Faces in the Crowd – The Long Road

Posted on August 25, 2016 under Faces in the Crowd with no comments yet



“People go to extreme lengths in India to get an education. It is ingrained in our psyche.”

Meet Vishnu Prasad.

Vishnu was born in Puttur, India to parents who were both doctors. He and his two siblings attended school in Bangalore. His parents spent a lot of time working in the Middle East so it fell to his uncle, Dr. Jayaprakash, to assist with the large, multigenerational family that included Vishnu’s grandparents. When he wasn’t studying, Vishnu enjoyed many different sports including badminton and volleyball … and of course, cricket.

He was accepted into one of the best medical schools in India in Mangalore on the west coast. From his earliest days Vishnu wanted to be a surgeon. While attending medical school he met his future wife, Sanjana Sridharan. After completing this chapter of their educational journey, the couple wedded.  During the next year they travelled the length and breadth of India writing entrance exams for specialist universities.

He enrolled in the orthopedics program in Bangalore but it wasn’t what he expected and he departed after six months. In 1996 the couple travelled to the United Kingdom on speculation, hoping to find the right fit. Vishnu took a three year general surgery program in Birmingham, acquiring his FRCS designation in General Surgery while Sanjana enrolled in psychiatry training in Coventry. He did his orthopedic residency in Wales over the next seven years and received his FRCS in Trauma and Orthopaedics. Sanjana received her MRCPsych (Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists) in 2000.

The ensuing years were marked by more studies and time apart, tests that demonstrated the vision and determination of this young couple. Vishnu eventually specialized in adult reconstruction, with hip and knee surgery becoming his predominant field of work.

But their educational quest was far from over. In order to experience different health care systems, they felt that they needed to work abroad. In 2012, Vishnu was offered a Fellowship in Toronto. One of his colleagues there was Dr. Andrew Hayward who ended up moving to New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. He thought Nova Scotia would be a good fit for Vishnu and Sanjana as the area was known to be friendly … and a lot less hectic than the city!

In 2013, they moved to Halifax where Vishnu worked on complex cases with well-known orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Michael Dunbar. Sanjana weighed a few options for work before accepting a position at St. Martha’s Hospital in Antigonish in 2014. Upon completion of his Fellowship in June of 2014, Vishnu began work at the Aberdeen Hospital in New Glasgow. Sanjana recently moved to the Aberdeen as well.

The couple feels very much at home in Antigonish. They have made many friends and know that if they need a “big city fix”, Halifax is just a few hours away. From time to time they host gatherings at their home, welcoming guests with upbeat music, cordial conversation and wonderful food.  When the weather cooperates, everyone gathers outside to enjoy a friendly cricket match!   ‘‘Cricket is a sport that requires tactics, intelligence, strategy, finesse … and brawn,” says Vishnu.

Family means everything to them, and whenever decisions are made they factor in their parents, who visit on a regular basis.  Not surprisingly, summer and fall are Vishnu and Sanjana’s favorite seasons for hosting visitors from India!

Vishnu and Sanjana are highly regarded by their peers and the communities in which they work and live.  The region is fortunate to have these highly skilled physicians, who happen to be two of the nicest people one could meet.  To them I say welcome… make yourselves at home … and please stay awhile!



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