S. ‘Jay’ Jayasankar, MD

Dr. Jay, as he is known, champions Indian physician and International physicians’ (IMG) cause and is very active in patient advocacy and health policy, besides his various contributions to orthopaedics, patient care and public health.  He finds caring for underserved communities very satisfying and enjoys training people for leadership, particularly physicians nationally.  While his community involvement and public health efforts extend into many areas, his greatest passion is in mentoring youngsters, leadership development; and preventing diabetes, heart disease and family violence. 

Dr. Jayasankar is on the faculty of Harvard University and the Massachusetts General Hospital and the New England Baptist Hospital for the last 30 years and is a member of state, regional and national professional bodies including the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Medical Association and the Massachusetts Medical Society. 

He is the President of the prestigious and nearly two centuries old (est. 1805) Boston Medical Library (BML) whose past Presidents include Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes.  The BML has one of the richest collections in the History of Medicine and combined with the Harvard Medical Library as the Countway Library of Medicine has the largest collection of medical books and journals under one roof and boasts over 30,000 prints and paintings besides numerous medical artifacts and a large anatomic collection named the “Warren Museum.”

Dr. Jayasankar chairs the International Medical Graduates Section of the American Medial Association.  It represents the interests of the over 180,000 physicians in the US who graduated from medical schools outside the US and Canada and these constitute a quarter of all physicians in the US.  

Dr. Jayasankar is a recipient of many awards and recognitions, among which are: US Congressional recognition award for “Outstanding and invaluable service to the community,” Pfizer “Housecall” honor for contribution to the public health of the Indian American community, and Indus Star 2002 Award. He has been recognized by the Massachusetts HCFA for outstanding contribution to the Asian Pacific Islander cause, and by the Indian Medical Association of New England for service to the association and for leadership at the national level. He received commendation by the AAPI (American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin) for exceptional leadership and devoted service.  He has also been recognized by the AAPI regional organization of Los Angeles for commitment to excellence and service, and by AAPI of Central Ohio for outstanding and dedicated service to physicians, residents and medical students.

Dr. Jay is much credited for elevating the status and role of the AAPI to a “new high” while serving as its national President. Amongst his legacies to the AAPI is the DIA (Diabetes among Indian Americans), Initiative which is involved in researching and preventing diabetes among Indian Americans, the first such coordinated effort in the US. He created and directed the DIA Initiative. As the President of the AAPI, he obtained for the first time external corporate, Congressional and CDC funding for research, gained admission of the AAPI as a member of the American Medical Association, and established close partnership with several mainstream medical societies in the US. He was responsible for the publication of the AAPI book on Nutrition of Indian Foods (the first copyrighted AAPI book), for starting the AAPI Link- AAPI’s electronic newsletter, and for developing in-house publication capability of the AAPI Journal.

            In his leadership role at the Massachusetts Medical Society and at the American Medical Association, Dr. Jayasankar has helped advance many advocacy issues on behalf of patients, the profession, general physician issues and specific issues of Indian American physicians such as centralized credentialing, license parity for IMGs, license portability between states, fair treatment of and due recognition of IMGs.  He has authored, as committee chair, reports on physician workforce, peer review principles, evaluation criteria for creation of new cardiac surgery centers in Massachusetts and others which are considered national standards in the areas.  He has conducted much applauded national leadership training programs for leaders in Medicine at the AMA National Leadership Conference.

            Dr. Jayasankar’s volunteer service includes many professional and community organizations. He served as the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Indian Medical Association of New England.  He serves on the Boards of Directors of Massachusetts Medical Society Charitable Foundation, Network of Indian Professionals (New York), and International Health Organization (dedicated to Public Health in South Asia). Dr. Jayasankar is also a member of the Advisory Board of the Indian Express, the North American Edition. He is the Chair of the Committee on Medical Service of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and Vice Chairs of the Committee on Professional Liability of the Massachusetts Medical Society. He is a delegate to the Massachusetts Medical Society House of Delegates, and is an alternate delegate representing Massachusetts at the national level at the American Medical Association.

Dr. Jay is dedicated to the service of underserved populations. As a volunteer Consulting Orthopaedic Surgeon to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Mental Health and the Department of Corrections, he treated the mentally ill patients at State Hospitals and the prison population. His volunteer service includes treating the mentally retarded at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, the Fernald State School and the Monson State School, MA.  He devoted himself to the underserved at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital, a state run hospital caring for needy and the indigent.

Dr. Jayasankar graduated from the Ramakrishna Mission High School in Chennai and after completing premedical education at Elphinstone College in Mumbai, he studied medicine at the Grant Medical College and the Sir J.J. Group of Hospitals in Mumbai.  He obtained his general surgery and then orthopaedic surgery training at the same hospitals.  In the US, he obtained orthopaedic training at the Harvard Orthopaedic Residency Program and the Massachusetts General Hospital and has since been on the faculty of Harvard University and the Massachusetts General Hospital.

Dr. Jayasankar writes essays and poetry for relaxation.  He and his physician wife enjoy traveling and being involved in the lives of their two physician children (a daughter, a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, and a son, a surgeon in training) and their families including five grandchildren.


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