North American Sikh Medical and Dental Association (NASMDA)

nasmda.gifGuestblogged by Mewa Singh

This past weekend the North American Sikh Medical and Dental Association (NASMDA) held their 17th annual conference in San Diego, CA. The organizations website provides a brief description:

Started in the summer of 1992 at Poncos, Pennsylvania, NASMDA has grown to an organization of over 1000 Sikh medical and dental professionals spread across North America. NASMDA strives to provide a platform for Sikh medical and dental professionals to network and interact with each other while promoting the ideals and the mission of Guru Nanak. The members of NASMDA have been actively involved with helping out and supporting various Sikh organizations, young medical students and physicians.[link]

NASMDAprovides a platform for Sikhs of various ages to engage in medical exchanges as well as be briefed by various organizations that presented. In all transparency, I made one such presentation, along with other organizations, including Sikh Coalition and more.

I must say that we were showered with love and it was really the Gurus Kirpa that our efforts were received with such kindness. The conference had many high points, one of the most praised, was Mandeep Singh Dhallas talk on Seva on Sikhism. Friends described tears in their own eyes, especially when hearing the story of the kindly Bhagat from Pingalwara.

The conference wasa success, as it has been in years past. At the end of the meeting, I left withafew questions. In a blog written by Jodha many eons ago, he described certain strengths that Sikhs in Punjab have, including their remarkable teledensity. In the United States, medicine, along with transportation and agriculture are particular power points for the Sikh community to leverage.

It was NASMDAs prestige along with the Sikh Coalitions efforts that helped to ensure that dastar-wearing Sikh males and females would never be asked to remove their article of faith in sitting for various standardized exams. NASMDA has tremendous clout, possibly even more than its membership even realizes, as it is still discovering its identity. While in the past, I have heard many issue words of frustration, still the potential is undoubted. I ask the readers what are other possibilities an organization with such prestige could have within the health field? What are some of its possibilities in the Sikh world? What are the intersections of the two?

Regardless of suggestions, I was pleased to have an opportunity to engage with this section of our community and suggest those other Sikh dentists and physicians, as well as aspiring ones still struggling in medical school or dental school, to learn about the organization and become part of it.

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