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Wednesday, March 1, 2017

How the blog has helped a visitor

On the eve of our 50th anniversary, I received quite a surprise from a viewer who had succeeded in finding a good doctor with the help of this blog. She had just returned to Sri Lanka after a long stay abroad and had been looking high and low, in her quest for a humane doctor at her time of need. As much as I would have liked to share her story with other viewers as requested by her, I knew right along that getting consent from the doctor concerned was not going to be easy. As colleagues of Dr. Harsha Samarajiva, we know very well that he would be the last person to agree to the publication of such material praising him and the obvious publicity he would get from such a post. However, I took up the challenge and personally spoke to Harsha who finally yielded when I stressed that the viewer had written to me and explained that it was through this blog and an article written by Nihal (ND) Amerasekera that had helped her find a good General Physician in a country where she was almost a stranger.

Rather than using my own words in narrating her story, I have reproduced below, her correspondence with me, together with an article and a note of appreciation (unedited) she had added after the consultation.

I must emphasise here that my aim is not to give publicity to my colleague (which he doesn't need anyway) and who in fact, restricts the number of patients he sees on a daily basis. In matters of this nature, I always get the consent of the doctor in the spotlight, before publishing the note or article.


Sam Kay 

16:58 (21 hours ago)
to me
Dear Dr Lakshman Abeygunawardena, 

Greetings !!

We are patients of your dear colleague, Dr. Harsha Samarajeewa, and wanted a note of appreciation about Dr Harsha to be posted on you blog.  

Managed to find your email address after much scrolling down through articles on the blog of ColomboMedgrds1962 !! You are the unique creator of same.

Just as how this blog helped us, we thought of helping another person out there who will be in search of information about a " Good Doctor"
Dr Harsha was kind enough to share his email address with us and we set a goal to find you, to have this note posted.
we tried posting on the blog on our own, but was unsuccessful in the process. 

The E mail correspondence with Dr Harsha, along with the appreciation note attachments will be forwarded to you . Hope you will approve this and post same. 

we have become a constant visitor to yr blog, and enjoy reading the wonderful articles. 

Wishing you and all you colleagues a wonderful Reunion party !!

Kind regards,
Samitha Kahandawala & Jeffrey Shu.


16th Jan. 2017
I am a total stranger to this page, yet my desire to leave a comment on the page grew stronger after reading about Dr.HarshaSamarajeewa, in the article “ The True Professional “  written by  Dr. NihalAmerasekera.
Sure all of you wonderful Doctors/Human beings would wonder how I got here, so let me introduce myself ,ImMrsSamitha Kahandawala, living in Sri Lanka, Nugegoda being my home town. Have lived away from paradise island for over 2 decades and have returned a couple of years ago. 
This beautiful group page was found whiletrying to find a reliable General Physician practicing here in SriLanka. No offence made, but with issues that are being reveled through Media about miss-haps with patients in SL, one need to be careful to avoid the unnecessary.And with my experience after returning to Colombo, is that irrespective of one’s position/designation, life is on a rat race for most. Spending money, getting an appointment with a Doctor sometimes does not last even 5 to 7 minutes once you meet the doctor in person. It is a pathetic situation when compared with times I used to visit our family doctor( Dr. Guy Paranavithana who practiced in Nugegoda) as a kid with my grandparents.
Dr. Paranavithananever rushed and shared many information related to the patient and spent quality time (this is in 1970s). With times passed and generations rolling, a change is unavoidable. Yet unlikely for many kids now a days, the “doctor visits” in my memory book are yet pleasant.
So, since I have been away from SL for some time ,I turned to a reliable friend for help in finding a GP . Itsmy friend who recommended DrHarshaSamarajeewa.Not out of any uncertainty, but to educate myself , I turned to google as most of us would do.
This is where I came across this beautifully created page of ColomboMedGrads1962.
Dear Dr. Lucky Abey (as you are referred on this site), I do not know you personally, but to comment on one’s quality piece work , I guess it is not a barrier. Your hard work and time contributed in creating this page has not only kept all of you connected, but it also has open doors to people to learn and understand a brilliant group of Doctors who graduated along with you back in 1967.Thank you for enabling me to read about Dr. HarshaSamarajeewa. A Doctor with kindness and professionalism, who has made an idol balance in his life as an active sportsmen and a Doctor.I look forward positively in meeting him soon.
And before I sign off with my note, a point to admit is thatDr. NihalAmarasekera’s flair in converting his memories in to write ups is absolutely wonderful. I truly enjoy reading them.It is so good that, even not knowing any of it nor being a part of it at any point, One can read and relate to it as if watching a movie. Well that’s what I felt when reading.
Thank you once again to the creator of the Colombomedgrads1962 page, Dr Lucky Abey ! and the rest of the team who keeps it going.
Dr. Amarasekara, may you find contentment in all what you do, be blessed with good health and may you be inspired to pen-off many more memories.
May blessings of the Triple Gem be with every one of you !!
Kind regards,
Samitha Kahandawala

27th Jan. 2017

A note after meeting Dr. HarshaSamarajeewa..
As I have mentioned in my earlier note, having read through DrHarshaSamrajeewa ,I was keen on meeting up with him, seeking treatment for my fiancé, Jeffrey Shu.
The reason to meet Doctor Harsha is a wheezing cough that has not being treated properly which prolonged for almost 02months. As we waited for our number to be called, one thing we noticed was the time taken by doctor with each patient. It was definitely lengthier than what we have experienced, and the important thing was, all his patients were disciplined enough to wait for their turn without making faces as if “what on earth is taking so long in there” !!
Once our turn came up, we moved in and Doctor stood up with a friendly smile and greeted us. I must say, This is rare with Sri Lankan Doctors at present. Dr. Harsha made us very comfortable with his kind gesture, and didn’t waste any time. He started his trail of questions with the patient, and carefully making his notes.
He gathered all information that could have any leads to patient’s current situation including the health background of other immediate family members. Then he examined the patient with much care and professionalism. we carried all the lab reports and the X-rays copies taken recently ( by a different doctor)  . After the initial round of doubt-clearing, Dr. Harsha asked for the reports and went thru all of them carefully, without any hesitation (usually this is not the case). He made his observations, made notes of it and then came the best part.
Dr. Harsha took time in explaining everything in detail to us, paying attention to the tiniest piece of information. He made it as simple as possible, without using any technical jargon in his explanation. It is of prime importance that A Professional is able to explain things in an unpretentious manner. A patient  knowing about his/her condition will definitely add a plus up towards recovery. Finally did a complete explanation of the prescription, starting from the type of medicine, the reason its been prescribed, the dosage and also the side effects that may occur. 
Our consultation lasted nearly 25minutes, and at the end of it, we felt very clear about the patients situation with  Dos and the Don’ts all included. And we walked out with contentment. 
Dr. Harsha, You have given us confidence ! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts..for being such a wonderful Doctor and a very humble person. We will recommend you to anyone who seek medical attention without any doubt. 
You are definitely  an asset in the Sri Lankan Health Services .
May you be blessed with many more years of good health and may you continue your journey as a Blessed Doctor !
Best Regards,
Samitha Kahandawala & Jeffrey Shu


  1. What a wonderful story! What was said about Harsh is absolutely true as thousands who have benefitted from his professionalism,kindness and humanity would vouch for why wait till somebody is dead to write good things about them, now is the time! As for Nihal, we have all thoroughly enjoyed all his posts which have often been his vivid recollections of the past, pictures painted by his skillful use of the rich English language. Coming to Lucky, this blog is his brain child and all of us appreciate the hard work he puts on to it.
    Finally. Smith, thanks so much for taking the trouble to contact us. I agree with you entirely that it is good to sing about "unsung heros"

    1. Mahen,
      Never mind the Typos we all know what you mean. I tried to bring some dry British humour to some comments and nearly got into hot water. All part of the rich tapestry of life!! We all mean well.

  2. Sorry for all the typos. Doing this on my smartphone with predictive spelling. Should have previewed before posting!Apologies to Samitha who became Smith!

  3. Sorry for all the typos. Doing this on my smartphone with predictive spelling. Should have previewed before posting!Apologies to Samitha who became Smith!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. To Samitha Kahandawala
    Thank you Samitha for the wonderful story told in such a lovely style. I am pleased you like my memories of long ago. I thought I will jot it down before I forgot. As for Harsha he is someone very very special. I am grateful we had the opportunity to walk this long and tortuous journey through life together as medical students. Lucky has done a great job managing this Blog without fear or favour.

  6. Lucky,
    What would a millionth hit count for with this wonderful feedback on the blog you've managed so well.
    It is timely coming onto the big reunion too.Thanks for posting it.
    Congratulations to you, to Nihal who can be rightfully proud of the acclaim,to all the other batchmates who have made enormous worthy contributions to the blog, and last but not the least-to Harsha Samarajeeva we are all so proud of.

  7. Samitha K, Thank you so much for sending this appreciation of our friends; Harsha's exceptional doctoring skills and ND's wonderful stories. Maybe now Nihal will buckle down and write that book! As my friend Rohini just said, your letter to Lucky carries so much more weight than a "millionth hit." The timing is perfect and we can talk about this when some of us meet this weekend. Lucky, thank you again for all your efforts in keeping us connected. Samitha, thank you for taking the trouble to write. It is encouraging that people like you are reading the contributions on the blog. This gives us the momentum to keep going!

  8. Hi ND, Greetings from Negombo. I am showing Manel how to make comments. We are going to do this before we nap to digest the delicious lunch we have just had. Manel and Srianee

  9. Hi Srianee and Manel
    Good luck with the project. If one can survive and thrive in medical school everything else would be a doddle. Enjoy the dinner and the wonderful company.

  10. Rajan Patas Ratnesar is now able to comments and we can look forward to his erudite comments soon

  11. Wonderful achievement. Congratulations Patas and welcome to the bloggers community. Look forward to your humour

  12. Dear Dr Nihal and the rest of the team,

    I am truly honored to read all appreciations on the note about Dr.Harsha!

    will continue to read the interesting articles on this blog. Dr Mahendra, my close friends call me as Sam, so the typo is not that bad!
    Wishing all of you a wonderful holiday time in Sri Lanka.

  13. Dear Samitha K, Thank you for that wonderful appreciation of our friend, Dr Harsha Samarajeeva. He is my husband's doctor too, so I know that everything you have said is 100% correct. You will be sorry to hear that Dr Harsha had a fall a few days ago, and suffered a fracture dislocation of his right shoulder. He is at present recovering in hospital.
    You had mentioned that you were from Nugegoda. I too live in Nugegoda, and my family, the Dissanayaka's have been old residents in Nugegoda for the past ?100 years! Please e-mail me if you feel like it. My e-mail is
    Dr Sriani Basnayake

    1. Hello Dr.Sriyani,
      thank you for your note. I would certainly like to get in touch with you, my email,
      I have been extremely busy at work, and that kept me away from popping in to the blog and to do my reading, which i truly enjoy.
      Didnt know anything about Dr Harsha's mishap until I read your note just now.Thank you Dr Sriyani, for updating me. I shall try and get in touch with him.