In June of 1985, a group of physicians of Indian origin, headed by Dr. Daya Gupta, wanted to form an association of their own. As a result the Manitoba Association of Asian Physicians (MAAP) was formed. The first Board of Directors of MAAP consisted of Drs. A. Ahsan, A. Alvi, A. Arneja, D. Gupta, M. Rahman, R. Ramgoolam and C. Shah, with Dr. Gupta acting as chairman of the board. The main objective of the Association and its board was to promote research and education in the field of medicine for physicians of East Indian descent. The association would also serve to promote social interaction within the medical community.
In July 1985, to promote the new association, a letter of introduction about MAAP was sent to all physicians of East Indian origin in Manitoba along with invitations to the first annual social function. This gala dinner and dance event was held at the Carlton Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba on November 2, 1985. The response to the invitations was outstanding as a total of 90 people attended the inaugural event. All of those who attended agreed the evening was a phenomenal success.
An annual social program was subsequently held in the following years, and in 1988 a scientific symposium was added to the annual meeting. The program commenced in the morning with the presentation of many high-quality research papers, followed by an evening dinner and dance function. The meeting was also attended by various pharmaceutical representatives and financial consultants. Since then, each year the attendance at this meeting has steadily increased – today the average attendance is over 100 physicians, students and guests.
In August of 1988, the Manitoba Association of Asian Physicians was incorporated and Dr. Daya Gupta was elected as the Founding President.
In 1991 Dr. Daya Gupta was succeeded by Dr. D. S. Rehsia who held this position until 1992. Dr. D.S. Rehsia was then followed by Dr. Amarjit Arneja who was president from 1992-1994. Under Dr. Arneja’s guidance, MAAP took a new leap forward with the introduction of the first annual summer retreat to Hecla Island. This took place in August 1993 and was a two-day event which included many high-calibre scientific presentations by physicians from all across Canada as well as abundant recreational activities. The Lieutenant Governor at the time, Y. Dumont, was the keynote speaker at this 1993 meeting.
Since the initial retreat this annual event has been very well attended by both MAAP members as well as pharmaceutical representatives from numerous companies and is now a permanent fixture in the MAAP annual calendar.
The following physicians have served as MAAP presidents over the years:
• 1988-1990: Dr. Daya K. Gupta
• 1990-1992: Dr. Davinder S. Rehsia
• 1992-1994: Dr. Amarjit Arneja
• 1994-1996: Dr. Jagat N. Singh
• 1996-1997: Dr. Narendra Jain
• 1997-1998: Dr. Deepak Bose
• 1998-2000: Dr. Sashi Seshia
• 2000-2001: Dr. Baharat Shah
• 2001-2003: Dr. Sabiha Haseeb
• 2003-2004: Dr. Yatish Kotecha
• 2004-2006: Dr. Subhash Sethi
• 2006-2009: Dr. Suresh Mysore
• 2009-2011: Dr. Alok Pathak
• 2011-2013: Dr. Sat Sharma
• 2013-2015: Dr. Rajat Kumar
• 2015-Present: Dr. Jitender Sareen
Dr. Bharat Shah, Dr. Suresh Mysore, Dr. Alok Pathok, and Dr. Sat Sharma, were instrumental in improving the overall efficiency of the administrative aspects of the association and under their guidance, many improvements have been made to the association. Examples of these improvements include the involvement of residents and medical students in all functions of the association and the formation of a continued medical education (CME) committee.
Dr. Rajat Kumar and Dr. Jitender Sareen were instrumental in bringing the MAAP to a new level with the involvement of CPD of the University of Manitoba.
I am very proud of how far MAAP has come in the last 30 years, from the initial idea of a few dedicated physicians to the renowned association it is today. My hope is that in the future, the Manitoba Association of Asian Physicians can become a strong force in all aspects of medicine and gain both provincial and national recognition. I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to all past presidents and Board of Directors for their dedicated service to the association, and to all MAAP members for their continued support.
Dr. Daya K. Gupta