Observations BMJ Confidential

Abdul Ghafur: Adventurous, emotional, outspoken

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h307 (Published 21 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h307


Abdul Ghafur, consultant in infectious diseases at Apollo Hospital in Chennai, India, convened a meeting of the medical societies of India in 2012 that generated the Chennai Declaration, a plan to tackle the challenge of antibiotic resistance. He trained in India and then worked as a registrar at the Royal Free Hospital in London from 2003 to 2008. He argues that a perfect strategy for controlling antibiotics in developing countries may not be possible but that rules should be liberal at first, becoming gradually more restrictive. He is a member of the Longitude Prize Advisory Panel.

What was your earliest ambition?

To be a schoolteacher. Having done my early schooling in a village in India, I was not aware of a nobler profession. I fulfilled my ambition, since the word doctor derives from the Latin docere, which means “to teach.”

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

A P J Abdul Kalam, former Indian president, who is popularly known as the “missile man of India.” His achievement as a scientist, despite his humble origins, is an inspiration to youngsters who want to realise their dreams.

What was the worst mistake in your career?

I am in my early forties; I have yet to make my worst career move. But no doubt I have committed many already.

What was your best career move?

Coordinating the …

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