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Indian-Born Doctor Diddy Shines In Germany

It's been a long haul from a medical college here to Essen, but Rajeev Diddy has made a seamless transition, becoming the only Indian-born radiologist// licensed to privately practise in the German city - and picking up four MD certifications in his specialty along the way.

He sees up to 100 patients a day from 7.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and then writes up the reports, a task that takes another two to three hours. Saturday's and Sundays are holidays, but managerial issues invariably arise as the practice is linked to the home in real time.

If you want to keep your nose in front, if you want to compete with the best, you have to be on the cutting edge, Diddy, 54, who was here on a private visit, said modestly of his $5 million practice.

What makes his achievement all the more creditable is the fact it has happened in a non-immigration country that permits expatriate doctors but licenses very few to practise privately.

I'm the only Indian doctor with a one-man show in Essen. I am not too sure about the rest of Germany or Europe, but there can't be many more, said Diddy, who was born in Batala in Punjab and had his schooling in Delhi.

In a way, Germany happened quite by accident. After my MBBS (from Maulana Azad Medical College), I had just obtained by MD in radiology (from Delhi University) when I visited my father, who was posted in the Indian embassy in Bonn.

I liked what I saw and was lucky enough to get a job as an assistant doctor at the Essen University Medical College, Diddy added.

That was in 1978. Two things happened in 1981: he shifted to the prestigious Marion Hospital in Essen as an associate professor and also met a girl named Monika, whom he was to marry later in the year.

That was also when I started thinking about breaking out on my own or taking a shot at becoming chief of a hospital. I decided on private practice, said Diddy.

But he had to first get a German
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