President’s Acceptance Speech

Good evening everyone, I would first like to congratulate Dr. Lodha and his convention team for arranging this fabulous convention.

I promise tonight that I will keep this short and sweet.

I am honored to accept this position as the President of AAPI. I want to talk for just a few moments tonight about the issues facing AAPI and everyone who works in the healthcare field and lay out my vision for the future of AAPI.

If you had told me that when I was growing up in Jabalpur that I would be on this stage tonight, in America, I don’t think I would have believed you.

Yet when I came to America for advanced studies, I knew that I had been given a special opportunity.
It was a chance not only for me to make a name for myself as a doctor, but to truly build something. It was that entrepreneurial spirit that led me to build up not just my sleep practice but it also pushed me to get involved with AAPI. There is something wonderful about the challenge of bringing people together to solve problems.

That is my vision for my presidency at AAPI: I want to unify our group by breaking down the barriers of various regions, languages, and medical education; I want us all to work together as one entity rather than fragments.

The problems facing our organization are the same ones facing doctors across this country and the world. They are the same problems that many of our patients face, too.
Right now the problems facing us as doctors are facing the entire healthcare system.

Everyone is asking the same questions:
What will happen with the ACA?
How will we expand access to quality care for those who cannot afford coverage?
How will we stem the opiate crisis spreading across the country?
How will we honestly and respectfully treat obesity?
How will we change Medicare and our Visa programs?

These aren’t just our issues, but everyone’s issues. Yet it’s up to us to be leaders in finding the answers.

That’s why it will take a unified AAPI to solve these problems.

First, our voices must be heard by the people making the laws. AAPI must succeed in bringing to the forefront the many important health care issues facing the physician community and raising our voice unitedly before the US Congress members. Our membership is our strength; as the 2nd largest medical association behind the AMA, we cannot stay silent any longer.

We should be at the table during debate and implementation stages of health care reform and all issues facing medical professionals. Remember, if you are not at the table, then you are most probably on the menu.

Second, to retain our influence, we must mentor and develop the next generation of doctors in leadership.

I remember something that Dr. Ajeet Singhvi said to me when he encouraged me to take on a leadership role in AAPI, he said “One thing is clear, if you are a team player, hardworking, and willing to serve in the best interests of the organization. There is always a leadership opportunity for you in AAPI.” When we encourage medical students, residents, and fellows and all second-generation Indian American physicians to be actively involved in both local and national level, then we will have a strong bench from which to sustain this organization for years to come.

Third, the heart of what we do revolves around education.

The AAPI Global Healthcare Summit will serve as a sounding board for many health care leaders to freely exchange ideas, and help resolve challenges that are addressed during the very effective CEO forums usually chaired by MOH officials and leading CEOs. This will help in attracting investments, advanced training, and setting up hospitals, medical institutions, etc. AAPI GHS will continue the International Research Competition, EP, Cardiology, Urology, and other workshops that will help in training several India based physicians. Finally, initiatives under the banner of women’s leadership forum will serve as an inspiration for aspiring female leaders to see and hear from their role models.

Leadership in medicine begins with the members of AAPI. It is up to us to lead on the issues; to make our voices heard, to develop leaders, and to educate everyone involved in healthcare.
I see an even stronger AAPI in the future.

I see an AAPI where its members regularly testify in front of Congress to give a voice to physicians where our laws are made. Imagine a future where we are consulted before the laws are made rather than after.

I see strong AAPI groups at the regional and state level, throughout the country that are nurturing new leaders. Imagine what we could do if we don’t just plan for the next generation of leadership but even each generation after.

I see an AAPI who is the “go-to” resource for education; I see healthcare leaders coming together to solve problems and implementing those changes throughout the world. Imagine a healthcare forum whose legacy and reputation for finding effective solutions is known throughout every medical community.

In thinking about our call for unity, I’m reminded of a story:

To my AAPI members, none of what I discussed tonight can be done without you; we must work together regardless of specialties or other barriers. It takes all of us working together to lead on changes in healthcare. Know that I do not see this leadership position as something I can do alone – I need your help. I look forward to hearing from all of you in the upcoming year for how we can solve the facing our organization and the American healthcare system.

Eternal vigilance, hard work, and leadership, will enable us all to take on any change to our circumstances.
Never stop working; never stop leading; never stop doing your best each day.
Members of AAPI, I look forward to our year together; let us go forward and be the leaders of healthcare that we are!

I wanted to thank my senior leaders for mentoring me, especially Dr. Narendra Kumar who attended today’s program in spite of his family tragedy, my friends who stood behind me and my family. Lastly, I want to give a special thanks to my wife Dr. Anjana Samadder who has been with me through this journey to stand before you tonight as your AAPI president. You are truly my better half and source of inspiration and strength in my life.