Assembly meeting Friday evening, May 4, 2019, at the Hotel Saskatchewan in Regina.

Dr. Prasad says he feels honoured to have been nominated and then selected for the award.

“I think for me it was to do with being recognized by my peers in my adopted country and it was a sweet moment. I felt incredible happiness and felt it was a reflection of the care I had attempted to provide over the years, and I was thankful to the individuals who nominated me,” Dr. Prasad said of his reaction when he found out the news.

Dr. Prasad has been a consultant nephrologist in Regina since 2006, and is a clinical associate professor of medicine with the University of Saskatchewan. He was educated in India and the U.K. before joining the former Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region.

He is one of the few fee-for-service physicians in Saskatchewan who has hired a nurse practitioner to improve service and deliver timely care for his patients. He also employs a full time PhD research scientist who dedicates her entire time on the numerous clinical and basic science research projects that he is currently involved in.

When a patient praised Dr. Prasad for his kindness and compassionate care last summer, the story on her and Dr. Prasad that appeared on the SMA Facebook page had 323 shares and reached more the 70,000 people, by far the biggest social media response ever to an SMA story.

In a letter in support of his nomination for Physician of the Year, one patient, a nurse, called Dr. Prasad her “hero in plain clothes.” She was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2011 and has been under Dr. Prasad’s care.

“I feel that Dr. Prasad aims to excel in his profession and not for the acclaim but for the betterment of his patients and medicine,” the patient wrote. “He is truly my personal hero, he made me feel that life was worth continuing for and that together we would find a solution, and we have!”

Another patient wrote that the course of her life changed when she met Dr. Prasad about six year ago. “In all likelihood, I would not have been able to provide this letter of reference and I owe Dr. Prasad a debt of gratitude for being involved in my journey to restore my health and give me back my life. From the time my husband and I first met Dr. Prasad it was evident that he was a physician that had my best interest in mind, acknowledging me as a person who was experiencing real fears and worries as opposed to being just a number. I felt like I mattered and that someone finally understood my situation and was willing to advocate on my behalf.”

"I have the best nephrologist in the world'

Another patient was referred by Dr. Prasad to the Mayo Clinic because he said it has the best doctors in the world. But no, the patient said, “I have the best nephrologist in the world.”

Colleague and friend Dr. Kunal Goyal noted Dr. Prasad has a keen interest in pursuing research in the areas of both clinical work and basic science. He has pioneered the use of certain procedures and has been successful in obtaining national and provincial research grants to study kidney disease.

“Dr. Prasad is passionate about the clinical care he provides to his patients,” writes Dr. Goyal. “He believes in a holistic approach and always puts his patients first. He takes the time to go the extra mile by talking to his patients and their relatives, explaining the physical issues pertaining to their health, possible solutions and implications. He has a gift in being to be able to communicate this information to the level of understanding of each patient by drawing pictures and showing power point presentations.”

Dr. Prasad says one thing he has consistently done during his time in Regina is communicate with patients where they are, rather than have them travel long distances to his clinic.

“I have told people who are from far and distant places to communicate with me via phone, email or faxes,” he said. “We see them once and sometimes they don’t even see me again. I communicate with them with email and faxes and give them care electronically.

“And that keeps them in their own homes. I am proud to have kept a lot of senior citizens out of hospitals by communicating with family members and offering them medical and therapeutic advice via email and phones.”

Dr. Prasad says he is blessed to have an extremely supportive wife and two beautiful children.

The SMA Physician of the Year award, first presented in 2002, recognizes the valuable contribution and service of an outstanding Saskatchewan physician. The nominee must be an SMA member and be living in Saskatchewan at the time of the nomination. The physician’s contributions can be made in the medical profession or volunteer sector and can be to a community or district, or at the provincial, national or international level, either during a particular time or throughout that physician’s career.

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