Dr Sriramulu Tharakaram (aka Tharak) has been a consultant dermatologist in the UK since 1995, starting in the Dudley, West Midlands where he started the full fledged dermatology unit with PUVA, patch testing, dermatological surgery and paediatric dermatology. A number of his trainees are consultants now. He lectures regularly to doctors, nurses and pharmacists, attends most of the London meetings and the American Academy of Dermatology annual meetings to keep abreast with current developments.
Dr Tharakaram trained at Madras Medical College started 1835 during the British Empire days, the oldest medical school in India alongside Calcutta Medical College. He did both his undergraduate and postgraduate training in General Medicine and Dermatology followed by a year in Leprosy. His MD thesis on Cutaneous Metastases is the largest such prospective series and he has a number of publications. Madras Medical College and Govt General Hospital was where Leishmaniasis was discovered by Col Donovan in 1903 alongwith Maj Leishman in London, hence Leishmania donovani. Around 15000 outpatients attend the hospital daily and there is little in Medicine one cannot see in one’s training. Affiliated hospitals include the Government Eye Hospital and the Govt. Maternity Hospital both being the second oldest such institutions in the world after Moorfields and Elizabeth Gareth Anderson Hospitals in London, Children’s Hospital, Infectious Diseases Hospital, King Institute to mention a few.
In the UK he trained in dermatology at Hull, Glasgow, Birmingham (Sexual Health and genital dermatoses), at St John's Dermatology Centre doing Lasers & Moh's surgery, Patch Testing and later Photobiology. He also worked at St Bartholomew's Hospital London, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge as a Senior Registrar/Tutor and Royal Free Hospital as a locum Consultant. Alongside he obtained the MRCP and was later conferred the FRCP Ireland and London.
“When I started in Dudley I was the only substantive consultant and started getting numerous in patient referrals from all the medical, surgical, obstetrics,paediatric and psychiatry wards covering 3 hospitals at that time: to enhance my paediatric dermatology I did a weekly paediatric dermatology clinic with the brilliant Prof Celia Moss for almost a year and this enhanced my paediatric dermatology experience. I also got interested in dermatoses of pregnancy and started collecting patients and literature culminating in a lecture on SKIN IN PREGNANCY at the IADVL meeting in Chandigarh India in 1987. I also got interested in medical history and collected what is the now most comprehensive information on the history of Leishmanias dwelling on the Life of Lt Col Charles Donovan MD (RUI),IMS a Professor of Medicine at Madras Medical College in 1903. I did the inaugural lecture in 1986 at Birmingham University, History of Medicine Society. My article on 70 years of Dermatology in the NHS was released in a book at the House of Lords November 2018.
I enhanced my surgical skills with 2 months in the Universität Hautklinik Tuebingen, Germany learning under Prof Helmut Breuninger. Later I spent a month with Prof Antonio Picoto in Lisbon, Portugal. I also joined Dr Motley at Cardiff to keep my Moh’s surgical experience. We did a number of paper presentations and publications from Dudley.”
After 6 years in the West Midlands he moved to Pembury Hospital (now The Tunbridge Wells Hospital) in Tunbridge Wells as the lead consultant. The Dept underwent changes from Hospital to a community set up. He decided to leave the NHS and do private NHS locums and private practice at the Tunbridge Wells Nuffield Hospital, Lyca Health Orpington and Canary Wharf.
Post leaving his regular post he worked as a locum Consultant at Bedford Hospital, University Hospital North Durham, Homerton University Hospital, 18 weeks support, Royal Infirmary Edinburgh and currently at Ninewells Hospital Dundee.