“In my role as the Chair of Board of Trustees, AAPI, among others, I want to promote and enhance medical education, advocate and work for the promotion of the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health, including promoting and advocating for better global health,” Dr. Lokesh Edara, declared immediately after assuming office as the the new Chair of the BOT of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the over four decades old medical association, representing the interests of the over 100,000 physicians of Indian Origin in the United States.
Along with Dr. Edara, Dr. Anajana Samadder assumed charge as the President of AAPI. Dr. Satheesh Kathula was administered the oath of office as the President-Elect; Dr. Amit Chakrabarthy as the Vice President; Dr. Sumul Raval as the Secretary; and Dr. Sreeni Gangasani as the Treasurer of AAPI during the recently concluded 41st annual Convention in Philadelphia on July 8th, 20203.
A Board-Certified Physician in Allergy and Immunology in Private Practice since 1990, the soft spoken Dr. Edara completed his Fellowship in Allergy & Immunology at Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia. Dr. Edara, who immigrated to USA in1983 from India, serves as an Assistant Professor at WMU School of Medicine Kalamazoo, Michigan. Dr. Edara is the former President of Michigan Allergy Asthma Society and a former President of the Calhoun County Medical Society and was the President of the Association of Allergists and Immunologists from India from 2001-2003.
Dr. Edara is a former House of Delegate at the American College of Allergy Asthma Immunology and serves as the Chairmen of AAPI Global Medical Education 2023-2024. Dr. Edara has been collaborating with the Government of India on efforts with “the objective of making every MBBS graduate from India to be the best in the world through programs and activities on AAPI platform.”
A scholar and dedicated to sharing his skills and knowledge with the rest of the world, Dr. Edara has published numerous articles in addition to contributing multiple-choice assessments in undergraduate and post graduate medical education in India. A strong advocate for eLearning systems, Dr. Edada believes that “They are a vital active learning tool for medical education to help higher transfer of knowledge, which helps in public health.”
A strong advocate to make mandatory Emergency Medicine Department in all the 701 Medical Schools in India, Dr. Edara is proud to state that “This is now approved by the Government of India and the Indian Medical Association and that now all the Medical Colleges in India are establishing Emergency Medicine Department.:
As the BOT Chair, “Now, our goal is to establish an Emergency Medicine Program at every Post-Graduate level school in India, and thus adding to the work pool, a minimum of 5,000 Emergency Medicine Physicians every year. In addition, we are advocating to have BSE EMT a four year program. I believe, we need a minimum of10,000 EMT (paramedics) graduating in India annually to bring good EMS across India,” he adds.
Dr. Edara is the Co-Founder of the Indian Resuscitation Council Federation (IRCF) along with Dr. Chakra Rao, and has worked for the last 5 years with IRCF, and is now serving as a Council Member of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR).
His passion has been enhancing of medical education. He cofounded a medical student association called “Global Association of Indian Medical Students (gaims.org). Dr Edara was instrumental in establishing the Global Journal of Medical Students (www.thegjms.org).
He has been instrumental in the Concept Proposal for Nationalized Formative and Summative Assessments to Enhance the Preparedness of Medical Students for the National Exit Test (NExT) and Solution for Low Resource Countries, with insights from NBME Examinations in the USA.
A proven leader and dedicated to the health and wellbeing of Indians, Dr. Edara says, “I have been the Chairmen of TANA Foundation, the largest Telugu Association in the United States. I established with Tana leadership, The Tana Foundation for India, a nonprofit organization in India over a decade ago with the FCRA approval from the Government of India. The Foundation has been carrying out several charitable programs in India, spending millions of Dollars.”
Using the same model, Dr. Edara has been instrumental in establishing the AAPI India Foundation, a nonprofit organization in India with the approval of the AAPI Governing Body. “With the establishment of the Foundation, AAPI plans to extend more charitable activities across India with the objective of improving the overall health and wellbeing of Indian citizens,” Dr. Edara says.
AAPI BOT has set up four grants towards medical projects thus far. “We want to expand the grants and establish more such projects, helping larger population in India,” Dr. Edara says. “Thus. through AAPI India Foundation, we will continue charitable projects and advocacy in India.”
Dr. Edara plans to continue with the advocacy to have the best emergency medical health system while promoting post-graduation in Emergency Medicine and EMT BSE Training across India. In addition, he wants to advocate to have the Indian medical service to help global medical education.
Among other areas, Dr. Edara wants to focus on include, working towards establishing mandatory neonatal department, a mandatory medical oncology department in all 250 medical colleges with a minimum of 250 medical seats.
Dr. Edara has been a strong advocate for the assessment of all medical university examinations including MBBS, Postgraduate and Super Specialties in India to be computerized to 100 MCQF format similar to nEXT with higher standards and for better transfer of knowledge. Dr. Edara says, he will work towards promoting diversity in medicals schools across the United States.
Dr. Edara’s noble initiatives have not gone unnoticed. He has been recognized for his works, contributions and accomplishments. He has been instrumental in establishing several awards benefitting the young and upcoming new generation of physicians of Indian origin.
The AAPI-QLI Ajay Lodha Memorial Award will be granted to a medical student, resident or fellow who wins the First Place in the Poster Presentation Program being held at the Annual Convention during the BOT Luncheon. Dr. Raj Gupta Award will be given to a female, pre-med/medical student/resident/fellow, who requires financial support for educational resources.
The Bridgewater Asset Group Award will be granted to a medical student, resident or fellow who needs financial support for a community service project in India. The BOT Community Service Award is established to any US medical student/resident/fellow in an accredited US program who is in need for financial support for a community service project in the US.
Dr. Anajan Sammader praised the leadership of Dr. Edara as the BOT Chair and wants “to work with you and the entire BOT and Executive Committee of AAPI towards the well-being and dedicated to advancing AAPI’s mission for a brighter future, fostering improved access to healthcare, promoting diversity and inclusion, and amplify the collective voice of our community.”