NEW YORK: The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) has lauded the contribution of Dr. Vivek Murthy, the former US Surgeon General, who was forced to resign by the Trump administration.
“On behalf of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin, I want to applaud the many contributions and initiatives of Dr. Vivek Murthy, our AAPI member, in the healthcare sector in very short span of about two years since he became US Surgeon General in 2014,” said Dr. Ajay Lodha, President of AAPI, in a statement.
Dr. Murthy has attended several AAPI meetings and has always acknowledged the contributions of AAPI and the Indian community.
“I am proud of our community of Indian physicians for all the progress that we have made over the years, and I know that AAPI has been a critical force in making this process possible. The advice you shared and assistance you kindly offered were important pieces of this journey,” Murthy said earlier, in a statement.
Lodha added: “The growing influence of doctors of Indian heritage is evident, as increasingly physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in the healthcare, academic, research and administrative positions across the nation. With their hard work, dedication, compassion, and skills, they have thus carved an enviable niche in the American medical community. AAPI’s role has come to be recognized as vital among members and among lawmakers.
The surgeon general represents the Health and Human Services Secretary in addressing public health practice in the nation. Murthy, 39, was America’s youngest-ever top doctor, and is also the first surgeon general of Indian-American representing the next generation of Indian American physician. His ethics, quiet leadership style and impeccable credentials made him the smart choice for this position.”
Murthy, grandson of a farmer, second generation Indian American physician, said he will always be grateful to “our country for welcoming my immigrant family nearly 40 years ago and giving me this opportunity to serve.”
Murthy played a key role in bringing to the forefront many crucial health issues confronting the nation.
In a landmark report on addiction released in November, he said dependency on opioids and other substances must not be looked on as a “character flaw.” It was the first publication from a surgeon general that has addressed drug and alcohol addiction.
Murthy embarked on a three-month listening tour of the U.S. ahead of a ceremonial swearing-in to listen to residents and professionals before taking on his new role.
“AAPI is shocked and saddened with his departure and wishes him well as he moves on to a new phase in life and is confident that his talents. skills, and experiences will be utilized effectively for the greater good of the nation,” said Lodha.