Change of guard at AAPI, America’s largest doctors’ organization


Dr Sudhakar Jonnalagadda took oath as president of the American Association of Physicians of Indian origin (AAPI) during a virtual “change of guard” ceremony in Chicago Saturday.

AAPI represents the interests of the over 100,000 physicians and Fellows of Indian origin in the United States, and has been contributing to the shaping of healthcare delivery in the US for the past 39 years.

Dr Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, the new AAPI president

“I will work to make AAPI stronger, more vibrant, united, transparent, politically engaged, ensuring active participation of young physicians, increasing membership, and enabling that AAPI’s voice is heard in the corridors of power,” Jonnalagadda said immediately after assuming office as the 37th president of AAPI.

Indian consul general in Atlanta Dr Swati Kulkarni introduced Jonnalagadda at the ceremony that was live cast on social media platforms around the world.

Consul general Kulkarni praised Jonnalagadda for his leadership and contributions to the society.

Describing AAPI as a world leader in medical education and healthcare delivery, the consul general urged the organization to be more politically active.

India’s consul general in Chicago Amit Kumar, the chief guest at the event, praised the contributions of Indian-American physicians. He lauded the efforts of AAPI especially during the COVID pandemic.

Dr Jonnalagadda is a board-certified gastroenterologist/transplant Hepatologist, working in Douglas, Georgia. He is a former assistant professor at the Medical College of Georgia. He vowed to take the nearly four-decades-old organization to the next level.

“AAPI must be responsive to its members, supportive of the leadership and a true advocate for our mission,” he said.

Outgoing AAPI president Dr Suresh Reddy, through a video, presented some of the major accomplishments of his presidency under unique circumstances.

Jonnalagadda, who traces his roots to Andhra Pradesh, said he wanted to “develop a committee to work with children of AAPI members who are interested in medical school, to educate on choosing a school and gaining acceptance; develop a committee to work with medical residents who are potential AAPI members, to educate on contract negotiation, patient communication, and practice management; develop a committee to work with AAPI medical students, and to provide proctorship to improve their selection of medical residencies.”

He added: “The growing clout of the physicians of Indian origin in the United States is seen everywhere as several physicians of Indian origin hold critical positions in the health care, academic, research and administration across the nation.”

He is actively involved with the Indian community and member at large of the Asian Indian Alliance, which actively participates in a bipartisan way to support and fund electoral candidates.

Along with the new president, the new AAPI executive committee members also took oath. They included president-elect Dr Anupama Gotimukula; vice president Dr Ravi Kolli, secretary Dr Amit Chakrabarty, and treasurer Dr Satish Kathula.

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