January 2014 \ Interviews \ HEALTHCARE ENGAGEMENT
“One in seven patients in USA is seen by an Indian physician”

Interview with Dr Jayesh Shah, President, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin

  • Dr Jayesh Shah, President, AAPI

AAPI represents 100,000 physicians of Indian origin in the USA. It also represents 20 per cent of student in US medical schools that are of Indian origin. It is the largest ethnic medical organization of a diaspora, globally, influencing important issues such as graduate medical education, physician work force and shaping healthcare delivery in the US. The 165 alumni, subspecialty and regional organizations are the backbone of the AAPI. Dr Jayesh Shah, President, AAPI, speaks to India Empire’s Editor and Publisher Sayantan Chakravarty

You’ve had a phenomenal rise to the top of the AAPI echelons, becoming the youngest ever president of this prestigious organization. It speaks well of the democratic processes within the AAPI…
I had started leadership in various organizations at an young age, but I have worked in AAPI for more than 15 years before reaching where I am today. I started early by getting involved with the local chapter in Texas and I have served in every capacity on that ladder. Yes, it surely speaks well of the democratic processes within AAPI.

What is your larger vision, and mission for AAPI?
One in seven patients in USA is seen by an Indian physician. With this statistic in mind, I see a much larger vision for AAPI. AAPI physicians should actively take part in health care reform and improve the health care in USA. AAPI has already taken a lead and formed AAPI global leadership council to connect with leaders from all over the country. Our vision is to work together with all Indian physicians all over the world with a common goal—to bring accessible and innovative health care.

What is your greater vision for yourself as an individual, and how would that vision blend in with AAPI’s objectives?
I want to continue to serve organized medicine in United States. I want to continue to work on health care issues nationally. AAPI with its strength in membership should be at the forefront for any health care reform, and personally I would like to merge AAPI’s vision into the broader vision of improving American health care system. Globally, AAPI should advocate for accessible, affordable and quality health care to every patient.

By and large the Indian medical community has built up a formidable reputation. We’ve all heard stories of Indian doctors being the preferred choice. According to you what has contributed to this remarkable branding?
US educated doctors respect Indian colleagues for their compassion, knowledge and work ethics. Indian physicians are a guide and philosopher to their patients in every community of United States. Their work at grass root level has contributed immensely to this remarkable branding.

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