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
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.