Posted on

Longtime Harrison physician dies

Longtime Harrison physician dies
Longtime Harrison physician dies
Dr. Rashidul Islam (click for larger version)

Dr. Rashidul Islam, a Harrison County physician who operated a medical clinic in New Salisbury, was found dead in his home Thursday morning, July 30. It was reported that he died of natural causes.
Islam, 79, was born in India and received a medical degree from the Medical College of Calcutta, then trained as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in England.
He moved to the United States in 1970 and trained in residency in West Virginia. In 1976, he moved to Corydon and set up a practice as a general surgeon and primary care physician. His first clinic in New Salisbury was started in a trailer located behind the Thriftway grocery store until the community could get funding to build a new clinic nearby. He also practiced at Harrison County Hospital in Corydon.
For the last 13 years, Dana Brown worked as the office nurse at the clinic, and Lisa Johnson was a certified medical assistant there for the last eight years.
‘Dr. Islam was very attentive, informative and enjoyed teaching us,’ Brown said. ‘During the day, he’d get models out and show us procedures, claiming that most were not as complicated as they may seem.
‘He really taught us a lot. He knew all drugs by both their generic and brand names and what they were used for. And he always had an open-door policy. Everyone was welcome at the clinic.’
The New Salisbury community built the clinic in hopes of attracting and keeping a local doctor. The plan worked well. Islam moved into the new building as soon as it was built and was there ever since. The rent he paid helped pay for the building’s cost.
‘He saw people of all ages at the clinic,’ Brown said. ‘He loved kids. And there were no appointments. He always took care of everyone who walked in the door. He always worked five days a week and loved his patients. But he was a family man also and enjoyed being with his family at least one day a week.’
Winifred, Islam’s wife of 39 years who suffered from ovarian cancer, passed away in 2003.
His son, Nigel, went to high school in Harrison County then graduated from Indiana University Medical School in Indianapolis. He is now an internal medical doctor at a hospital in Evansville. His wife, Nancy, is a registered nurse. They have three children, Lauren, Ryan and Zachary.
In recent years, Islam was honored by the Indiana Medicaid Medwise Care Select program for outstanding service to his community.
‘On Wednesday, the day before he passed away, they brought lunch to the clinic for us and gave him another award for his service,’ Brown said. ‘He just loved working. He was a devoted family man, down to earth, and was always smiling and patient. We worked as a team. Lisa and I were his colleagues, not just employees. He was always there for us.’
Islam also served on the Harrison County Board of Health.
Gehlbach & Royse Funeral Home in Corydon is handling funeral arrangements.