Founded in 1947, The Japanese American Medical Association (JAMA) is a Southern California non-profit, tax-exempt organization, comprised of physicians and spouses. JAMA's physicians are involved in 46 medical specialties and subspecialties, and practice either in a private practice-based or university-based setting.

JAMA's purposes are to maintain and advance the professionalism of its physicians in the communities of Southern California and to promote the social relationships of its members and spouses.

JAMA's members are active in:

  • Providing excellent medical care to their communities
  • Serving as faculty members at major medical university and hospitals
  • Engaging as innovators and inventors in their respective fields
  • Providing educational seminars for its members
  • Supporting community events in health-related endeavors
    • Atomic-Bomb Survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Hibakusha Program)
    • Nichibei Doctor's Group to assist Japanese physicians and their families during their stay in Los Angeles
    • Cooperation with the Japanese community health events
  • Publishing JAMA's history during and after the internment period; the final product, Silent Scars of Healing Hands, is available at the Japanese American National Museum
  • Cooperating with Pan-American Nikkei Medical Association to stimulate international research and teaching courses


Dr. Sasaki, JAMA 2019 scholarship winner Cora Ormseth, Dr. Kurohara, Itagaki & Goy

Our Mission

The mission of JAMA is to preserve and transmit the legacy of our founding members who embodied the importance of providing excellent health care & service to our communities. JAMA actively supports medical students & physicians-in-training and provides its members with a setting for professional networking and social interaction.

History of JAMA

The Japanese American Medical Association was established in 1947 and is the oldest Japanese American professional group in Southern California. JAMA was founded to create a social and professional network for members to share information, to establish referrals for patients, and to socialize with spouses and other physicians. At the time of JAMA's establishment, Japanese physicians were not permitted to practice in most Los Angeles hospitals, making cooperative communication imperative.

Today, JAMA plays a vital role in our community and has expanded to meet the needs and challenges of its members. Under the leadership of previous president Dr. Gordon Sasaki, we have initiated a Mentor Program to guide physicians-in-training into their selective specialties. JAMA has obtained a tax-exempt status that permitted it to become a charitable organization for sponsorship of a Scholarship Fund. The first Scholarship Awards were presented on April 29, 2007 to two outstanding medical students. JAMA has also completed its book, Silent Scars of Healing Hands, to record the oral histories of some of its pioneering members of the World War II internment period. The publication, funded by the California Civil Liberties Education Program, represents a medical legacy for future generations.

On June 10, 1997, the Japanese American Cultural Community Center presented the President's Award to JAMA for 50 years of distinguished service to the community. JAMA has enjoyed a significant history, reflective of its members and their achievements, and looks forward to continued growth in our organization.


Dr. Barry Goy & Shunpei Iwata meeting & eating with Dr. Kunio Saiki from the Japanese Consulate, serving as medical attache.