Dr. Sudhakar Nuti’s own experience as an immigrant from India growing up in poverty in Connecticut has fired his enthusiasm for helping others from an early age.
Impressed by his mother’s pursuit of U.S. teaching credentials, connected by his high school biology teacher to a Yale research program, and inspired by his pediatrician, Nuti found his future in a blend of primary care medicine, health care research, and public service.
“The question that drives all the work we do is, how do we improve the health and well-being of people in America?”
During that high school program, he realized that while he could help people on an individual level as a doctor, he could also use research to improve many more people’s lives, especially if he focused on disparities in care for vulnerable patients.
“The question that drives all the work we do is, how do we improve the health and well-being of people in America?” he said. “The goal is to really use research to inform better health policies and programs to pursue health equity and improve population health.”
His research has already made an impact. A study published in 2016 looked at how the Veterans Affairs health system’s care for non-VA patients stacked up against its care for veterans. His team found that the quality of care was equally good for both sets of patients, ultimately playing a role in the debate over privatizing the VA health care system.
Now a primary care resident physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Nuti also sees underserved patients at a community health center.
“We could come up with as many innovative and ingenuity programs and health care that provide really good quality and really good access to care,” he said, “but if we ultimately do not address the fundamental drivers of health, things like poverty, then we’re going to fail.”
— STAT Staff