It is a great honor to serve you as the 80th president of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR). The ACR is a leader in the world of rheumatology. Therefore, with this privilege also comes enormous responsibility.
A Brief History of the ACR
The first efforts to study and control the rheumatic diseases in the U.S. started in 1928 with the formation of a 15-member American Committee for the Control of Rheumatism (ACCR). The first scientific meeting of the American Rheumatism Association (ARA) was held in Cleveland in 1934 and was attended by 75 people. The name of the organization was changed to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) in 1988. The ACR membership now stands at close to 9,500 and the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting proudly hosts more than 16,000 attendees representing more than 100 countries. We have come a long way, indeed.
I was born and raised in Lucknow, India. I completed my medical graduation (MBBS) and post-graduate internal medicine degree (MD) at King George’s Medical College, University of Lucknow in India. Subsequently, I went to the U.K. for my internal medicine training in the National Health Service. I came to the U.S. in 1980 and fulfilled my internal medicine residency at the Memorial Hospital, University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass. Rheumatology training followed at the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minn. Having grown up in India, I moved to the warmer climate of Dallas, Texas, which has been my home since 1986.
I joined the ARA during my rheumatology training. My work as a volunteer started in 1988, the same year of the name change to the ACR. I am pleased to have had the opportunity over the years to work alongside my peers and gain new friends, share memorable experiences and participate in the growth of the ACR. I have served on the ACR’s Planning and Organizational Review Committee, the Committee on Rheumatologic Care Network, the Committee on Government Affairs, which I also chaired, and most recently, the ACR Board of Directors.
During my service on the Board of Directors, I also chaired the Quality Recognition Program Task Force and co-chaired both the Strategic Planning Task Force and the International Task Force. In 2010, along with colleagues, we initiated the Rheumatology Society of North Texas (RSNT), which I chaired until 2015. The RSNT led the initiative to bring rheumatologists from across Texas to form the State of Texas Association of Rheumatologists. It has been an exciting and educational experience thus far, and I look forward to the year ahead with much anticipation.
I am pleased to have had the opportunity over the years to work alongside my peers & gain new friends, share memorable experiences & participate in the growth of the ACR.
I am also a member and volunteer of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), including service as AAPI president from 2003–04. The AAPI provided a great learning experience in working in organized medicine, advocacy and the political process of this country. The AAPI is the largest ethnic medical association in the U.S., which, today, represents the interests of 90,000 physicians of Indian origin.