Dr. Kavita Gupta Elected Chair Of AAPI Board of Trustees

Featured & Cover Dr Kavita Gupta Elected Chair Of AAPI Board of Trustees

Dr. Kavita Gupta made history as the first-ever physician who was born and raised in the United States, a second-generation Indian American physician to hold a national leadership position in the 44-year-old history of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI). Dr. Gupta was elected Secretary of National AAPI in 2013. Now, a decade later, she has been elected as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of AAPI.

Kavita GuptaCurrently, Dr. Gupta is serving a 3-year term on the powerful Board of Trustees of AAPI. She will assume charge as the Chair of AAPI’s BOT during the first-ever World Congress of AAPI in New York on July 20th, 2024.

“I want to congratulate Dr. Kavita Gupta for representing second-generation Indian American physicians in this very important role as the BOT Chair of AAPI,” said Dr. Anjana Samadder, current President of AAPI. “With her election to the leadership role in AAPI, the second and successive generations of physicians of Indian Origin at AAPI are poised to continue the tremendous success of our prior leadership and contribute our dynamic talents towards AAPI’s mission.”

Recognizing the need to bring in more second-generation Indian American physicians to AAPI, Dr. Gupta says, “We have to grow with the next generation by its side. I see myself as a true liaison with our younger 2nd generation leaders.” Stating that she brings “a new perspective and also a second-generation rationale to the issues we face as Indian American physicians,” Dr. Gupta would like to see “my efforts go to slowly building a strong association focusing on younger leader development and strengthening our professional relations.”

With nearly three decades of excellence and dedicated service to the causes of physicians of Indian origin in the United States, Dr. Kavita Gupta is embarking on her new role, bringing in a wealth of experiences and vision fortified with infectious zeal, and unwavering courage. A woman leader in a predominantly men’s club, Dr. Gupta’s motivation for joining AAPI was that “AAPI needed young charismatic leaders that had the service and leadership qualities needed to unite and bring Indian physicians to new levels in American society.”

Kavita 2Dr. Kavita Gupta is board-certified in pain management, physical medicine, and rehabilitation. A prominent practicing pain management physician from the southern New Jersey Tri-state region, Dr. Gupta had started as an engineer but pursued a medical degree “with a mindset to help others.”

Describing her long years of medical practice, Dr. Gupta says, “I’ve been in practice as an interventional pain management for over 20 years, ranging from academic practice and private practice.” Before becoming a physician, Dr. Gupta had a Master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the prestigious Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York and had participated in consulting and advisory roles with pharma, device companies and was mentoring biomedical engineering graduate students.”

After graduating from medical school, Dr. Gupta completed her post-graduate training as a chief resident in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Temple University and completed an anesthesia pain fellowship at Penn State.
Previously, Dr. Gupta was an assistant professor and section head of the Interventional Pain Program at UMDNJ Stratford. She has contributed to the publication of several articles and participates in clinical research within the field of pain management. Dr. Gupta lectures nationwide and has a special interest in community education programs on the latest treatments to alleviate pain.

She is an active member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and teaching faculty at Rowan University.

As a student member of AAPI in 1994 Dr. Gupta founded MSRF Chapter at UMDNI, now Rowan/ Virtua, which has had tremendous growth and a robust presence on campus. Ever since she has been an active AAPI member for nearly three decades.

Kavita 4Dr. Gupta grew within AAPI nationally and locally while attending national and local Chapter meetings.  She was elected national Vice President of MSRF, Treasurer of YPS, and later on as YPS president. She has been active in the Philadelphia Indian Physician organization, serving as its Secretary and Vice President. She was elected and served as the national Secretary of AAPI in 2013. In addition, Dr. Gupta has served on various national AAPI Committees- from women’s forum/academic affairs /CME speaker/ convention committees and under several past presidents/convention teams.

While working towards expanding AAPI’s mission statement to include diversity with the senior visionary members and prospective physicians from abroad and the US, Dr. Gupta wants to “enhance our networking within political arenas, amongst specialty organizations, while embracing technology and media to echo our voices to local and international medical communities.”

The BOT and in her capacity as the Chair, Dr. Gupta says, “We have the responsibility to oversee the financial sustainability of the organization and its future financial growth. As a group, we can monitor the financial health of the organization and accordingly provide our recommendations. BOT has a variety of esteemed leaders that will assist to provide their perspectives to the Board relevant to financial health of our organization.”

Dr. Gupta says, “It’s important to recognize and adapt to the differences of each administration style while preserving the mission of AAPI. We have to continue to inspire younger leaders within AAPI to continue to remain committed and have a purposeful meaning as to why to stay connected and be supportive.”

While describing the challenges, Dr. Gupta says, “The change of administration, which is yearly, and their vision for the organization, budget planning can also vary. BOT will need to be adaptable to each new administration, yet diligent with oversight of financial operations within AAPI.”

Dr. Gupta has been an active community leader within the local Indian community, local physician community as well as serving on a variety of board positions in her township, county, and other national non-profit organizations, helping with creating and advising on programs for the community, fundraising, speaking engagements on preventative healthcare and wellness.

Kavita 5“My passion has been in educating the youth and participating as a judge and advisor for several youth organizations focused on science, research, public speaking, and medical student education,” she says. Dr. Gupta believes “in empowering the youth, staying involved as an educator ever since my residency career and I am currently educating medical students, graduate students and resident physicians.
I enjoy in participating healthcare education platforms for the community and have done many such programs locally, via telehealth, and abroad. I have been a youth advisor for non-profit organizations, high school clubs, and professional development programs.”

“I am always open to connecting with like-minded professionals, collaborators, and individuals who share a passion for advancing healthcare. Whether you have a collaborative opportunity, insights to share, or simply want to connect, I look forward to engaging with you and contributing to the collective success of our healthcare community.” Dr. Lokesh Edara the outgoing Chair of AAPI has worked with Gupta in the past prior to joining BOT on collaborating on project ideas to support the medical students and pre-med students.

Many senior leaders within the organization have congratulated and encouraged her growth within AAPI. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, through triumphs and turmoil we will continue to learn how to better AAPI with collaboration with everyone, especially our young leaders.

AAPI members give selflessly of their time to work in underserved areas. AAPI provides extraordinary support to India through the activities of its Charitable Foundation and the Global Healthcare Summit, Dr. Gupta says. According to her, “As Indian physicians in the United States. it is our duty to nurture our present home as well as our ancestral home. AAPI needs young charismatic leaders who have the service and leadership qualities AAPI leadership has always recognized that the future of AAPI is with the second generation.”

Every year, a lot of youngsters are joining this profession. “They need community support for setting up their practices, guidance from senior specialists, networking and much more. They should be given more privileges when they join. We want to instill dynamism, and leadership qualities in the next generation of physicians so that they are better equipped to face future challenges head-on. They are our future,” Dr. Gupta says.

Kavia 6When she is not seeing patients, Dr. Gupta enjoys time with her triplets and husband, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. She gives full credit to her family for supporting her at every step of the way. I have very good friends in AAPI, who have full confidence in me and I can trust them to guide me through all stages in leading AAPI.”

“Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of working in various healthcare settings, honing my expertise in teaching, medical management and clinical leadership. My journey has been marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence, with a focus on improving patient outcomes and fostering collaborative healthcare practices,” Dr. Gupta says.

AAPI members represent a variety of important medical specialties. Many of the physicians who represent AAPI have excelled in different specialties and subspecialties and occupy high positions as faculty members of medical schools, heads of departments, and executives of hospital staff. AAPI physicians who are leaders in their fields and play an integral part in the decision-making process regarding new products and services.

Dr. Gupta calls upon “Every AAPI member to join in this historic journey. AAPI’s mission is clear, our programs will continue to strive, and our impact is infectious on benefiting society. We as physicians make significant contributions for the betterment of people’s lives. Today I ask you to set aside your differences, and join me in this noble journey to make our mission possible! “

AAPI is the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States and represents the interests of more than 120,000 physicians and nearly 60,000 medical students/residents of Indian heritage. AAPI, a forum to facilitate and enable Indian American Physicians to excel in patient care, teaching and research and to pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs, is an umbrella organization with nearly 160 specialty societies and alumni organizations.  For more details, please visit: www.aapiusa.org

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