Staff profile: Dr Shankar Sankaran's decades long dedication to caring for elderly in our community

Image: Dr Shankar Sankaran at the opening of the Bone Density Service

Dr Shankar Sankaran started working in Middlemore as a Senior Medical officer in the Services for Health of Older people in January 1996.

"I'm dedicated to the welfare of the elderly. My focus is how we can keep them well in the community."

Choosing to care for the elderly, Dr Sankaran notes how geriatric medicine has a variety of acute treatment, rehabilitation, palliative care, and community work all intersecting.

When asked for his favourite memory, Dr Sankaran fondly says it's the rainbow corridor.

"Walking through the hospital corridors, you meet so many people, many of whom I know by their first name. It's all very personal.

"Many memories come to mind when I think about this place. We used to have Christmas parties where staff and patients had lunch together, and my children would come and play the violin. I still have patients share with me how much they enjoyed it."

One of his favourite patients to treat was New Zealand coach Arthur Lydiard. Arthur is known for training middle distance runner Peter Snell who won three gold medals at the 1964 Olympics.

"Arthur was a patient under my care after suffering a stroke. It left him with a severe disability, but he was determined to get better. He was also kind enough to come and opening of the Bone Density Service in 2003.

"It's one of my proudest accomplishments opening the Bone Density Service, the first of its kind in the country."

Teaching and being a mentor to young doctors has become a massive passion for Dr Sankaran.

Now retired from clinical management after working in many roles in the hospital, Dr Sankaran currently works as the Consultant Geriatrician and remains dedicated to helping his patients.

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