Dr. A. P. Raghuthaman, 1944 – 2016

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Dr. Ayyam Raghuthaman, renowned Houston area gastroenterologist passed away suddenly on Feb 8, 2016 during a brief visit to Coimbatore, India to attend a reunion of his Madras Medical College graduate colleagues. He died of an apparent massive heart attack and had no known prior symptoms. His last rites will be done in Palakkad in Kerala. He was only 71 years old and seemingly in good health, leading an active life both professionally and socially.

A graduate of the Madras Medical College, Dr. Raghuthaman practiced medicine in Tamil Nadu, India in several rural areas before proceeding to Birmingham and later Wakefield in the UK for higher education and training. He later migrated to the US for internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical College in Youngstown. He then completed a two-year Fellowship in Gastroenterology at the University of Texas at Houston in 1978, spending a year each at Memorial Herrmann and MD Anderson.  An icon in his profession, he was a pioneer among Indian American doctors as independent practitioners and entrepreneurs in the Houston area, paving the way for many to follow suit.

He was also a Clinical Assistant Professor in Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. He held numerous positions including Chairman of Credentials Committee, Chief of Staff, Chief of Quality Review among others. He was active in the Harris County Medical Society. He was a founding member and Medical Director of the Physicians Endoscopy Center. Raghuthaman believed that patients should be actively involved in the healing process. An outspoken person himself, he encouraged open and frank discussions with his patients so that they will make informed decisions.

Dr. Raghuthaman, “Raghu” as he was popularly known, was a community leader and a philanthropist. His father, Mr. CP Kelu Erady was an Indian Administrative Services officer, serving as district Collector in Tamil Nadu and a strong role model. Raghuthaman is a native of Kerala but was well immersed in the Tamil culture. He was at ease speaking both Malayalam and Tamil that he later reflected in his life in Houston. He was a life member of the Tamil-based Bharathi Kalai Manram as well as cultural organizations with Kerala leanings. His greatest contributions to the community came through the Meenakshi Temple Society (MTS) in Pearland. He was part of the Steering Committee that established MTS almost 40 years ago! He was a member of the very first Board of Directors of MTS and later served on several boards including as Chairman for two terms. He was also active at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston as a patron and supporter of Indian and other Asian arts.

A devoted family man, Dr. Raghuthaman is survived by his wife Shantha, son Ramesh and his fiancé Lisa, daughter Thara and her husband Vikram Bala. The Raghuthamans have four grandchildren Sabrina, Isabella, Meghana and Rohan.