The South Asian Times

17 June 2018 19:35 PM

Dr Bhayani promises a super AAPI convention

By Parveen Chopra

Dr. Raj Bhayani is a renowned ENT surgeon and AAPI leader based in New York. An ardent supporter of PM Modi, he is also a philanthropist and social activist committed to the progress of his native India. He gave an exclusive interview to The South Asian Times. 

The South Asian Times: As AAPI Convention 2017 Chair, give us an overview of the highlights of the convention in New Jersey.

Dr Raj Bhayani: The 35th annual AAPI (American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin), convention is being held at Harrah's Resort, Atlantic City from June 21-25.  It will be a high-tech, innovative convention with cutting edge Continuing Medical Education sessions from world leaders in medical field. There is also a research poster competition organized by young physicians section of AAPI.  It promises activities for physicians of all age groups as well as for their families. Our planning and special attention will give sponsors adequate business exposure. 

How many participants you are expecting?

Dr Bhayani: We expect capacity crowd of 1,500-2,000 delegates. 

Which famous personalities will grace the event?

Dr Bhayani: I am withholding a few names to give a pleasant surprise to delegates. So far, we have confirmed Baba Ramdev and Shivani Didi for yoga and spiritual uplift. For entertainment, we will present Bollywood singer Shreya Ghoshal even as Neha Kakkar rocks Atlantic City. 

What is role of AAPI chapter of Queens Long Island in this convention?

Dr Bhayani: This convention is hosted by AAPI-QLI, one of the strongest chapters of AAPI.  

I am proud to say that all members of AAPI-QLI are working very hard to make this convention successful. AAPI-QLI have a tradition of cultivating leaders in medical field in the country. AAPI-QLI leaders and founders have worked very hard and sacrificed personal life to make this chapter very strong. I am grateful to all of them. Under Dr Ajay Lodha, Past President of AAPI-QLI who is the current president of national AAPI, this will be an amazing convention.

How do you find time from your busy medical practice to organize this massive event?

Dr Bhayani: I am fortunate that we have a great convention team working hard to make this convention successful. Without input and help from each one of them, this would be a Herculean task. 

In the healthcare debate, given GOP/Trump’s promise to repeal and replace ACA, what are the concerns of AAPI and of the Indian community?

Dr Bhayani: We need a balanced approach. Obamacare did not address a major concern of physicians -- malpractice reform. In the new bill, we hope to see a balanced approach where most people get coverage with premium costs kept down. Insurance companies’focus should be on healthcare of patients and not just the profits. Also, there is serious need for malpractice reform. 

An ardent supporter of Prime Minister Modi, what is it you like about him and his policies?

Dr Bhayani: He is a revolutionary and ardent nationalist. For the first time in the history of India since independence we are lucky to have a leader who is a visionary and disinterested in self-promotion. He has taken bold steps against corruption and his policies are cutting red tape in India.

Tell us about the charity football match in Delhi you helped organize.

Dr Bhayani: The Football for Nation match was inspired by a speech by Modi. We pought in Bollywood stars Ranbir Kapoor and Abhishek Bachchan to play a match against parliamentarians to increase awareness for Modi’s Swachh Bharat and Beti Bachao / Beti Padhao campaigns. The profits from the game were presented to Women & Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi. It created a buzz. We are planning similar events for the future. 

Tell us about your highly specialized field of ENT? 

Dr Bhayani: After completing my residency training in ENT at Columbia, I finished fellowship in Facial plastic surgery. I have been in ENT practice for over 10 years after finishing my fellowship in facial plastic surgery. Ear Nose Throat is an amazing field where results of treatment are mostly satisfying as chronic conditions are rare. There have been  tremendous advances in this field with minimal invasive surgery and facial plastic surgery. 

Tell us about your family and roots in India. 

Dr Bhayani: My family is from Kathiawad area of  Gujarat, now living in Bombay.  They have business roots, and yet are modest.

Anything more you would like to add… 

Dr Bhayani: Let me humbly say, a man's work should speak for itself. My favorite quote is: We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

Update: 19 May, 2017