Five women in top leadership positions in AAPI, America’s largest ethnic medical association
As American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic medical body in the US celebrates its 40th anniversary, women hold a a majority of its current leadership
Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, only the 4th woman president of AAPI in its history, called it “a truly historic and a very proud moment” as AAPI “celebrates 40 years of dedicated service to the United States, India and the world.”
“Never has there ever been such a strong representation of women leaders in AAPI’s leadership positions,” she stated according to an AAPI press release.
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“Fortunate to be leading AAPI with this amazing group of dedicated women leaders,” said Dr. Gotimukula, a San Antonio, Texas, resident of AAPI leadership for 2020-21.
Dr. Kusum Punjabi serves as the Chair of AAPI Board of Trustees; Dr. Soumya Neravetla is the President of Young Physicians Section (YPS,) while Dr. Ayesha Singh is the President is the Medical Student/Residents & Fellows Section (MSRF).
Dr. Anjana Samadder, who serves as the Vice President of AAPI is in line for the top AAPI leadership position in 2023-24.
A board certified Pediatric Anesthesiologist, practicing since 2007, Dr. Gotimukulahas been an active member and leader of AAPI over a decade.
As a healthcare leader, Dr. Gotimukula recognizes that “AAPI has power. We have legitimate respect and trust of our communities in every corner of America. AAPI will leverage that power of our purpose and networks to help address specific challenges related to affordable healthcare delivery.”
Dr. Kusum Punjabi, the youngest person to serve as Chair of Board of Trustees, says her “goal is to develop long lasting programs within AAPI that promote professionalism, unity, mentorship and inclusivity.”
“I hope to clearly re-define AAPI’s mission of service, academic achievement and supporting Indian Physicians working in America through advocacy and leadership.
“I want 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 for our patients.”
Dr. Anjana Samadder, Vice President of AAPI says, “My journey with AAPI in the past 20 years taught me lots of lessons, skills and molded me to take more responsibility in the organization.
“I will bring to the organization the level of commitment, hard work, experience and skill set needed to accomplish the various goals for AAPI and its members.”
Her vision for AAPI is “to help build an ethically strong, morally straight and fiscally responsible organization. It is also vitally important to bring much needed diversity to keep AAPI thriving.”
A second generation Indian American, born, raised and educated in the US, Dr. Soumya Neravetla, president of YPS, is a cardiothoracic surgeon.
She has extensive Trans catheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) experience including launching and directing TAVR programs. She has also directed and spearheaded Robotic Thoracic Surgery and lung cancer related programs.
She also collaborates with her father, Dr. Surender Reddy Neravetla (author of Salt Kills), in his mission to spread awareness about prevention of cardiovascular disease, which disproportionately affects physicians and people of Indian Origin.
“Empowering Indian physicians and fostering career growth have been passions of mine,” says Dr. Neravetla who wants to motivate physicians of her generation to engage in their communities and AAPI.
She hopes “to increase career networking and mentorship opportunities, and arm physicians and physicians in training with tools to better navigate their careers.”
Understanding the current challenging situation due to the ongoing pandemic, Dr. Neravetla says, “We hope new activities like virtual job fairs, interactive chat functions and amplifying our social media presence will engage current and future generations.”
Ayesha Singh, a 4th year medical student at the University of Louisville, Kentucky, joined AAPI in 2017 and held her first leadership position on the MSRF board as Secretary in 2018.
In 2019, she was elected as MSRF Vice President. She is passionate about her clinical research in atherosclerosis and spends most of her free time volunteering as Director of Patient Services for a free cardiovascular specialty clinic in the Louisville area.
Ayesha is currently applying for Internal Medicine residency with plans to pursue a career in Interventional Cardiology.
Singh’s vision for MSRF is “to connect, inspire, and grow our community. I hope to further our reach to Indian American medical students by developing the mentorship program, providing research and academic opportunities, and hosting student-specific events on Step 1/2/3 prep, residency/fellowship applications, interview workshops and more.”
“I believe aggressive outreach that highlights AAPI’s vast network, resources, and benefits will inspire membership among young professionals and future leaders that will be dedicated to preserving the legacy of this organization,” she says.
Others in the executive committee include: Dr. Ravi Kolli, President-Elect, who will take over in 2022-23; Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Secretary and Dr. Krishan Kumar, Treasurer of AAPI.