History

History

1975

The foundation for Pakistani Psychiatrists in North America was first laid down by the legendary psychiatrist from Pakistan, Professor Syed Arshad Husain, who has received several awards and honors for serving disaster hit areas throughout the world. In 1975, when there were a few psychiatrists from Pakistan, he started a Pakistani psychiatrist group named, “Pakistan Psychiatric Society in North America.”  Initially the society’s activities were primarily compromised of annual meetings, both locally and from overseas organized at the annual meetings of American psychiatric Association (APA).

1996

Professor Syed Arshad Husain served as the president of the society for several years followed by various psychiatrists serving as presidents the group of Pakistani psychiatrists under various names, including Dr. Ghulam Qadir, Dr. Zahid Imran, Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, Dr. Zafar Ahsan, Dr. Faiq Hameedi, Dr. Azfar Malik, and Dr. Mujeeb Shad, most recently.  Dr. Ghulam Qadir ran this group for several years and in Miami meeting 1996 expressed his desire to retire and asked for a volunteer, when Dr. Zahid Imran was proposed by Dr. Zafar Ahsan to be the next president. Dr. Zahid Imran also found a psychiatry merit group for Association of Pakistani Physicians in North America (APPNA), which had a membership of about 150 psychiatrists. Annual meetings for Pakistani psychiatrists in North America and those visiting from Pakistan continued primarily arranged by Dr. Zahid Imran with support from Dr. Zafar Ahsan, Joseph Emmanuel, Shakeel Ahmed, Faiq Hameedi and Mujeeb Shad. During this time, Facebook pages for Pakistani Psychiatrist Association were created by Dr. Joseph Emmanuel, Dr. Iqbal Jangda, and later by Dr. Shakeel Ahmed (treasurer in 2018 & 2019).

2010

With time, the membership of this organization grew significantly and under the leadership of Dr. Zahid Imran, one of the most memorable PAPANA gathering was arranged at the annual meeting of APA in New Orleans 2010. Dr. Zahid Imran was able to arrange a memorable bus trip to the historical capital city of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, followed by a lavish reception at his beautiful house using his own resources.

2011

Only few psychiatrists attended PAPANA meeting at the 2011 APA meeting in Hawaii, but the Philadelphia meeting in 2012 attracted a much larger group of psychiatrists, who gathered during a lunch meeting at one of the event hotels. It was not until 2013 during the PAPANA meeting at APA meeting in San Francisco, that the society’s name was changed to its current title, PAPANA, which stands for Pakistani Association of Psychiatrists in North America.  This name was proposed by Dr. Shakeel Ahmed, who was elected PAPANA president following Dr. Zahid Imran.  There were great expectations under his leadership, but unfortunately he could not serve long due to his untimely death, when he was visiting Pakistan for a medical conference.    

2014

The PAPANA meeting at the 2014 APA occurred under the presidency of Dr. Zafar Ahsan in New York. This meeting was attended by the biggest group pf about 60 PAPANA members. Dr. Zafar Ahsan, worked hard to arrange a lunch meeting for a large group of attendees. The following PAPANA meeting in 2015 at the annual APA meeting in Toronto had much fewer members perhaps due to a relatively distant location. Nonetheless, Dr. Azfar Malik was elected as the president and Dr. Mujeeb Shad as the secretary of PAPANA in this meeting. More importantly, this was the meeting where it was, for the first time, proposed to advance PAPANA status to an official organization.

2016

The next PAPANA gathering in 2016 at the annual APA meeting in Atlanta was a turning point, as it was formally decided to draft goals and objectives, constitution and bylaws to qualify for a tax exempt status enabling PAPANA an official status to collect donations and annual membership dues for financial viability. Dr. Mujeeb Shad was assigned to work on these documents being the Secretary of PAPANA. These goals and objectives were presented and approved by the general body at the annual meeting of PAPANA organized during the APA meeting in San Diego in 2017. Once these documents were approved, a tax exempt status was applied with the help of then PAPANA president Azfar Malik, who was gracious to use his private hospital resources to submit the tax exempt application.  Dr. Shakeel Ahmed (different from the ex-president) volunteered to serve as the first treasurer to maintain the bank account for PAPANA. 

2018

The 21018 PAPANA meeting during the annual meeting of Psychiatrist Association in New York again attracted a large group of Pakistani psychiatrists, locally as well as from overseas. Several committees were formed to advance the goals and objectives of PAPANA. This meeting was also attended by the current president of the World Psychiatric Organization, Dr. Afzal Javed and many other highly respected psychiatrists from different parts of the world, including Professor Khalid Mufti, and Dr. Rajiv Tandon, who is currently the Editor in Chief of Asian Journal of Psychiatry and Chair of the Psychiatry Department at the Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo MI.

2019

In 2019, PAPANA meeting in San Francisco was also well attended and the progress was made to increase collaboration between Pakistani American and psychiatrists from Pakistan. Unfortunately, due to Corona virus pandemic, the 2020 meeting was virtual and no PAPANA meeting could be organized. Nevertheless, using PAPANA email and website, a new cabinet of mostly young and enthusiastic Pakistani psychiatrists was proposed and approved.

This new cabinet includes Dr. Mujeeb Shad, as the president, Dr. Muhammad Zeshan as the secretary, and Dr. Aalamgeer Ibrahim as the treasurer of PAPANA. In addition, important committees were formed, including residency committee headed by Dr. Manal Khan and supported by Dr. Kiran Khalid, membership committee, chaired by Dr. Salman Majeed and co-chaired by Ahmad Rehan Khan and Fouzia Arain.  Dr. Muhammad Zeshan, Dr. Manal Khan, Dr. Kiran Khalid and Dr. Fauzia Arain have all been actively organizing webinars to help new residency applicants locally and from Pakistan in their residency application process. Dr. Fauzia Arain is in the final stages of developing an official website for PAPANA and plans to upload the membership form and the goals and objectives documents on this website for easier access.  In addition, Dr. Sadiq Naveed and Dr. Ikram Khan were approved to the list of existing list of board of trustees (BOT), including the Chair of BOT, Dr. Iqbal Jangda, Dr. Muntazra Qadri, Dr. Omar Nasib, Dr. Sadiq Hasan, Mehmooda Nasir and Dr. Waheed Bajwa.

Finally, despite current hardships, these are exciting times for PAPANA, since the younger generation of Pakistani psychiatrists have enthusiastically taken over the task to further advance the PAPANA’s mission and its future looks bright.