Personal Physician to His Holiness the Dalai Lama Passes Away
7 April, 2001: Dr. Tenzin Choedrak, Senior personal physician to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, passed away yesterday night (06.04.2001) at 8.07 PM (IST), at Delek Hospital, Dharamsala. Born to late Tashi Tsering in Ringpung Dzong, Shigatse, (central Tibet) in 1924, Dr. Choedrak, at the age of 17 commenced his study in Tibetan Medicine, under the guidance of Dr. Shekar Tsultrim Tenzin. In 1941, he joined the Lhasa Men-Tsee-Khang College and graduated in 1952 with Menpa Kachupa Degree. He was appointed as the Personal Physician of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1955.
After the Chinese invasion in 1959, he was imprisoned by the Chinese for nearly 20 years in Chow-Chin Prison (China), Sangyip Prison (Tibet), Se-thue Prison (Tibet), and Drapchi Prison, during which he underwent severe mental and physical torture.
In September 1979 he visited Dharamsala, and was re-appointed as the Personal Physician to His Holiness in February 1980, and since than had been associated with Men-Tsee-Khang in various capacities. He served as the Chief Medical Officer, Director of the Pharmaceutical Department, Advisor to Pharmaceutical Department, Materia Medica Department, Herbal Product and Research Department, Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute.
Dr. Tenzin Choedrak is considered as one of the most eminent masters of Tibetan Medical Tradition whose loss will be deeply felt by all.