Physicians and healthcare professionals from across the country and internationally will convene in New Jersey this June to participate in a scholarly exchange of medical advances, to develop health policy agendas, and to encourage legislative priorities in the coming year, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) President Dr. Ajay Lodha announced. Lodha was speaking at a kickoff event April 9 at the Consulate General of India here to present AAPI’s 35th Annual Convention to be held June 21-25 at Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City.
This year’s convention is being organized by AAPI’s New York chapter. According to Convention Chair Dr. Raj Bhayani, his team has been working hard to put together an attractive program with educational activities and family entertainment. “We are fortunate to have a dedicated team of convention committee members from the tie-state region helping us,” Bhayani said.
Continuing Education Meetings, national and India-based health policy forums, women’s forum, yoga sessions, youth seminars, new physician and resident student meetings and stellar Bollywood entertainment are some of the highlights of this years convention, Lodha said. “This year’s convention will be hosted in Atlantic City after 29 years,” Lodha told Desi Talk, adding that the event’s programming will cater to physicians and non-physicians alike.
AAPI members, prominent members of the Indian-American community and media personnel attended the kick off event which was inaugurated by Consul General of India In New York Riva Ganguly Das. Lauding the achievements of AAPI, she talked about the organization’s growth over the years. “We have watched how AAPI has grown over the years and now we want other NRI groups to emulate the success model of AAPI,” Ganguly Das told the audience.
“What AAPI does is to contribute to leverage the relationships between India and the United States,” she said. The Government of India values its relationship with AAPI and its initiatives and contributions for the people in India,” Ganguly Das added.
“Physicians attending this convention will benefit not only from cutting edge CME, but also the camaraderie of their alumni groups and share in our common heritage,” Lodha told the audience.
Many of the physicians who will attend the convention have excelled in different specialties and subspecialties and occupy high positions as faculty members of medical schools, heads of departments, and executives of hospital staff, Lodha said. The convention offers an opportunity to meet directly with these physicians who are leaders in their fields and play an integral part in the decision-making process regarding new products and services, he added.
Lodi also expressed his gratitude to AAPI’s executive committee members Bhayani, various committee chairs and members, volunteers and sponsors for their dedication and leadership “to make the convention an historic event for all.”
The convention will offer 12 credit hours of cutting edge CMEs as per AMA guidelines by well renowned thought leaders in their respective areas, being organized by Drs. Jagat Narula and Atul Prakash. Attendees will also benefit from a spiritual session headed by Baba Ramdev.
The women’s forum will feature women leaders, politicians, academicians, artists, sports women, and is being coordinated by Drs. Purnima Kothari and Udaya Shivangi. The convention will also offer special emphasis on Integrative Medicine (AYUSH) and medical innovations, while the AAPI Research Symposium will provide an avenue for learning about and presenting new research as well as case reports and discussions.
According to Anwar Feroz, the honorary advisor of AAPI, the CEO Forum will have CEOs of leading healthcare firms who will share their ideas on the development of medical science and current changes, especially with the ongoing national discussions on the repairing and repealing of the healthcare delivery in the nation.
The AAPI-India Strategic Engagement Forum will showcase the organization’s initiatives in India like Trauma Brain Injury Guidelines, and MoU on TB Eradication in India. Other sessions include alumni meetings for networking, match-making, and an awards ceremony.
On the entertainment front, a talent show will provide a platform for members to display their skills. Being put together by Drs. Seema Arora and Amit Chakrabarty, the competitive session for members will be judged by well known artists and philanthropists. Latest designs and trends will be showcased in a fashion show by famous fashion designers. Delegates will also be treated to a array of Indian and international cuisine with daily theme menus.
Speakers and AAPI members at the April 9 kickoff praised the organization for its efforts to facilitate and enable Indian-American physicians to excel in patient care, teaching and research and to pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs. Speakers included Dr. Vanath (Vas) Narsimhan, global head of Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer for Novartis, Dr. Sudhir Parikh, publisher of Desi Talk and recipient of India’s Padma Shri award; and Dr. Shashi Shah, past chair of AAPI’s BOT.
Narshimhan, the chief guest at the event, described India as an “innovation power house.” Dr. Narasimhan, who had flown in from Sweden, advised young physicians to “dream big and thus achieve big.”
Parikh expressed confidence in Lodha’s leadership and said the organization will set new landmarks in participation for its contribution to society, in the U.S., and in India. Noting that these are exciting times for physicians and those in the medical and research field with cutting-edge technology and discovery of new drug, Parikh also spoke about that challenges physicians face everyday as they grapple with the reality of existing healthcare laws, the demands of insurance companies, and the needs of their patients.
“The role of AAPI to make the voice of Indian-American physicians, and Indian-American students in the medical field, heard, thus, assumes greater importance,” he said. “We need to speak in one voice today to ensure lawmakers hear our concerns loud and clear.”
Physicians of Indian-origin in the United States are reputed to be leading health care providers, holding crucial positions in various hospitals and health care facilities around the nation and the world. Known to be a leading ethnic medical organization that represents nearly 100,000 physicians and fellows of Indian-origin in the US, AAPI provides a forum to its members to collectively work together to meet their diverse needs.