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Georgia Physicians Come Together At GAPI Annual Meet

May 2004
Georgia Physicians Come Together At GAPI Annual Meet

Georgia Physicians Come Together At GAPI Annual Meet

The Georgia Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (GAPI) held its annual meet at the Evergreen Mariott's Conference Resort at Stone Mountain on April 17. Around 200 physicians and guests attended the convention that included a board meeting, a CME (Continuous Medical Education) meet, a formal change of leadership, and live entertainment. Dr Arvind Gupta, president for the year 2003-2004, passed the baton on to incoming president Dr Asha Gupta during the course of the evening.

The newly formed GAPI leadership for the year 2004 was announced on the occasion. Apart from Dr Gupta who took over as president, Dr Bipin Chudgar was named vice president and Dr Shailesh Gandhi, the secretary.

Dr Gupta, in his address, outlined the achievements of the association during the course of the year. He spoke about the forming of GAPI's political action committee called IPPAC. "The purpose of this committee is to lobby for our physicians to have fair representation at important boards, fight discrimination, increase awareness and work with other organizations to achieve bigger things for physicians and the Indian community," he said.

The outgoing president also spoke about GAPI's charitable trust, which includes free health clinics where around 60 physicians volunteer their services.

Dr Gupta exhorted physicians from Georgia to join the association. "New physicians get an opportunity to develop contacts, share information to build practice and organize to fight discrimination," he said. "For established physicians, it gives a platform to meet like-minded people to use their resources for the betterment of our community here and to build bridges for our future generations."

New president Dr Asha Parikh outlined her plans for the year, which includes involving young physicians through a resident fellows committee, and improving GAPI's healthcare projects like free clinics and health fairs. GAPI would soon have a grievance committee, she added, wherein the association would review and represent individual cases. Dr Gupta also announced that GAPI would host the 2006 annual convention of the American Association of the Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI - GAPI's parent organization).

Guest speakers for the evening included Dr Vinayak Kamath, who is a member of the State Medical Board and Rebacca Jones who represented Gates, Moore & Company, a physician practice management company.

Dr Kamath, in his address, said it is important that physicians maintain a spotless medical practice. "Gone are the days when a small dark spot was okay," he said. "In these days of the national database, having a spotless record is of utmost importance." Dr Kamath added that the 13 member State Licensing Board has no agendas, and is extremely fair functioning.

Several physicians and community members were recognized during the evening. A live band from Bombay enlivened the proceedings with popular Bollywood songs.

-Veena Rao

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