AAPI YPS members benefit from the nationwide network of colleagues, educational events and social exchanges.
AAPI YPS caters to the young physicians entering the field of medicine and aspires to help them make their career path a lot smoother and well accompanied. Join Now: Why delay a good thing! Become a proud AAPI YPS member right away
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Rupak Parikh, MDYPS President
As the President of the YPS for 2015-2016, Dr. Rupak D. Parikh plans to implement a myriad of initiatives on behalf of AAPI’s Young Physicians. His focus will be providing meaningful leadership development opportunities, along with connecting the multiple generations of Indian Physicians throughout the country in both networking and mentorship capacities. He firmly believes that the YPS will directly impact the future of healthcare on a national level. It is his goal to create a platform through AAPI to advance young physicians, accelerate their achievements, and champion efforts which positively progress medicine.
Dr. Rupak D. Parikh completed his surgical internship at Lenox Hill Hospital (New York City, NY) & his PM&R residency at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital (Wheaton, IL). He was awarded the 2010 APS - Fundamentals of Pain Management Scholarship, Board Certified in 2011, and was recognized as a Fellow of the AAPM&R in 2013. In 2010-2011 Rupak earned a position at an acclaimed Interventional Pain and Musculoskeletal Fellowship Program. His vision to create a superior model of sub-acute care propelled him to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors in lieu of the fellowship.
In 2010, Dr. Parikh founded (ARC) Advanced Rehabilitation Care. Combining his business background in strategy and marketing with a core philosophy rooted in patient-centric post-acute care, he successfully developed an innovative treatment model; this specialized sub-acute program helped improve patient outcomes while simultaneously significantly reducing preventable re-hospitalization rates. Rupak currently spearheads the regional evolution and national expansion of ARC serving as its Executive Director.
Aaditya Desai, MDYPS President-Elect
Aaditya Desai is a graduate of Rutgers University in NJ with a major in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry in 1999. He completed his medical school from Midwestern University/Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2003. He then went on to form and be the first graduate of the combined Emergency Medicine/Family Medicine residency program in Chicago, IL from Midwestern University/CCOM - Olympia Fields/Cook County Hospital in 2008. He received his board certification in Family Medicine in 2009 and Emergency Medicine in 2011.
Currently Dr. Desai is a practicing emergency medicine physician at St Joseph Regional Medical Center in Paterson, NJ and at St Peters University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. In addition he is also a member of the American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physician and other various organizations. He has been a member of AAPI for the past 15 years. As a member of the AAPI-YPS Executive Committee, Dr. Desai’s goals are to promote a strong bond between various aspects of physicians and other healthcare providers of Indian origin in the country; to help promote a balance between professional life and personal life; to help physician branch out to other areas of society outside of medicine; and to help steer parent AAPI into a global leader for all Indian physicians in many fields of advocacy, health, and charity especially for the next generation of leaders.
Roshan Shah, MDYPS Vice President
Roshan Shah is a graduate of Texas A&M University where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Biology. After completing his medical education at St George’s University, he finished his training in Internal medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, NJ in 2011. He is currently a board certified Internist practicing in Houston, TX. In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Shah has also pursued various business opportunities in the medical field, including the successful launch of a home health care group operating out of the Midwest.
While serving on the AAPI-YPS executive board, Dr. Shah hopes to create a more comprehensive forum for medical students, residents and newly minted young physicians. A forum that will offer meaningful networking opportunities, as well as focused content on issues affecting the current generation of physicians. He sees AAPI as a way to unite the past and present generations of physicians, and as a valuable resource for young physicians’ success inside and outside the medical field.
Smitha Arekapudi MD, ScM YPS Secretary
Dr. Arekapudi is honored to have been elected by her peers to serve them as Secretary of the 2015-2016 AAPI YPS Board.
Smitha earned her MD degree at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, TN. She is currently practicing as an employed multi-specialty anesthesiologist in Chicago, where she enjoys providing high quality standard of care to under-served populations, while ensuring a systems focus on patient safety. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Anesthesiology and a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists.
Born and raised in Chicago, Smitha attended The University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and subsequently studied at Swarthmore College, where she matriculated as Eugene M. Lang Scholar of Social Change and Responsibility for four years and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors. In college, Smitha was co-President of DESHI, Swarthmore South Asian Students Association. Smitha continued her doctoral studies at the Harvard University School of Public Health and completed a Master of Science degree in a multidisciplinary program of Epidemiology, Health Policy and Management as Fellow of the National Cancer Institute. While at Harvard, Smitha also served as Teaching Fellow to MPH students, was elected Vice President of the University-wide Harvard Graduate Council, appointed as Committee Member to the Harvard Alumni Association, and selected as Harvard Medical School Kass Fellow in Community Epidemiology. During her residency training in Anesthesiology, Smitha was honored to be nominated and served as Director on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Club of Chicago for two years and as Trustee (Young Alumni Manager) of the Swarthmore College Corporation Board of Managers for four years.
Smitha was inspired to join the AAPI YPS because of its talented, vibrant members and their vision for AAPI and is thrilled to be part of the team.
Praveen Arla, MD Treasurer
Praveen Arla is a board-certified physician practicing both internal medicine and pediatrics. Improving patient care throughout the medical continuum is a passion and a priority, which is why he has been featured multiple times in USA Today as a voice for primary care physicians and has been a regular contributor to The Courier-Journal with a column on preventative medicine. Dr. Arla has also launched several successful health care startup companies, helping to build medical infrastructure throughout the country. Currently, he is the chief medical officer for Imperium Health Management, where he played an integral role in helping it become one of the largest Accountable Care Organization (ACO) management companies in the nation. He has shown a strong commitment to improving the quality of care, serving as a healthcare technology consultant throughout Kentucky prior to taking his position as CMO of Imperium. It was during this time that he was able to build a unique, in-depth knowledge base of electronic health and practice management systems and how they interface with physician practices. Imperium is now considered an industry leader.
His expertise in health care and medical technology has been useful in shaping policy both on local and national levels. Aside from working closely with Kentucky legislators on state health care initiatives as the Bullitt County Health Department medical director, Dr. Arla served as a speaker on behalf of President Barack Obama’s Office of National Drug Control Policy in 2010. He was awarded the Kentucky Narcotics Officer’s Award in 2012, in part, for the policy initiatives developed during his time working in legislation. It is his hope that he can inspire young Indian physicians to become more proactive in the medical community and make a difference in health care. Dr. Arla completed his medical training at Rush University in Chicago in 2009. In addition, he has earned a master’s degree in public health.
Kusum Punjabi, MDYPS Past President
Dr. Kusum Punjabi is a graduate of Rutgers University in NJ with dual majors in Biology and Economics, class of 2000. She then pursued a dual MD/MBA degree in the competitive program jointly offered by UMDNJ - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers Graduate School of Management in NJ, class of 2005. She completed her medical training with a residency in Emergency Medicine at Hahnemann University Hospital affiliated with Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Currently, Dr. Punjabi is an Assistant Professor and Attending Physician in the Dept. of Emergency Medicine at Rutgers - Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.
She is also on the board of several national organizations including Asian Women’s Safety Net, Womens' Physician Congress of AMA and Members-at-Large for Young Physicians Section (YPS) of the American Medical Association. Dr. Punjabi is also affiliated with American College of Emergency Physicians, Society of Academic Emergency Medicine and several local Indian charity organizations like ASHA for education, NJ Indian Cultural society etc.
Stella Gandhi, MD 2015-16 AAPI YPS Convention Co-Chair
Dr. Gandhi earned her medical degree from Ross University School of Medicine and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Carmel West Hospital. During her time at Mount Carmel West, Dr. Gandhi served on the Physician Relations Committee for two years.
Dr. Gandhi currently serves as a primary care physician at Hackensack University Medical Group Pascack Valley. Before joining the team at Hackensack University Medical Group Pascack Valley Dr. Gandhi worked as a hospitalist within the Mount Carmel Health System. In 2012 Dr. Gandhi published an article in the World Allergy Organization Journal entitled “Wait at Least 60 Minutes after Eating”.
As a member of the AAPI-YPS Executive Committee, Dr. Gandhi hopes to help young physicians find balance between professional and personal lives, encourage young physicians to become more involved in healthcare issues affecting them, as well as promote leadership among women in the Indian Community.
Saya Nagori, MD YPS Convention Co-Chair
Dr. Saya Nagori completed her undergraduate training at Villanova University where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree and was a Presidential Scholar. She then attended Drexel University College of Medicine where she was a recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Fellowship for her work in patient education in regards to diabetic eye disease. Following her schooling at Drexel, Dr. Nagori completed her ophthalmology residency program at St. Luke’s and Roosevelt Hospital System in New York City where she was Chief Resident. She then completed a glaucoma fellowship at the Kresge Eye Institute in Michigan, after which she returned to her home in the northeast to join Stahl Eyecare Experts.
Dr. Nagori is a glaucoma specialist and anterior segment surgeon, performing cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery and laser vision correction. She has been published in several major journals including Survey of Ophthalmology and Archives of Ophthalmology. Her most recent article on Plateau Iris in glaucoma patients was published in the journal Glaucoma Today.
In her free time, Dr. Nagori enjoys traveling, volunteering and the performing arts. She has volunteered in both India and Mexico performing cataract surgery in underserved regions. During her residency training in New York City she was a dance instructor in Chelsea for the Doonya dance company and performed with the Sa Dance Company.