::Departments : Clinical : Psychiatry
History of the Department

There have been many important developmental stages that this great Institute of Psychiatry has gone through to make it a nationally and internationally recognized centre!

This institution has gone through two phases that is Pre Dr.A.Venkoba Rao and Post Dr.A.Venkoba Rao.
Madurai Medical College was started in the year 1954.The Government Erskine Hospital, until then a District Headquarters Hospital was upgraded as a Medical College Hospital for the purpose of teaching. The Department of Psychiatry came into existence in the year 1957 and the Late Dr.V.S.Ramachandran took charge as the first Tutor and Asst. Surgeon in the Department. At that time, the in-patient service was restricted to 2-4 beds scattered in Medical wards, although a regular out-patient section was in progress. In 1962 a post of Civil Surgeon was created and Dr.A.Venkoba Rao was appointed as Professor of Psychiatry, Madurai Medical College and Physician, Department of Psychiatry, Erskine Hospital. Dr.S.P.Sivakolundu, Dr.Mrs.S.Jeyapalan, Dr.N.Cornelio and Dr.R.D.Devasagayam were among the earliest Tutors in the Department. Dr.A.Venkoba Rao MD (General Medicine) Ph.D, Emeritus professor of Psychiatry was among the senior medical personalities in India. He was known for his research contributions in Psychiatry and as an effective teacher and clinician. He received the Ph.D and D.Sc degree (Medical Faculty ) from University of Madras. He has to his credit  over 400 publications which includes a dozen books edited and authored by him. The books include ‘Psychiatry of Old Age in India’, ‘Depressive Disease’, ‘Lithium’, ‘Depression and Suicide Behavior’, ‘Textbook of Psychiatry’, ‘Culture Philosophy and Mental Health’, ‘Mind’, ‘Turbulent and Tranquil’.

This Institute which started with only 6700 out-patients and 225 in-patients in 1962 has grown manifold and today it stands as the second biggest Institution in Tamil Nadu. In the year 1972 DPM was started with an intake of 6 students. In the year 1978 MD in Psychiatry course was started with an intake of 3 students. In the year 1997 10 bedded De-addiction ward was started with the funds from Govt. of India.

WARD 104

Professor Dr.A.Venkoba Rao attained superannuation then came Dr.Mrs.Sheela Fenn MD DPM who headed the Institute with compassion for the patients. Then came Professors Dr.D.R.Govardhanan, Dr.T.R.Deivasigamani, Dr.V.K.Samilal, Dr.C.Ramasubramaniam, Dr.S.Sabesan and Dr.S.Nagaraj all of whom maintained the quality and calibre in work as their predecessors.

Eminent visitors to our Institute:
    •    Prof. David Maddison, Prof. Of Psychiatry, Sydney University Australia(WHO consultant)
    •    Dr. Norman Sartorius, Chief, Mental Health Division, WHO-Geneva
    •    Dr. Henry Walton, Edinburgh(WHO)
    •    Prof. G.M.Carstairs , President, World Federation of Mental Health, UK
    •    Dr. N. H. Rathod, WHO Consultant , Drug Addiction
    •    Dr.H.L.P. Resnik, Suicidology section, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, USA
    •    Dr. Ari Kiev, Cornell University , New York

Some of the collaborative programs undertaken were

    •    A sensitisation programme conducted on Disaster Mental Health with NIMHANS
    •    With the financial assistance of WHO, conducted life skills education in 11 selected schools of Madurai and
         developed the Manual on Life Skills based School Health Programme.
    •    Important training on Disaster mental health and Psychosocial Rehabilitation for 325 General Practitioners of
         the coastal districts of Tamil Nadu with the collaboration of WHO after the dreadful Tsunami

On the research side we have presented morethan 1000 papers in the National and International conferences.
This department has grown from a small flickering light to a large light house Beacon – a light of hope for the patients and a light of knowledge for the doctors.

Academic activities

Type of course              :  Medical

Course offered              :  MD Psychiatry, Diploma in Psychological Medicine

Eligibility                        :  MBBS

Course duration            :  MD- 3yrs, DPM- 2yrs

Number of seats            :  MD-4, DPM-2

Affiliated University        :  Tamil Nadu Dr.M.G.R. Medical University

Selection Procedure      :  50% of the seats from the State Govt.  and the rest from All   India Quota

Examination Details       : Every year April and October

Periodic academic activities held in the Department:

  Alternate Mondays    -  Psychotherapy and Recent Advances

  Wednesdays             -  Seminar

  Fridays                      -  Case Conference

Our Department is providing training to Diploma in Nursing, B.Sc Nursing and M.Sc Nursing of several nursing colleges in and around Madurai.

Prizes and Awards won:    
The certificate of Merit was awarded to The Department of Psychiatry during the year 2010 for having presented the maximum number of interesting cases in the Clinical Society meeting conducted by GRH and MMC, Madurai. Dr. Nishanth, DPM student was also given certificate for having presented the largest number of cases among the postgraduates in the Clinical Society meeting. Our postgraduates have presented several papers in the Tamil Nadu State Conference(TANPSYCON), South Zone Conference(IPSOCON) and Annual Conference(ANCIPS) of the Indian Psychiatric Society from 2008.
Dr.Shankar,MD Post-graduate has won the PG Award in Tamil Nadu State Conference,conducted by Indian Psychiatric Society, held in Kodaikanal, 2011

CME’s, Workshops/Conferences Conducted by the Department

    State level CME under Indian Psychiatric Society, TN branch- April, 2009

    Indian Psychiatric Society,Tamil Nadu State Annual Conference (TANPSYCON), was organised jointly at
    Kodaikanal – in July 1998 and July, 2011.

Services offered:

No. Of units in the Department                 :  3

O.P days                                                  :  All days except Sundays

I.P Unit & Admission day:


     I unit – Mondays and Thursdays
    II unit – Tuesdays and Fridays
   III unit – Wednesdays and Saturdays

Psychiatry O.P No-124

De-addiction ward No- 122
Average O.P: 200 old cases and 20 new cases                         Average I.P: 45 cases

Special clinics conducted by the Department:

    Neuropsychiatry                   - Mondays

    Suicide Prevention Clinic     - Tuesdays

    Child Psychiatry                   - Wednesdays

    Disability Certification           - Thursdays

    De-addiction follow up-         - Fridays


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