Dr. Kusum Punjabi elected chair of AAPI Board of Trustees

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Dr. Kusum Punjabi, who was elected unanimously as chair of the AAPI Board of Trustees July 4, 2021, speaking at the 39th Annual Convention of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Originheld July 2-5 in Atlanta, GA. Photo: ITV Gold

On July 4, 2021, during the 39th Convention and Scientific Assembly of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) held in Atlanta, Dr. Kusum Punjabi, was elected as the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

She is the youngest to date to be holding this position in AAPI’s 40-year history and the first person to go to medical school in the United States to hold that position, Dr. Punjabi said in a note to Desi Talk/ News India Times.

Dr. Punjabi graduated from Rutgers University in Biology and Economics with high honors as a Henry Rutgers Scholar.

She completed the MD/MBA program from Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers Business School.

She was Class President in medical school and got the Deans Award that year.

Subsequently, she completed her residency in Emergency Medicine from Drexel University – Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Dr. Kusum Punjabi, standing to right, the new chair of the AAPI Board of Trustees, being introduced, at the 39th Annual Convention held in Atlanta, GA. Photo: ITV Gold

For the past 12 years she has been working as an Emergency Physician at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson university hospital in New Jersey, serving the local community and teaching at the Medical school as Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Punjabi has served in many board positions in AAPI for the past 12 years starting in the Young Physician Section, organizing community service projects, webinars and conferences, written in AAPI newsletters and journals.

Having won several national elections of AAPI, it is no surprise that Dr. Punjabi was unanimously elected as Chair of the Board.

Dr. Punjabi has held several board positions in the American Medical Association (AMA) women’s section and young physicians section and In the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

“My goal as Chair of the Board is to develop long lasting programs within AAPI that promote professionalism, unity, mentorship and inclusivity,” Dr. Punjabi said in a statement. “I hope to clearly re-define AAPI’s mission of service, academic achievement and supporting Indian Physicians working in America through advocacy and leadership.”

Noting that one in four patients in the USA is cared for by an Indian doctor, she said she wants patients to know the value of the care they receive from our ethnic group and our mission of promoting the safest and best healthcare practices.

AAPI represents the interests of an estimated100,000 physicians in this country of Indian origin and it is the second largest organization of doctors in the US after the AMA.

“This is a huge prestige for Rutgers and Robert Wood Johnson Hospital and I am excited to serve in this new leadership role,” Dr. Punjabi said.

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