ACIP: American College of International Physicians

The American College of International Physicians (ACIP) was formed and incorporated in the state of Indiana, perpetuated by wise men of foresight, vision and dream. These men, later joined by other colleagues from many countries around the world in a co-operative endeavor to address common concerns for the future of medicine in the United States and abroad:

The conception of the College took place in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The talents and dedication of other colleagues were called for, and a steering committee was formed. These extraordinary men to whom we refer to as "Founding Fellows" gathered together at the Athletic Club in Indianapolis, Indiana on January 25, 1975, and drew a future road map for ACIP. Other committees were formed to explore the best means of advancing the cause of medicine in general with an emphasis on international physicians.

The Constitution and By-laws were drawn and plans were made to involve a broad base of international physicians. At the next meeting, the steering committee decided to form the College and incorporate it as a non-profit corporation. Officers and trustees were elected among the members of the new College. The first formal meeting where the new college was named as the "American College of International Physicians" was held on April 6, 1975 at 3266 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana. At the next monumental meeting, September 14, 1975, a general meeting of all international physicians was called. The new Officers and Trustees were presented to 47 Founding Fellows and 5 Associate Founding Fellows.

Subsequent to the Founder’s Meeting, the Board of Trustees reached a decision to hold a national meeting for all international physicians in the fall of 1976. A committee to design a seal for the College was formed and mechanisms to allow the College to reach its goals were adopted. Preparations continued for the 1976 meeting, press releases were issued and information was disseminated nation-wide of the formation of the new College.

The first national Convocation of Fellows of the College was held in Chicago on October 16-17, 1976. The founding fellows were enriched by the investiture of 165 new Fellows and 11 new Associate Fellows. The new Officers were inducted and the College progressed with positive actions done for IMGs. The second annual Convocation of Fellows also took place in Chicago. New Fellows from other states joined the College and a national movement began to unify actions for IMGs. In the meantime, leaders of other medical organizations representing ethnic minorities were inducted into the College and invaluable relationships were formed.

By the sixth annual convention in 1981, there were five ethnic organizations represented; Islamic Medical Association of North America, Association of Philippine Practicing Physicians in America, Association of American Physicians of India, Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America and the Inter-American College of Physicians and Surgeons. ACIP worked with these ethnic medical organizations to tie them in a common string and to form a common agenda for the benefits of all IMGs.

The College provided a forum for the discussion of common issues, as only ACIP was in a position to channel all these diverse organizations. Several prominent leaders of the ethnic organizations were Trustees or Officers of the ACIP at one time or another. As a matter of continuous effort to unify various diverse organizations, ACIP introduced joint annual conventions, such as the joint annual meeting with IMA at Niagara Falls in 1985 and all other organizations in 1986.

ACIP launched a campaign to form an alliance of all ethnic organizations. This was seen as the most effective way to fight the anti-IMG legislation in the U.S. Congress. For that purpose, an adhoc committee was formed in. In July 1986, a joint Convention of all ethnic organizations and ACIP was held at Hyatt Regency in Washington, D.C. As a result of this effort, a legislative committee called Alliance of FMG was formed and later named International Association of American Physicians. The membership and funds for this association came equally from all organizations. This new body retained a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. to monitor all legislative activities affecting medical practice; especially those targeted at IMGs. After more than five years of hard work, some of the favorable legislation was passed for IMGs.

Relentless efforts by the College to elevate the prestige of IMGs have been a facet, which is fruitful to everyone, and an antidote to the prejudice, biases, and injustice. Positive language in the Professional Health – Reauthorization Act ’92 became an effective tool to dismantle the barrier created by the self-serving people. The law prohibits discrimination in Title VII programs on the basis of medical school affiliation. Residency training programs cannot receive Title VII Health Professional Training federal funds if they discriminate against a person’s application based on their medical school graduation. Also, the law mandates the establishment of a National Advisory Council on Medical Licensure to examine discriminatory practices by various state medical Boards. According to that provision, IMGs must be treated equally. ACIP also advocated a single examination system for all physicians, DMGs or IMGs. Now, IMGs shall be able to sit on national medical board exams similar to domestic graduates.

The College has grown tremendously over the last few years, enriched by hundreds of Life Fellows and reinforced by a credible central office. Due to relentless efforts of its selfless volunteer leaders, the College has 15 State Chapters at this time. By looking at the long list of Past Presidents, it is obvious that ACIP is truly an international physician’s organization. The leadership has been entrusted to the most responsible, dedicated and able Fellows, regardless of their national origin. Membership is open to all physicians who wish to join IMGs in a cooperative endeavor to shape the medical profession on an equal basis regardless of gender, creed, religion, nation of origin, and/or school of medical graduation.

Our Mission: "To promote and support the welfare of International Medical Graduates and related Health Professionals in Virginia – through Continuing Medical Education, Fellowship, Friendship and Networking Activities."

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