AKMG’s 43rd Annual Convention Held At The Sheraton Center, Toronto

The 43rd annual Convention of the Association of Kerala Medical Graduates (AKMG) was held from August 4th to 6th, 2022 at the Sheraton Center in Toronto, Canada. Hosted by the AKMG Canada in Toronto and attended by nearly 600 Doctors of Kerala origin and their families from the US and Canada, the annual convention was the best forum for friends to get together, converse, reminisce about their past medical college campus life, while offering a platform to network and strengthen the bonds.

Some of the highlights of the Convention included: Display of Multifaceted Talents; AKMG Got Talent, including Singing, Dancing, Instrumental, Fashion Show, Drama, Spousal Program, Mural Workshop, Photography Workshop, Golf and Literary Workshop. Delegates were also treated to a Pre-Convention Tours to the World Famous Niagara Falls & the CN Tower. The entire CN Tower Revolving Restaurant was booked for an event, which was a major highlight of the Convention.

A wonderful musical night by Vijay Yesudas, Afzal and Team had all the Doctors and families on the dance floor grooving away till the wee hours of the morning.  Nine Hours of CME Program by Eminent Physicians spread over 3 days provided the delegates with an opportunity to learn of the newest developments in the health sector. Dr. Vinod Chandran, MD, PhD, DM, FRCPC served as the CME Chair, 43rd AKMG Convention, Toronto.

A popular attraction of the Convention was the Chayakkada, which is an integral part of Kerala society, shaping popular culture and politics. Gourmet Kerala cuisine was served with live musical and cultural programs, with the traditional PALAHARAMS and Chai was served throughout.

Being away from home, the participants were led to celebrate Onam with traditional festivities. It included a reception to King Mahabali with thalapoli and chenda melam followed by an Onam feast. Onam Sadhya, a sensational multi-course vegetarian meal that features over 24 dishes on a banana leaf, enjoyed without any cutlery, celebrating Onam festival, commemorating King Mahabali, was a treat to the body and soul of every participant. King Mahabali was very kind-hearted and loved by all, who is believed to have returned to Kerala on Onam.. The Onam Sadya Sarees typically have classic white and gold color but various unconventional colors were used by the attendees with various sartorial tastes, made the event a display of the rich cultural traditions of “God’s own country.”

Warmth & Hospitality of the Convention organizing team and the volunteers was enjoyed by one and all. Camaraderie was evident with far away participants helping the local organizing committee in putting up the event- Like a Family.

In his presidential address, while expressing gratitude to the members of AKMG “for giving me the opportunity this year to be the President of our wondrous organization”. Dr. Nigil Haroon, outgoing President of AKMG said, “I worked very hard to make sure that this year’s AKMG was the best it could be. Likewise, our executive team has worked very hard to make sure the convention would be successful and profitable. Thank you to all of you who have come from across the Continent to the AKMG Convention and to the Patrons and Champions.”

Dr. Krishna Kumar Nair, Convention Chair described it to be “A Convention to Cherish. Hundreds of Kerala Medical Graduates poured in joined by families. Events were planned for every age group.” An elegantly done annual Souvenir was released during the convention.

“Being the Chair for Alumni Affairs in AAPI gives me immense pleasure as I get to explore how different alumni chapters converge periodically, exchange ideas and work towards celebrating their culture. And Kerala Medical Graduates in North America have a glorious tradition of doing this in style!,” Dr. Sujeeth R. Punnam, National Coordinator of AAPI Alumni Sub-Chapters said.

At the fabulous Saturday Nite Gala, Dr. Nigil Haroon handed over the charge to incoming president Dr. Geetha Nair, who in her inaugural address, said, “I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve as your president for its 43rd year. As I undertake to represent the AKMG as its President for 2022-23,” she promised “to work to strengthen the organization and enhance its relationship with organizations of other medical professionals. As always, AKMG will continue focusing on charitable activities and helping the medical colleges back in Kerala.”

AKMG (Association of Kerala Medical Graduates} has been the premier and pioneer Alumni Organization in North America {USA and Canada} for Medical and Dental specialists of Kerala origin, since its inception in 1979-80, thereby setting the precedent for an organization of healthcare professionals of any ethnic or international origin in North America. Kerala origin medical professionals began arriving in the US since the 1950’s. This was a break in tradition, as the United Kingdom was the only destination that the medical graduates from the Indian subcontinent preferred even as of the 1950’s. For more details, please visit www.akmg.org.

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