Young Physicians Society engages new doctors
By Martin Desmarais
The Young Physicians Society has been part of the Indian Medical Association of New England, but as more and more second generation Indian Americans graduate from U.S. medical schools and start out into the medical industry and their own practices, the role of these doctors in the growth of the organization is critical and the young physician’s section provides an early indoctrination.
The young physicians section is target for young doctors, residents, fellows and medical students. Its efforts are currently being headed up by Dr. Jatin Roper and Dr. Anita Vanka. Both Roper and Vanka are part of IMANE’s executive committee. Roper is the Young Physicians Section Representative and Vanka is a member at large.
Both in their early 30s, Roper is a gastroenterologist at Tufts Medical Center and a graduate of Boston University Medical School, and Vanka is hospitalist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School.
While IMANE represents all of its doctor members, Roper said he likes the young physicians section because connects directly to the younger generation of Indian American doctors, especially doctors like him who grew up in the United States and went to college, as well as medical school, here.
“The young physicians section has been more specific in trying to identify the needs of the young physicians,” said Roper, who has been involved with IMANE for three years and the Young Physicians Section Representative for two years.
According to him, there is small group of volunteers that are helping run the young physicians section.
Part of this is just making sure the young physicians have a good presence at IMANE events and with IMANE activities, but the section also does some things specifically for young doctors. One example is annual session that has been done for many years that is set up to help young doctors learn about financial planning, insurance.
A newer activity are happy hours every couple of months. “It is a meet and greet to get to know it other. Since we all work in different hospitals it is an opportunity for us to all meet each other,” Roper said.
While not all of the doctors that turn out for the happy hours events are IMANE members, the hope is that such events might get them to join. “It is easy for people to say, ‘Yeah, I will go to a happy hour versus commitment to a more formal event,” Roper said.
According to Roper, the young doctors are also excited that IMANE has launched a mentorship program, which is being spearheaded by Dr. Sanjiv Chopra, an author and professor of medicine and faculty dean for continuing medical education at Harvard Medical School. Chopra’s book, “Leadership by Example: The Ten Key Principles of all Great Leaders” was published in May 2012 and has received widespread praise by many leaders in the United States and abroad.
“He is a very dynamic and personable fellow and he has been gracious enough to work with us,” Roper said.
Roper believes that most young doctors understand the benefits of getting exposure to more experience doctors, especially ones in their specialties, who could help with research and collaboration and even jobs. “Even if we don’t get direct incredible specific advice just meeting then and seeing what they have done and seeing that they are successful and happy with what they are doing it is really nice to see,” he said.
With IMANE’s youngest ever president just finishing leading the group last year, Roper said it points to a sign of things to come with more of the younger generation taking leadership roles in the organization.
“We are in the transition point already and that is another reason why you need a young physicians section,” he said. “You need to pass the torch to someone, otherwise it will get extinguished.”