Dubai: At a time when people seek retirement, veteran emergency medicine practitioner Dr Benjamin Rajendran, 76, is far from hanging up his white coat and bidding adieu to his profession.
As a specialist in Emergency Medicine, Dr Benjamin, who is currently medical director at NMC Clinic, Sharjah, has over 30 years’ experience in different hospitals in the UAE on a mission to serve the sick. He says he feels privileged to be here still, when the UAE marks its golden jubilee.
In love with Dubai
Dr Rajendran said he fell in love with the UAE when he set foot here in 1972. He recalled, “I was on my way to Toronto. It was July 12. I was flying from India on a BOAC small aircraft, which had to take several halts, for refueling, first at Dubai, then Doha, Beirut, Frankfurt, London and finally Toronto. My brother was working here as an engineer. I loved the UAE, the good nature of the people so much that I decided to return here soon.”
When family fetched him right from the plane
Dr Rajendran came back to UAE in 1975 and joined the then Red Line and Sun Hospital in Dubai, which later took on the title of Iranian Hospital. “In those days, the Dubai airport was a small terminal with a capacity to handle four aircraft at a time. My brother and brother-in-law walked right into the airport, close to where I disembarked from the plane to fetch me,” recalled Dr Rajendran.
In a career spanning four decades, Dr Rajendran worked at many hospitals in Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman and Khorfakkan handling the emergency medicine departments. He recalled some of the more challenging times. “I handled patients of the Kazakhstan and the Kish air crash. Both were challenging times, but we managed well,” recalled Dr Rajendran who was then employed in emergency medicine at the Al Qassimi Hospital.
‘UAE is truly my home’
Dr Rajendran feels indebted to the UAE, which gave him a thriving medical career and a fulfilling family life. “After I came to the UAE, I got married and had three children. My eldest son is a doctor settled in the UK, while my daughter is a dental surgeon in the UAE. My youngest son is in the real estate business. I have had a hectic yet content life in the UAE. I keep busy with my patients and work until late. I have been a marathon runner in my earlier days, and that has helped me stay healthy.”
He said to this day, he rises early to take a walk at the Khalid Lagoon in Sharjah before attending work.
Dr Rajendran is also a founder-member of the CSI Tamil Parish Church, which was formed in 1979. The association gives him an opportunity to get involved in many humanitarian missions to help the sick and not so privileged.
“Life is very fulfilling here and I have so much to thank the UAE for,” he added.