CHICAGO (TIP): It was tough and challenging for the pioneer physicians of Indian origin to establish practice and find suitable job opportunities when they started coming to the US in the early 1960s and the 1970s.
So recalled Dr. Ranga Reddy, who has chronicled the history of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) in a coffee table book released during the mini convention of the association Chicago last month.
“The journey to the land of opportunities was tough and challenging,” said Dr. Reddy, Chair, AAPI History Task Force & Past President, 1997-98, according to an AAPI media release.
“Faced with instances of overt as well as subtle discrimination in Residency recruitment and License Reciprocity, physicians of Indian Origin organized themselves in several states to fight the unfair treatment.”
“It was a passion for history” that made this historic moment a reality, said Dr. Ranga Reddy, a medical graduate of Kurnool Medical College, where he had obtained MBBS and M.S Degrees.
Consul General of India in Chicago, Arun Kumar, along with Dr. Suresh Reddy, Immediate Past President of AAPI released the book. The first copy of the book was presented to Dr. Ranga Reddy.
“This coffee table book is dedicated to all the ‘First Ladies’ who have sacrificed innumerable hours of their family time for the sake of AAPI,” Dr. Suresh Reddy said.
Dr. Ranga Reddy had his Training in Anesthesiology at State University of New York (SUNY). He started his career at St. Louis University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology
He later on, moved to Springfield, Illinois to join practice in Memorial Medical Centre, where he served as the Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology.
Dr. Ranga Reddy served AAPI in various capacities including as its President and as a member of the Board of Trustees.
During his presidency “One Member One Vote” policy was introduced for electing the leaders making the process truly democratic.
In order to comply with AAPI’s 501 (3) C status, AAPI’s Political Action Committee was replaced with Legislative Affairs Committee.
He led efforts to create AAPI’s Patron Trustee Membership to support AAPI Charitable Foundation and raised over $600,000 during his Presidency.
In India, Dr. Ranga Reddy started an AAPI Charitable Clinic in a remote village called Ellayapalle to provide medical services to the indigenous people.
He promoted “Adopt the Primary Health Care Center of Your Native Place” in Andhra Pradesh. He co-sponsored a water project with Nandi Foundation to supply clean water to the villagers.
Dr. Ranga Reddy was invited to the White House in 1995 by President Bill Clinton on behalf of AAPI Leadership.
He is the recipient of the AAPI Distinguished Service Award, Distinguished Public Service Award by American Telugu Association and Leadership Award by the Association of International College of Physicians.
“This is an excellent historical review of AAPI by Dr. Ranga Reddy,” said Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President-Elect of AAPI.
“Over the past 37 years, AAPI has grown and is now the largest ethnic medical society in the US, representing the interests of over 100,000 Indian American physicians and Fellows,” noted Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, current President of AAPI.