History of AIPM
A Brief History of the Association of Iranian Physicists in Medicine (AIPM)
Prepared by E. Parsai, PhD.
For years, physicists of Iranian descent gathered during the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) annual meetings to meet and greet. These gatherings were typically in the form of luncheons or just simply gathering in a room to catch up with friends and colleagues, and mostly to update the “name list file” that Dr. Azam Niroomand-Rad used to be a custodian of. The list included not only the medical physicists’ names, but also many radiation oncologists, or radiologists of Iranian descants. I recall the very last version of that list was at around 82-85 names total.
With so many medical physicists in US alone, the need for forming an organization was always in the discussions but no action was being taken until the annual meeting of the AAPM in the year 2000. That year, the AAPM actually did not have an annual meeting rather it was participating as a national organization in the 2000 IOMP’s Triennial World Congress on Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering which was being held in Chicago, Illinois during July 23-28th.
During this meeting, formation of an association was suggested by Dr. E. Ishmael Parsai and approved by the attendees. Subsequently, Dr. Parsai and Dr. Ali Meigooni volunteered to write a first draft of the by-laws and have it completed by the following year’s meetings. A draft of by-laws was completed prior to the AAPM annual meeting of July 2001 held in Salt Lake City and during that meeting, a Steering Committee was formed to finalize the by-laws and other related details for the operation of the newly formed association. Other items processed in the tear 2001 were 1) making the organization a tax exempt, and 2) creating a website. Dr. Ehsan Samei agreed to create a website for the organization and soon after, Dr. Parsai created and maintained a newly designed professional website with features of PayPal direct deposit, automated membership application processing, etc.
The AIPM was registered as a 501 (c) (3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service in 2008. The original name suggested for our organization was the “Iranian-American Association of Physicists in Medicine (I-AAPM)” which was established at the annual meeting of Iranian medical physicists in Montreal in July 2002. The first list of names (imported to website as members) were all the Iranian medical physicists whose names appeared in the name list that was last maintained by Dr. Niroomand-Rad, but everyone on that list was informed to review the by-laws and upon agreement to the presented organizational framework, agree to the membership at the I-AAPM web site and approve their membership status. During the same meeting in Montreal, first group of volunteers were also elected to serve as executive officers for our association. Those were Dr. E. Parsai (first elected president), Dr. Meigooni (elected vice president), Mr. Hamid Aghdam (treasurer), Dr. Ehsan Samei (secretary) and Dr. Nina Samsami x-officio member.
As the incoming first President of the I-AAPM, Dr. Parsai in his first communicate congratulated members in taking this important step in forming the I-AAPM and optimistically wrote that “someday we will have significant resources within our association and will gain the ability to offer scientific and professional assistance to our Iranian colleagues both in Iran and abroad. I hope that we will be able to offer a healthy environment for exchange of scientific and professional ideas amongst our members to foster effective communication and above all, to serve as a reservoir of knowledge and networking hub for our members”.
Later, a 6-person task group which included the elected executive officers was formed to further review and revise every aspect of the By-Laws (including the suggested name for our association) and to make the necessary changes according to the rules set forth in the already approved by-laws. This task group was also charged with writing a "Mission statement" that best suite the functions projected for this association. Members volunteered to work in this task group were Drs. E. Parsai, Ali Meigooni, Azam Niroomand-Rad, Kevin O. Khadivi, Bijan Arjomandy and Kambiz Shahnazi. A deadline of next annual meeting in San Diego was set for completion and final approvals.
A onetime paid membership for 2002 – 2003 was offered to all those whose names appeared in the name list maintained by Dr. Niroomand-Rad prior and up to 2000 and those who received email via I-AAPM list server. Dr. Parsai also in his first presidential communication acknowledged Dr. Piran Sioshansi, President & CEO of RadioMed Corporation, for offering to pay the membership dues of all the members for 2002-2003.
The name of our association was subsequently changed to Association of Iranian Physicists in Medicine (AIPM) during the annual meeting of AAPM in July 18, 2002 when we met in the le Palais des Congress de Montreal Convention Center, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. This was done to further emphasize the global nature of the organization
With the idea of forming a scientific organization of medical physicists’ of Iranian descents in US it was critically important to design a logo to properly represent our organization and also show our heritage. After many iterations, finally the logo shown here was designed in May of 2001 and presented to the association for approval. As seen here, the powerful symbol of Faravahar combined with medical symbol and nuclear model were selected along with the name of our organization to represent our organization.