Dear OMGANs,

"From what we get, we can make a living; what we give, however, makes a life."

I thought I pen few words to iterate what OMGA is all about, particularly for the benefit of the new members.
I have been fortunate to be associated with this organisation of wonderful group of professionals for close to 10 years and certainly very closely as executive committee member for last 4 years or so.

OMGA I sincerely feel, fills a void that exists in an OMGAN’s life. It had certainly been my experience. We are all VERY busy with our professional lives and looking after our children all on our own, without the support of the extended family, being away from our homelandetc. Our journey to get iterate to here we are now must not have been an easy one for most of us. Now as we are settled / settling in our careers, OMGA certainly has a great role to play in our lives, as I tried to delineate below;

OMGA gives a great platform to meet, socialise with and befriend our fellow overseas graduates. Since I joined OMGA, I almost feel like I never left India. Talking to my classmates back home in India, I can certainly say that we have a better social life and get to party more often, living in beautiful Victoria despite our busy lives. Living in this alien country, OMGA gives us a platform to celebrate our culture and common roots. OMGA gives a platform for advocacy. OMGA will always be there should any of the OMGANs ever to face any discrimination of any kind. I must say, fortunately I never experienced that myself, but OMGA will provide the collective voice if anyone ever face such a problem. OMGA representative sits on the AMAVIC council and is always happy to help out as needed.

OMGA allows networking and increase a specialist’s referral base by getting to know fellow OMGANs practicing in his or her area. Similarly, a general practitioner will be happy to have a specialist friend, he could call upon anytime.

OMGA plans to run regular CME programmes (two a year, inboth South East and Western suburbs) so that our general practitioner members will get all the required CPD points just by attending these programs. For example, we could do women’s health, neurology/neurosurgery/psychiatry, paediatrics, surgical programs on a two to three year cycle, such that all areas are covered. One day, we might have CME cruises, so that we could learn and enjoy at the same time. I am liaising with Uptodate to make it available for all the members. OMGA is constantly negotiating with many organisations such as banks, insurance agencies etc., to get better deals for our members. Our strength lies in our collective power.

Finally, and most importantly, OMGA will be a platform for philanthropic work, to enable you to give something back to our society.

Anything we can do as a doctor group to lift the profile of Indian diaspora and of immigrant population in general in Australia would be ideal. This may be increasing organ donation rates, better health awareness, less smoking, less alcoholism, less health care utilisation etc., would be great. Given that almost 100% members are of Indian origin, it would not be unreasonable to identify with Indian community. Last year OMGA played a significant role in increasing awareness of domestic violence. We donated money to help the cause and few OMGANs participated in the meetings / seminars. OMGA so far donated to floods in Fiji, and also to philanthropic work in India through AASHA foundation.
We could run clinics to help those Indian immigrant families, students etc., who are not covered by insurance. For example, visiting parents whose insurances do not cover pre-existing conditions.
Helping overseas graduates in their efforts of getting registration here.
OMGA has members from all over Victoria. OMGA conducted first and only CME in West and we are keen to do the next one in East or somewhere else. We want people to come forward from those areas and OMGA will support in getting RACGP accreditation / sponsorships etc.We made every attempt at every opportunity to be as inclusive as possible. Last year few OMGANs (Amit, Rinku, Gopal etc.,) from East looked very hard to find a venue in East but could not find the right venue and we had to settle for Heritage function hall in Epping, which is in the North. Among the 7 members of the current Annual Gala Celebration organising committee, 5 are from East, one is from North and only one is from West.

OMGA welcomes more and more members from all over Victoria to take active role, both in recruiting and organising functions in their local areas. OMGA will be very happy to support every which way.

All the OMGA office bearers, whose contact details will be in the members only log in area, will be very happy to answer any queries anyone may have. Please do not hesitate to contact me on 0425 342 419 if you ever need to discuss anything.

Let’s all work together in making this organisation a big success.

Thanks for your time,

Dr Raju Yerra
General Secretary OMGA,
Senior Neurologist and Epileptologist, Royal Melbourne Hospital
Director, Comprehensive Neurological Care Victoria.