When the IAMA was initially created, one of its central tenets was to fight for equal protection for Indian American Medical professionals in their pursuits through collective advocacy.
However, as times have changed a new generation of young physicians now dominate the medical arena. With this change comes a shift in what young physicians value from an organization such as the IAMA. This also leads each young physician to ultimately ask: “why should I join the IAMA? And what can the IAMA do for me?” Furthermore, with the ever-changing medical landscape and the many commitments that young physicians have, time is usually a rare commodity. This becomes more so as young physicians start families or new jobs. My answer to young physicians asking why they should join the IAMA is the following:
An IAMA membership is open to ALL students, residents/fellows, and attendings. And through the IAMA Charitable Foundation which runs the Free Health Clinic, we are given the ability to give back to the community by volunteering at the clinic which was created by the IAMA (go to IAMACF.org for details on how to easily sign up online). Not only does volunteering help you cultivate new relationships with friends and colleagues, but research has also shown that helping others brings happiness. Essentially, the more someone volunteers, the happier they are.
The IAMA also provides a large networking platform. Throughout the year many free events are offered to its members including monthly CME dinners, the annual Golden Stethoscope Award dinner (providing an outlet for clinicians in training to showcase their scholarly work), and other networking/dinner events so that young physicians and their families can meet and build a stronger community.
The networking platform also allows young and more senior physicians to collaborate in finding and filling new job or research opportunities. This diverse group of physicians forge an organization with invaluable experience and thereby help its members to meet their aspirations.
I urge you to join the IAMA to not only strengthen our collective voice but also to enhance ourselves and our community.
Rajan Shah, MD
Young Physician Committee