HarperCollins is proud to announce the publication of Heartfelt – A Cardiac Surgeon’s Pioneering Journey by P. Venugopal with Priya Sarkar

GURUGRAM, India, June 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A rare account of a world-renowned surgeon’s personal and professional milestones, his crowning achievements in the field of healthcare, and the controversies that surrounded him during his career.

Heartfelt A Cardiac Surgeon’s Pioneering Journey by P. Venugopal

Published by HarperCollins

Paperback | 280 pp | INR 499

Available wherever books are sold | Releasing on July 7th, 2023

“Dr Venugopal’s innumerable contributions to healthcare have placed India on the world stage. He has saved the lives of countless people with exemplary commitment and integrity in service. His pioneering heart transplant charted frontiers that brought renewed hope and faith to the noble profession of medicine. Doctors such as him are invaluable assets, and India is proud of him!” —  Dr Harsh Vardhan, Member of Parliament, former Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, former member of the WHO executive board.

“Dr Venugopal has been one of the strongest pillars in the growth of AIIMS. His contribution to the creation and development of the Cardiothoracic and Neurosciences Centre is unmatched. I have had the pleasure to observe his passion and commitment with pride and admiration for almost three decades. It is for the first time that he is speaking about matters personal and professional close to his heart; the story is worth reading and should be present in the libraries of all medical colleges as a role model to follow.” —  Dr Sneh Bhargava, Former Director, AIIMS.

“Dr Venugopal is a pioneer who established modern cardiac surgery and performed the first heart transplantation in India. He is a remarkable surgeon, leader and educator. There are innumerable surgeons in India and spread across the globe, who have been trained by him. His book offers rare insights into his remarkable journey and is a compelling ‘must read’ for anybody the medical world touches today.” —  Dr Valluvan Jeevanandam, Director of the Heart & Vascular Center, University of Chicago Medicine.


The memoirs of Dr P. Venugopal, the man who performed India’s first heart transplant, trace his never-told-before journey from a small town to being the director of India’s premier medical institute, the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). For the first time, an intensely reticent, world-renowned surgeon speaks of his personal and professional trials and tribulations, his crowning achievements in the field of healthcare, and the controversies that surrounded him during his career.

Venugopal is credited with introducing advanced Western concepts of cardiac surgery in the early 1970s in India. He has more than 50,000 heart surgeries to his credit, was head of the AIIMS cardiothoracic center, and later its dean and director. In his four-decade-long tenure, he has had a ringside view of some of the most impactful medical and political developments of the time.

Dr Venugopal has achieved an iconic status owing to his landmark contributions to medicine, surgery, and research, and as someone who on the strength of his moral convictions took on the might of the government. He enjoys the trust of his patients and the people who worked with him, as a man who has steadfastly committed himself to his profession and to his patients, eschewing all personal gain. For his patients and students and for aspiring doctors in general, these memoirs provide insights and inspiration from a remarkable life.

Dr Venugopal says about Heartfelt, “There is a world of thoughts and experiences that I’ve carried within me for eight decades now. Very few know of the trials and anguish that went into pioneering India’s modern cardiac surgery programme, or of standing up for the autonomy of its highest institutions. Even fewer know the person behind the surgeon’s scrubs. In the evening of my life, I felt it was important to let down my guard and share vignettes of my journey. Some may find inspiration from it; others may find in it justifiable reasons to not do what I did or be as I was. Either way, I’d have paid a debt to the universe by sharing my most authentic, personal self for posterity.”

According to co-author, Priya Sarkar, “Dr Venugopal’s is a story that needed to be told, a story that provides hidden insights and inspiration and renews one’s faith in the practice of medicine. I feel privileged to help tell this story; at some level it is a role reversal, with Dr Venugopal now placing his heart in the hands of legions of his patients, admirers and well-wishers.”

Associate Publisher, Swati Chopra, says, “It is a privilege to publish the memoirs of Dr Venugopal, a pioneer in the fields of cardiac surgery and organ transplantation in India. His candid recounting of his experiences gives us an intimate view of what it means to build and sustain premier medical teams and institutions. In this sense, Heartfelt is both a memoir and a valuable historical narrative.”


P. Venugopal is widely known as a pioneer in the field of transplantation in India. He introduced advanced western concepts of cardiac surgery in the early 1970s at a time when it was largely trial and error even in premier institutes in India. He has more than 50,000 heart surgeries to his credit, was head of the Cardio-Thoracic Centre, dean and director of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences.

Priya Sarkar is a communications consultant who has worked with clients such as Meta India, among others. In her previous roles, she has worked with American Express and UnitedHealth Group-Optum, setting up and leading the communications functions in the region.


HarperCollins is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, having begun publishing in India in 1992. HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian Subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live! Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Harvard University Press, Gallup Press, Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet. HarperCollins India has won the Publisher of the Year Award four times at Tata Literature Live! in 2022, 2021, 2018 and 2016, and at Publishing Next in 2021 & 2015. HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers.


At HarperCollins, we believe in telling the best stories and in finding the widest possible readership for our books in every format possible. We started publishing 30 years ago in India and a great deal has changed since then, but what has remained constant is the passion with which our authors write their books, the love with which readers receive them, and the sheer joy and excitement that we as publishers feel in being a part of the publishing process.

Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of publishing some of the finest writing from the subcontinent and from around the world, and some of the biggest bestsellers in Indian publishing history. Our books and authors have won a phenomenal range of awards, and we ourselves have been named Publisher of the Year several times. But nothing has meant more to us than the fact that millions of people read the books we publish, and somewhere, a book of ours might be making a difference to someone.

As we step into our fourth decade, we go back to that one word – a word which has been a driving force for us all these years: Read.

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