Indo-American Psychiatric Association   
History of IAPA

History of IAPA

Updated by Nalini V. Juthani, MD

March 26, 2010

Information obtained from Dr Manoj Shah and past presidents.

In the fall of 1979, six psychiatrists of Indian origin from the metropolitan area of New York city met to discuss the need of an organization that would address the professional needs and interests of psychiatrists from India.

It was estimated at that time that there were approximately 1000-1200 psychiatrists of Indian origin practicing or in training in the US.

The group also agreed that the organization should include all mental health professionals interested in the mission of this organization.

This group started out as a professional, educational and social group.

The organization was named as the American Association of Psychiatrists from India (AAPI). It developed Mission and Goals, constitution and By-Laws, membership categories and a quarterly newsletter. It further developed a membership directory and local chapters in North America. A reciprocal relationship was established with Indian Psychiatric society (IPS) and British Indian Psychiatric Society (BIPA).

The name AAPI was later changed to Indo American Psychiatric Association (IAPA)  to avoid conflicts and confusion with another Indian organization; American Association of Physicians of Indian origin (AAPI)


Dr. Yusuf Haveliwala was the first president of the IAPA; Dr. Satish Varma was the first Secretary and Dr. Ashwin Pandya, the first Treasurer. This informal EC group served from 1980-1986. The first election began after that period. Dr. Barin Desai developed a liaison between IAPA and American Psychiatric Association (APA) and IPS. Dr. Manoj Shah was the first editor of the quarterly newsletter. Drs. Rajesh Desai and Prakash Desai were few of the original thinkers and planners of IAPA.

An earlier attempt to start such an organization in 1973 did not succeed because there was no newsletters, annual meetings and/or  chapters.  Therefore, annual meetings were started under the dedicated guidance of Dr. Anjali Pandya who became the Honorary Executive Director until she passed away. The establishment of chapters started with Connecticut chapter. Dr. Padam Jain was the first chapter president of Connecticut chapter, Dr. Prakash Ettigi started the Virginia chapter, Dr. Jambur Ananth started the California chapter and Dr. Jagannathan Srinivasa Raghavan (a.k.a. Dr.Van) started Mid-west Chicago Chapter.

Dr Veena Garyali and Dr.Oommen Ninen developed first AAPI directory and Dr Ramaswamy Viswanathan, known to all of us as Vis revitalized the liaison with APA leadership.

APA recognized IAPA’s talent in leading an allied psychiatric organization. Several of our members were nominated for leadership positions within APA. Success of winning a position within the APA Board of Trustees and the APA assembly as well as the area representative was because several IAPA members took courage to run for such positions although they were not successful.  

The IAPA started with life membership dues of $ 100, which then was increased to $ 150, $ 200 and $ 250. Starting 2011, life membership dues will increase to $ 350.

IAPA activities thus far have been made possible by generous support from Pharmaceutical companies.

IAPA established elections guidelines in 1985 and elected officially a president, president-elect, Secretary and Treasurer. IAPA has chapters in various parts of the country and active collaboration with IPS, BIPA and newer organizations such as Indian Psychiatric Association of Australia. IAPA currently has 1000 members and it is the voice of 6000 psychiatrists of Indian origin in the US. IAPA’s annual meeting is held in conjunction with APA annual meeting and it is attended by over 100 members and guests each year. IAPA is the largest Indian psychiatric organization in the world.

These past presidents, with the help of their executive committees shaped IAPA, developed Academician Award and Service Awards. In 1999, during the presidency of Dr. Nalini Juthani, the first Outstanding Resident award was introduced. During Dr. Sanjay Dube’s presidency first Public Sector Award (brain child of Dr. Asha Mishra) was given out. IAPA presidency moved out of New York and in Chicago for the first time in 2001. Dr Van was the only president who served IAPA for three years. He was instrumental in encouraging and facilitating members to start chapters in their respective states. It was the wisdom of the IAPA past presidents in 2000, to start having a Board of Trustees (BOT) to provide fiduciary oversight to IAPA. Currently there are seven past presidents who serve on the Board and they elect their chairperson every two years.

In 2007, Dr. Asha Mishra with the help of Dr. Manoj Shah and other past presidents updated Constitution and By laws  which is now available in electronic format.

IAPA has its website: myiapa.org and two part time administrative staff.

Dr. Manoj Shah was the first chairperson of the BOT.

IAPA  Presidents from 1985-2010

Dr. Haveliwala ……………………        1985-1986

Dr. Girish Shah……………………        1987-1988

Dr. Jambur Ananth……………           1989-1990

Dr. Velandy Manohar…………         1991-1992

Dr. Ashwin Pandya………………        1993-1994

Dr. Manoj Shah…………………..        1995-1996

Dr. Viswanathan (Dr.Vis) ….           1997-1998

Dr. Nalini Juthani…………………       1999-2000

Dr. Shrinivasaraghavan (Dr. Van)  2001-2002-2003

Dr. Sanjay Dube……………………      2004-2005

Dr. Asha Mishra……………………       2006-2007

Dr. Surinder Nand………………..       2008-2009

Dr. Shiv Hatti………………………..      2010-2011