Indian-American physicians expecting thousands at 37th Annual Convention in Atlanta

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The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), plans to have a smorgasboard of seminars, outings, forums, and food at its 37th Annual Convention, scheduled to be held in Atlanta, Georgia July 3-7. Organizers are hoping more young doctors and specialists will get involved in the running of this influential and largest ethnic organization of physicians,

AAPI banner for the July 3-7 convention in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo: aapiusa.org)

Between 2,000-2,500 physicians and their families are expected at the Omni and World Congress Center, to participate and listen to experts in various fields, and enjoy social events and landmarks in the city for which the Convention location is ideal, says Dr. Sreeni Gangasani of Atlanta, chair of the 2019 Convention. Renowned Indian yogi, philosopher and author Sadhguru has accepted the invitation to inaugurate the convention and conduct an afternoon session with interested attendees, Dr. Gangasani told News India Times. Some 850 attendees have already registered by April 24, he added.

“The 2019 AAPI Annual Convention & Scientific Assembly offers an exciting venue to interact with leading physicians, health professionals, academicians, and scientists of Indian origin,” says Dr. Naresh Parikh, current president of AAPI. “Physicians and healthcare professionals from across the country will convene and participate in the scholarly exchange of medical advances, to develop health policy agendas, and to encourage legislative priorities in the coming year. We look forward to seeing you in Atlanta, GA!” Dr. Parekh added.

“The 37th AAPI convention in Atlanta is going to be a commitment to excellence and going to be a memorable event,” commented Dr. Ajeet Kothari, chairman of the Board of Trustees of AAPI.

“We are trying to give more importance to young physicians and medical students,” Dr. Gangasani told News India Times. Because of the high attendance expected, the venue had to be moved to the World Congress Center adjacent to Omni hotel, he said. Major city  landmarks are nearby, such as the Coca Cola Museum, the Georgia Aquarium, CNN headquarters, Centennial Park, and a short drive to the Martin Luther King Center and the BAPs Temple, as well as the Jimmy Carter Center. “Plus, we’ve planned special trips to Stone Mountain and other places.

For younger physicians, AAPI has included the poster competition, mentoring session, oral presentations, Medical jeopardy quiz competition, among social gatherings and networking events.

Because of ongoing elections in India, VIPs from that country are not confirmed yet, but much-loved Indian playback singer Kanika Kapoor, famous cricketer Kapil Dev, Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp and the president-elect of the American Medical Association Patrice Harris, have confirmed their attendance. Dr. Ramesh Mehta, president of the Global Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPIO) is expected as well. Bollywood actor Anil Kapoor was still working out the dates, Dr. Gangasani said.

More than 110 exhibit booths are booked, but organizers hope more will be snapped up at the going cost of $3,500.

Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, vice president of AAPI and chair of the Souvenir Committee, encouraged people to place more advertisements in the souvenir which will be handed out during the Convention.

There are sponsorship packages for physicians that promise a great time including the hotel accommodation, VIP seating at dinners and gala, which Gangasani hopes will be attractive for those coming to the Convention. “For example, a $10,000 package fetches registration for 8 people, 4 rooms, and all the events and VIP seating,” he clarified.

Health professionals and wellness living experts are expected at panels as is the Women’s Forum held each year. Dr. Asha Parikh, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPI) is in charge of the Women’s Forum. Bollywood actress  Preity Zinta will be one of the panelists  at this Women’s Forum, as well Swati Kulkarni, the Indian Consul General in Atlanta.

Apart from Dr. Asha Parikh, and Dr. Jonnalagadda, the team of Georgia physicians working to make the Convention a success includes Dr. Syamala Erramilli, president of GAPI; Dr. Raghu Lolabattu, co-chair of the AAPI Convention and past president; Dr. Piyush Patel, Dr. Subodh Agrawal, and several others.

“AAPI’s choice of Atlanta as a the venue of for next convention is akin to bringing the Super Bowl of Indian Physicians, to Atlanta.  This mega event would be a shining example for future generation of Georgia physicians,” Dr. Erramilli said in an email comment to News India Times.

As is the case in every AAPI Convention, there will be numerous  alumni meetings, Continuing Medical Education seminars, and other activities are planned.

“AAPI has been a great platform for Alumni congregations and to exchange their wisdom and culture. As a convention Co chair and convention Chair for Alumni I would like to invite all the alumnus to come and enjoy our hospitality and meet your friends and their families,” said Dr. Lolabattu

Some of the major themes as part of the CME sessions include: Pursuit of Happiness In Medicine; Burnout Prevention and Wellness in Physicians; Easy Life of a Hospitalist: An Illusion; and, Meditation and Mindfulness. Other themes at the CME include: Combining Ancient Sciences and Modern Medicine in the Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases; Mysteries of Type 2 Diabetes in South Asians – the Unresolved Questions; and, Cardio-oncology: Clinical Practice and Echocardiography.

The AAPI convention will offer 12 hours of CME credits, according to Dr. P. Natarajan, the CME chair for the Convention. World-renowned speakers will discuss gaps between current and best practice of wide-ranging topics of CME sessions, Dr. Hemant Yagnick, academic chair for the Convention is quoted saying.

Convention Treasurer Dr. Manoj Shah said, “Guests will be treated to true Southern hospitality in one of the country’s fastest growing cities—bustling with restaurants, night life, shopping and more. We look forward to welcoming you and your family …”

“Many of the physicians who will attend this 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,” President-elect Dr. Suresh Reddy, is quoted saying in an earlier AAPI press release. “The AAPI 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,” Reddy added. He also encouraged physicians to attend the Global Health Summit to be held in Hyderabad July 21-24.

Organizers believe the 37th annual AAPI Convention, “while providing physicians of Indian origin an opportunity to come together in an atmosphere of collegiality, will enable them to retrace and appreciate their common roots, culture and the bond that unites them as members of this large professional community.”

For more details and registration for the convention, visit:  www.aapiconvention.org and www.aapiusa.org

 

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