AAPI praises contributions of its member, past US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy

AAPI praises contributions of its member, past US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy

(New York, NY: April 23, 2017) “On behalf of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), I want to applaud the many contributions and initiatives of Dr. Vivek Murthy, our AAPI member, in the healthcare sector in very short span of about two years since he became US Surgeon General in 2014,” said Dr. Ajay Lodha, President of AAPI. Dr. Murthy was dismissed by Donald Trump’s administration on Friday, April 21, 2017.

Recalling that AAPI had played a key role in lobbying with US Senators, enlisting their support for his confirmation in 2014, Dr. Jayesh Shah, past President of AAPI that represents over 100,000 physicians of Indian origin in the United States, said, “AAPI had led several delegations to meet with and urge US Senators from both the parties to support and vote to confirm his nomination in the Senate. The 51 to 43 vote by the US Senate December 15th, 2014 ended more than a year of uncertainty over Murthy’s nomination, overcoming strong opposition from the very powerful Raffles Association.”

President Obama had nominated the Indian American as the US Surgeon General in November 2013. The surgeon general, known as “America’s doctor,” represents the Health and Human Services Secretary and Assistant Secretary in addressing public health practice in the nation.

“The feeling of de ja vu was pervasive, of a triumph over injustice with a hard fought battle by the Indian community during his confirmation, with AAPI playing a major role that secured the prize of the highest position occupied by an Indian American, and that too by one from our second generation,” said Dr. Ravi Jahagirdar, past President of AAPI, who had led a delegation of AAPI leaders to bear to the historic oath taking ceremony of Dr. Vivek Murthy as the US Surgeon General at Fort Myer in Virginia across from Washington DC on April 22, 2015. The oath ceremony led by Joseph Biden, Vice President, was in a large hall like a school stadium, with flags in abundance rigged in from the ceiling and leaning in from the sidewalls.

“Dr. Vivek Murthy taking charge as the US Surgeon General cemented the reputation physicians of Indian origin have across America,” said Dr. Gautam Samadder, President-Elect of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI).  “President Obama has made the right choice in naming a highly qualified physician to serve as America’s surgeon general. We have been  proud of Vivek and his many accomplishments as the Surgeon General of the nation,” said Dr. Sammader.

The growing influence of doctors of Indian heritage is evident, as increasingly physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in the healthcare, academic, research and administrative positions across the nation. With their hard work, dedication, compassion, and skills, they have thus carved an enviable niche in the American medical community. AAPI’s role has come to be recognized as vital among members and among lawmakers.

Murthy, 39, was America’s youngest-ever top doctor, and he is also the first surgeon general of Indian-American descent. According to Dr. Naresh Parikh, Vice President of AAPI, “Dr. Vivek Murthy represents the next generation of Indian American physician. His ethics, quiet leadership style and impeccable credentials made him the smart choice for this position.”

The surgeon general represents the Health and Human Services Secretary in addressing public health practice in the nation. Murthy, 39, was America’s youngest-ever top doctor, and  is also the first surgeon general of Indian-American  representing the next generation of Indian American physician. His ethics, quiet leadership style and impeccable credentials made him the smart choice for this position.

Dr. Murthy, grand son of a farmer ,second generation Indian American physician ,said, he will always be grateful to “our country for welcoming my immigrant family nearly 40 years ago and giving me this opportunity to serve.

Dr. Murthy  played key role in bringing to the forefront many crucial health issues confronting the nation. In a landmark report on addiction released in November, said dependency on opioids and other substances must not be looked on as a “character flaw,” in the first publication from a surgeon general that has addressed drug and alcohol addiction. Murthy embarked on a three-month listening tour of the U.S. ahead of a ceremonial swearing in to listen to the people and professionals before taking on this important role.

AAPI had hoped that Dr. Murthy would be able to do more to help our nation tackle its biggest health challenges. According to him, “The health challenges that we face right now are too big to be solved by the traditional health sector alone. We can’t build more hospitals and clinics and, solely based on that, expect that we are going to solve the health challenges that we face.”

AAPI is shocked and saddened with his departure and  wishes him well as he moves on to a new phase in life and  is confident that his talents. skills, and experiences will be utilized effectively for the greater good of the nation.

Dr. Murthy has attended several AAPI meetings and has always acknowledged the contributions of AAPI and the Indian community. “I am proud of our community of Indian physicians for all the progress that we have made over the years, and I know that AAPI has been a critical force in making this process possible. The advice you shared and assistance you kindly offered were important pieces of this journey,” Dr. Vivek Murthy, stated in a letter to Dr. Jayesh B. Shah, past president of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI).

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