Hosakere K. Chandrasekhar, MD

June 2016 - Vol. 35, No. 05

AM16logo_1inThe Presidential Citations are given to individuals who have had a profound influence on the AAO-HNS/F president’s life and otolaryngology. President Sujana S. Chandrasekhar, MD, has selected the following individuals for their outstanding contributions and dedication to the Academy and Foundation.

chandrasekharHosakere K. Chandrasekhar, MD, is a clinician-academic, thoroughly dedicated to patient care and resident education, who has overcome the barriers of being foreign-trained and brown-skinned with his encyclopedic knowledge of otolaryngology, his generosity with that knowledge, and his respectful care of patients. This citation is given to him in honor of his many contributions to otolaryngology and his unfailing support of others.

How do I thank my father, who was also my professor in residency, who was also my temporal bone dissection partner, and who is also my scientific collaborator, for always believing in me and always believing that I could do anything I set my mind to? Dr. Hosakere K. Chandrasekhar is a brilliant otolaryngologist, outstanding temporal bone histopathologist, patient and thorough teacher, and wonderful mentor. He is also a major leader in the Indian-American community, serving as the New York City Mayor and State Governor’s Ethnic Liaison for Indian-American affairs, spearheading the erection of the iconic statue of Mahatma Gandhi in New York City’s Union Square Park, leading both our native language society and the Federation of Indian Associations, as well as the Hindu Temple Society of North America. He was honored with India’s Hind Rattan Award, the highest honor that India gives to its expatriates, and with our Academy’s Jerome C. Goldstein, MD Public Service Award. He and my mother, Dr. Sree Devi Chandrasekhar, are patrons of the arts, hosting the highest caliber of musicians, poets, and playwrights in our home for chamber performances, and bringing Kannada drama to life in the United States.

I was born when my parents were doing their house-surgencies in otolaryngology and pediatrics, respectively, in England. They were brave enough to send me to India with an air hostess when I was three months old, and didn’t see me again until I was two. Three years later, our little family of four moved to the U.S. on my mother’s coattails, as she had secured a fellowship in adolescent medicine at what is now Children’s National Medical Center. A year later, we moved to New York City where my parents had to redo their residencies and establish their practices while raising three rambunctious little girls. Education, arts, and community service were always the priorities in our house. I did my residency at NYU, where my father is a professor, and did my research rotation in his temporal bone histopathology lab. It was the most wonderful experience I can imagine, even though he knew every time I did something wrong, which was, unfortunately, not that rare! One of his most important legacies is to be found in the halls of our Annual Meeting convention center, where we always encounter his former students, all of whom adore him. Another is the fantastic relationships he has with each of his 10 grandchildren.

I attended my first AAO-HNSF meeting tagging along as a resident with my father, in San Diego. This many years later, it is an indescribable feeling to be able to honor this man who has so shaped who I am, what I believe in, and how I live my life, with this Presidential Citation.