Skip to main content

Department of Medicine

The Department of Medicine helps us stand tall as one of the country’s leading health systems. While we take great pride in celebrating our department’s accomplishments, it’s our commitment to training tomorrow's primary care doctors, hospitalists and subspecialists that moves the needle of clinical care forward.
Family physician Sarwada Tuladhar Jha, MD talking to patient during exam at a clinic appointment and inputting health information at the computer.

We're made for medicine

We know that great ideas can come from anywhere — from research discoveries, from curious residents and even from patients advocating for their health. At the Department of Medicine, we're motivated to see the next big idea become someone's life-changing innovation. 

Over 90% of our research is funded by the federal government or foundations, with an especially keen interest in infectious diseases, rheumatology and renal care. This funding allows us to expand our understanding of conditions and diseases so we can offer our communities the best care possible. 

This spirit of clinical curiosity extends to our training and education programs, too. A number of our divisions also have extremely competitive fellowship programs that provide unmatched subspecialty training.

Contact info

Cardiology, South 3, 6: 617.636.2273
Endocrinology, Biewend 2: 617.636.5689
Gastroenterology, Proger 3: 617.636.5883
General Medicine, Biewend 4, 5, 6: 617.636.5400
Hematology/Oncology, South 8: 617.636.5291
Infectious Disease, Biewend 3: 617.636.7010
Nephrology, 35 Kneeland St., 6: 617.636.5866
Pulmonary, Biewend 3: 617.636.6377
Pratt Diagnostic Center, Proger 1: 617.636.2800
Rheumatology, Biewend 6: 617.636.5990

lightbulb

Our institutes

The Department of Medicine has 3 research institutes, including:

Center for Health Equity Research (CHER)

The Center for Health Equity Research (CHER), directed by Dr. Chloe Bird, addresses research disparities in healthcare, and diversity in the biomedical workforce. Research on equity in science seeks to understand the factors associated with promoting and achieving diversity in biomedical careers. This includes understanding the factors related to the recruitment, promotion and retention of women and minority faculty in academic biomedical careers. Research includes observation studies to understand the factors associated with promoting and advancing biomedical careers, as well as interventions to address these issues.

CHER also addresses disparities in healthcare delivery, with a major focus on care for women and minority communities. Disparities in care are well documented in multiple racial and ethnic minority groups. There are also gender disparities in health outcomes between people who are assigned female at birth and those assigned male at birth who have the same condition. Our recent research focuses on interventions to reduce and eliminate these disparities.

Learn more about CHER.

Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies (ICRHPS)

ICRHPS is a hospital-wide enterprise that includes members of many clinical departments of Tufts Medical Center (Tufts MC). The institute's research involves the study of clinical features of disease, the optimal use of treatments and evidence, measurement of healthcare intervention outcomes and the influence of socioeconomic, organizational and policy favors on healthcare. As a result of this research, Tufts MC has had the world's highest average ISI citation index in health care research and has been most often ranked first of any institution.

Highlights:

  • Receipt of over $6.3 million in new funding for 31 new research projects
  • 166 publications authored by faculty
  • Faculty participation in numerous national panels

Learn about ICRHPS

Molecular Cardiology Research Institute (MCRI)

MCRI focuses on studying molecular mechanisms of human cardiovascular disease, translating bench findings to new bedside strategies for diagnosis and therapy and the mentoring of MD and PhD trainees committed to a career in academic cardiovascular research. Since its inception in 1997, the institute has invested in three areas: recruitment of scientists of the highest quality, establishment and growth of cardiovascular research programs and creation of state-of-the-art core facilities.

Highlights:

  • Recruitment of new, innovative scientists
  • Richard Karas, MD, PhD awarded the Tufts University School of Medicine Distinguished Faculty Award
  • Iris Jaffe, MD, PhD and team published an important paper in Nature Medicine

Learn about MCRI

microscope

Research by division

We’re always in pursuit of what’s next. That’s why dozens of department faculty and residents are involved in multiple clinical and laboratory research projects. We break new ground in medicine that benefits everyone — our teammates, physicians and, most importantly, our patients.

Many department members conduct research within their specialized clinical division or through our research institutes. Together, through our research, we hope to make life-changing discoveries across every aspect of medicine.

Cardiology

Cardiology continues to bring in major funding from industry groups and the National Institutes of Health. Major research projects include:

  • Improving the quality of inpatient and outpatient care and satisfaction through the establishment of the Specialized Primary and Networked Care in Heart Failure project.
  • Participation in the NHLBI Heart Failure Network, which encompasses a select group of sites focused on the development and execution of trials for therapeutic interventions in heart failure. 
  • In 2012, there were 25 clinical trials either active or in the planning stage in the Division of Cardiology.

Learn about Cardiology research

Clinical Decision Making, Informatics + Telemedicine

The division focuses its research on clinical decision analysis, cost-effectiveness and health policy analysis. Current projects include:

  • Information content of the medical history, physical examination and diagnostic tests
  • Determining the optimal diagnostic tests or test sequence
  • Selection of optimal therapies
  • Evaluation of new medical technologies

Learn about Clinical Decision Making research

Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Dedication to research is a major focus of the Division of Endocrinology. Current research projects are investigating:

  • The relationship between vitamin D and patients at risk for diabetes
  • A new syndrome of paraganglioma, somatostatinoma and polycythemia associated with mutations in HIF-2a
  • Skeletal muscle mass in aging individuals
  • Fasting glucose and insulin levels in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes mellitus

Learn about Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism research

 

Geographic Medicine and Infectious Disease

Faculty conduct state-of-the-art research in bacterial, HIV, other viral and parasitic diseases span basic science, clinical research and translational outcomes across the globe. Major research initiatives include:

  • Clinical AIDS research and HIV pathogenesis
  • Hospital and transplant related infections
  • Microbial pathogenesis and host response
  • Global health research
  • Lyme disease and babesiosis
  • Cytosporidosis

Learn about Geographic Medicine and Infectious Disease research

Hematology/Oncology

The division's research spans the spectrum from basic, translational and patient-oriented to therapeutic and interventional clinical trials in cancer and blood diseases. Clinical research often takes the form of cooperative group trials, industry-sponsored trials and investigator-initiated trials. Major clinical trials and research currently happening within the division include studies focused on:

  • Locally advanced breast cancer and inflammatory breast cancer
  • AML and MDS
  • Solid tumors
  • Cancer fatigue
  • Stem cell transplants
  • Immune function and tumor behavior in people with hematologic malignancies, bone marrow disorders and immunologic diseases

Learn about Cancer research programs and clinical trials

General Internal Medicine and Adult Primary Care

Internal Medicine is an important source of patients for clinical research trials at Tufts Medical Center. With more than 34,000 patients in the practice and an electronic medical record which enables researchers to identify patients with specific diagnoses, the division is able to work collaboratively with research projects across the institution.

Learn about Primary Care

Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine

Dr. Nicholas Hill has expanded the clinical research activities in the division since he became the chief in 2002. Current clinical trials and research include studies on:

  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Ventilator-associated pneumonia
  • Treatment efficacy for COPD
  • Influence of sleep deprivation on patient outcomes

Learn about Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine research

Rheumatology

The Division of Rheumatology focuses its research programs on a number of rheumatic diseases and issues including:

  • Structural effects of intra-articular corticosteroids on knee osteoarthritis progression
  • Disease-modifying investigational treatments of osteoarthritis
  • Use of complementary and alternative medicine (Tai Chi) for chronic rheumatic diseases
  • Effect of antibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Active rheumatoid arthritis


Learn about Rheumatology and Arthritis research 

Testing the Role of FDG-PET/CT to Predict Response to Therapy Prior to Surgery for HER2-positive Breast Cancer, The DIRECT Trial
medical-cross
Breast cancer
user
All genders
person-wave 18+
world
Recruiting now
Learn more
To Evaluate Efficacy and Safety of HLX10 + Chemotherapy (Carboplatin- Etoposide) in US Patients With ES-SCLC
medical-cross
Small cell lung cancer
user
All genders
person-wave 18+
world
Recruiting now
Learn more

Success stories

Patient sitting up in hospital bed and looking hopeful and off to the distance.
News
Race, ethnicity and prescribing practices
Tufts Medical Center researchers, in collaboration with Massachusetts General Brigham and the University of Pittsburgh, found differences in the antibiotics prescribed to black patients compared to white patients hospitalized with skin and soft tissue infections.
booklet

Training + education

What does it take to be a great physician? It requires a lifelong curiosity and the technical skills to put your education into practice. It also calls for people skills — warmth, compassion, patience and the poise to make the right decision when a patient is in crisis.

Our residency and fellowship programs are designed to teach you all that and more. We help prepare the next generation of doctors through hands-on learning and guidance from the brightest minds in medicine.

I think Tufts Medicine’s biggest strength is the people here. We’re a small program … so every individual is highlighted here. Our program works so well because all the people here are great, from the residents, to the fellows, to the attendings. … We have a culture here that’s collegial, educational and supportive — we all have each others’ backs.
Arhant Rao, MD
Former Chief Resident, Internal Medicine Residency
Tufts Medicine | Tufts Medical Center
fall medicine residents
people

Our leadership

Our leadership team gives us the guidance and support we need to ensure that the clinical, research and training goals of the department are met.

Department leadership

Department Chair and Physician-in-Chief: Karen M. Freund, MD, MPH
Portrait of Karen Freund, MD, MPH.

Dr. Karen M. Freund is the Physician-in-Chief at Tufts Medical Center, and the Sheldon M Wolff Professor and Chair of the Department of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr. Freund earned her medical degree from Stanford University School of Medicine and completed residency training at Cambridge Health Alliance/ Harvard Medical School (internal medicine) and Boston University Medical Center (preventive medicine), followed by a general internal medicine fellowship at Boston University Medical Center.  She holds an AB from Harvard College, and an MPH from Boston University.

Dr. Freund’s research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for over 30 years, resulting in more than 200 publications. Her research focus is disease prevention and chronic disease management for women and under-resourced populations. She is currently principal investigator of a five-year NIH grant to eliminate breast cancer treatment disparities across the city of Boston through a regional collaboration of medical centers focused on patient navigation and social determinants of health. Her previous funding has included the development of patient navigation programs, and investigation of the impact of insurance reform on chronic disease outcomes.

Dr. Freund also studies the career trajectories of women and faculty underrepresented in medicine and science. She is a passionate mentor of early-career faculty as principal investigator of NIH-sponsored career development awards including Tufts’ Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health Program (along with Iris Jaffe MD PhD) and the K12 Clinical Translational Career Development Program (along with Lesley Inker MD MS). Dr. Freund is a recipient of Tufts Medical Center’s BJ Magnani Leadership Award, the American Cancer Society - Harry and Elsa Jiler Clinical Research Professorship and was the Society of General Internal Medicine’s 2013 Distinguished Professor in Women’s Health.

Vice Chair, Clinical Operations and Quality: Sucharita R. Kher, MD
Kher Sucharita

Dr. Sucharita Kher is the Vice Chair for Clinical Operations and Quality in the Department of Medicine. In this Vice Chair role, she collaborates with the departmental leadership to build on the Department’s outstanding inpatient and ambulatory care and to ensure an environment that promotes delivery of safe, high quality and patient-centered care.

Dr. Kher is a physician in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine and runs the Asian Lung Clinic focused on pulmonary care for our Asian patient population. Her areas of expertise include asthma, COPD and tobacco dependence. She is an avid advocate for tobacco control.
 

Vice Chair, Education and Residency Program Director: Kathleen M. Finn, MD, MPhil
Kathleen Finn profile

Dr. Kathleen Finn is the Vice Chair for Education and Residency Program Director in the Department of Medicine. In this role she collaborates with department leadership to promote education and training for faculty, fellows and residents and to create a learning environment of curiosity, excitement and psychological safety.

Dr. Finn is a hospitalist by training. She earned her M.Phil in Social Anthropology from Oxford University and her medical degree at Harvard Medical School. She completed residency training at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and worked as a hospitalist at both BWH and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). She served as the Senior Associate Program Director for Resident and Faculty Development at MGH before joining Tufts in 2022.

Dr. Finn is known for creating innovative educational workshops and medical education research. Her research has focused on supervision, leave policies, discharge safety and teamwork. She was awarded the National Board of Medical Education Stemmler Educational Research Grant in 2015 to study supervision. She is currently Chair of the APDIM Survey and Scholarship Committee and was Course Director for the Society of Hospital Medicine national meeting in 2018. She was named top hospitalist in 2014 by the American College of Physicians and received the Society of Hospital Medicine Excellent in Teaching Award in 2020.
 

Vice Chair, Research: Michael Paasche-Orlow, MD, MA, MPH
Michael Paasche-Orlow, MD, MPH

Dr. Michael Paasche-Orlow is the Vice Chair for Research and is a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr. Paasche-Orlow earned his medical degree from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, completed residency training at the NYU-Bellevue Internal Medicine in the Primary Care Track, followed by a general internal medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He holds a BA from Columbia College, an MA in medical ethics from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and an MPH in epidemiology from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

As a primary care clinician and a nationally recognized expert in the field of health literacy, Dr. Paasche-Orlow has dedicated his career to improving the care of vulnerable populations. Dr. Paasche-Orlow has over 250 peer-reviewed publications, his research has been continuously funded for over 20 years, and his work has yielded more than 50 million dollars in federal funding. Currently, Dr. Paasche-Orlow has eight clinical studies that examine health literacy and doctor-patient communication, various modes of patient education, and empowerment. He has been the lead designer of nine patient-oriented interactive behavioral informatics programs and has helped create and evaluate a range of patient empowerment and decision support tools that have been highly cited and broadly influential. His work has brought attention to the role that health literacy plays in racial and ethnic disparities, improving informed consent, and improving advanced care planning, as well as to the fact that appropriately designed information technologies can be empowering for patients with low health literacy. Dr. Paasche-Orlow is the founding Editor-in-Chief for Health Literacy Research and Practice. He has also helped promote the field of health literacy research as the Director of the Health Literacy Annual Research Conference for the past 14 years and serves as a member of the Health Literacy Roundtable for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
 

Vice Chair, Academic Affairs: John Wong, MD
John Wong

Dr. John B. Wong is Vice Chair of Academic Affairs, Chief of the Division of Clinical Decision Making, Director of Comparative Effectiveness Research for the Tufts Clinical Translational Institute, and a Professor of Medicine at the Tufts University School of Medicine.

A Master of the American College of Physicians, a Past President of the Society for Medical Decision Making, and an Associate Statistical Editor for the Annals of Internal Medicine, he has been a member of guideline committees for the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Infectious Diseases Society of America, European League Against Rheumatism, and the US Preventive Services Task Force and a consultant to the World Health Organization, National Academy of Medicine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American College of Cardiology, and American Heart Association. He currently also serves as a member on the Committee on Publications of the Massachusetts Medical Society (which owns and publishes the New England Journal of Medicine). Dr. Wong was named to the Association of American Physicians (AAP) in 2023.

His research focuses on the application of decision analysis to medical decision making to help patients, clinicians, and policymakers choose among alternative tests, treatments or policies, thereby promoting rational evidence-based efficient and effective patient-centered care that reflects individualized risk assessment and patient preferences. His mentorship has helped medical residents pursue research presented at national meetings, published in medical journals and obtain research funding and subspecialty fellowships.
 

Division Chiefs

  • Division Chief, Cardiology: James Udelson, MD
  • Division Chief, Clinical Decision Making + Telemedicine: John Wong, MD
  • Division Chief, Endocrinology: Anastassios G. Pittas, MD, MS 
  • Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology: Sonia Friedman, MD
  • Interim Division Chief, Geographic Medicine & Infectious Diseases: Tine Vindenes, MD
  • Division Chief, Hematology/Oncology: Rachel Buchsbaum, MD
  • Division Chief, Hospitalist Medicine: Muhammad F. Khalid, MD
  • Interim Division Chief, General Internal Medicine:  Sucharita R. Kher, MD
  • Division Chief, Nephrology: Mark Sarnak, MD
  • Division Chief, Palliative Care: Tamara Vesel, MD
  • Interim Division Chief, Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep: Greg Schumaker, MD
  • Division Chief, Rheumatology: Timothy McAlindon, MD
     
Dr. Mary Lynn Joe, Chief of Urgent Care at Lowell General Hospital's Tewksbury location consults with a patient.
Our locations

From regular office visits to inpatient stays, our specialists across Tufts Medicine offer the best in healthcare, when and where our patients need it.

Anasuya Gunturi MD, PhD and Jennifer Gilliatt, Oncology Nurse Practioner, meet with patient at Lowell General Hospital's Women's Wellness Center.
Our doctors + care team

Our specialists and care team members across Tufts Medicine deliver unmatched healthcare with a personalized touch.

Colorectal Cancer Risk Factors thumb
Articles
45 is the New 50: What You Need to Know About Colon Cancer
February 29, 2024
Melrose Wakefield’s Dr. Aarti Kakkar shares the facts about colon cancer, colonoscopies and how to reduce your risk.
Articles
An Innovative Medical 'Mist' Brings Hope to Patients with Bedsores
February 28, 2024
Pressure ulcers, often called "bedsores", are among the most common diabetes complications. Diabetes often causes poor circulation and nerve damage, meaning the patient may not feel or notice a wound or sore before it becomes large and severely infected.
Articles
Are Weight Loss Medications Right for You?
February 28, 2024
Tufts Medical Center’s Dr. Sunny Shah answers your questions about popular new weight loss medications.
Jump back to top