Saraswathi Muppana: Leading Indian-American Medical Organizations and Empowering Healthy Living

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Saraswathi Muppana

MILTON, MA–One of  Dr. Saraswathi Muppana’s biggest passions is to empower every human being to own their health, understand that health is the real wealth and help lead a healthy, enjoyable and fulfilling life -so that they can follow their dreams to become what they want engineers, architects, florists, athletes, teachers, journalists, chefs, of course doctors etc.

Dr. Muppana is currently president of Indian Medical Association of New England, and in June she will also become President of the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin-SLEEP (AAPIOS).

She is American Board Certified in Internal Medicine, pulmonary, critical care medicine, sleep medicine and obesity medicine and running multi-specialty practice, with  Beth Israel Deaconess – Lahey Hospital Milton, Plymouth and Tufts Medical Center affiliations.

“They enable me to make a difference in every single patient that I encounter in the community,” says Dr. Muppana. “I take a lot of pride in serving the physician community as the President of  IMANE  as physicians if we take care of ourselves, we can take better care of our patients.”

She also serves on the Medical Executive Committee at Beth Israel Deaconess Lahey Hospital Milton.

Here is a Q/A with Dr. Muppana:

INDIA New England News: Please tell our readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it?

Saraswathi Muppana: I am trained in Internal Medicine and board certified as a specialist in Pulmonary, Critical Care medicine, Sleep medicine and Obesity medicine. I always wanted to make a difference in the quality of people’s health and well-being. Time and again I ask myself  ‘what would I have become if not a doctor” – I always found the same answer each time – to be a doctor, and feel being blessed to do what I do, serving people and community and find every encounter unique.

What I cherish and enjoy most is, taking my patients through the process of regaining health and being there for them. When many of my patients tell me that “my treatment has changed their lives”, it is the most fulfilling and pleasant thing I hear. It makes me forget all the hardships I went through to be what I am today and what I can deliver; my drive and energy emanate from this experience.

INE: To what charitable, community and professional groups do you belong and why?

SM:  1. President of Indian Medical Association of New England (IMANE): being a physician of Indian origin, I take lot of pride in serving this medical community and cross collaborating with South Asian medical communities and different professional organizations of Indian Origin like South Asian Bar Association, NET IP, and Massachusetts Medical Society and American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI).

Saraswathi Muppana

Current healthcare scenario is rapidly changing, with increasing physician burn out rate. Being the President, it occurs to my mind repeatedly, as physicians, “if we don’t take care of ourselves, how will we take care of others” and this issue needs to be addressed seriously and collectively with healthcare policy changers, providers, insurance agencies to name a few.

  1. Vice President of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin Sleep (AAPIOS) serving Sleep medicine physicians, wherein two Lifetime Achievement Awards are given to Sleep medicine leaders of Indian origin (one from USA and one from India). Under AAPIOS, I have also instituted a “Sleep Research Award” given for the best Research paper submitted by Sleep Medicine fellows, in honor of my father Sri. Viswaprasad Muppana for the past three years.
  2. Member of the Indian Sleep Society Research (ISSR): International guest speaker for “Sleep and Obesity Medicine” during Annual National Sleep Medicine Program, India, Training the Trainers (residents, fellows and physicians).
  3. Sri Sai Chavadi temple, Canton (in process of collaborating with community, multi specialty physicians to serve at Sri Sai Baba temple, Canton – periodic free clinic with focus on prevention, improving kids and adults health and also to give opportunity to youngsters who want to explore medical field, facilitate mentorship program through these clinics.
  4. Sri Sai temple, Grofton – ran free medical clinic during the inauguration of the temple May 2018).
  5. I represent IMANE which collaborates with Mass Medical Society for Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs and I also belong to multiple medical organizations globally such as ACCP, API, SCCM, ISSR, Obesity Medicine (CME committee).

7.I am a member of the Medical Executive Committee at Beth Israel Lehigh Hospital, Milton, wherein we review and try to solve medical staff related issues.

  1. I lead Women Physicians Group at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital –Milton for the past 3 years for spring meetings, collaborating women physicians with hospital leadership to discuss challenges that female physicians face today.

INE:  What are your hobbies and interests?

SM: Cooking, because it lets me be creative.

Hiking, to be close to nature.

Tribe fitness program which is my workout.

Culturally diverse programs help me learn about different cultures, religion.

Reading all kinds of books to understand various pages of life.

Yoga and meditation to rejuvenate.

Dance –Indian classical and salsa.

INE:  In what way you feel you have most positively influenced or served the local community or your company/organization and professional field?

SM: I believe I serve as a role model for the young men and women out there to learn to equip oneself with education and knowledge; respect for others, gratitude and humbleness; and to go after their dreams.

Being a physician is my blessing, and my local community enjoys that fact. I work creating solutions to existing patient and administrative problems and am resilient as the CEO of my multi-specialty practice, where in I add value to best practice methods to my peers.

In this area, I have a long way to go, to foster intellectual collectiveness among the medical community and in specific to come closer to disease prevention and overall wellbeing.

On Patients front:

I take care of my patients with utmost sincerity, and support them to lead healthy lives. Patients meticulously follow my treatment plan to get better. Incorporating technology such as ipad in my medical practice several years ago, wherein patients fill in medical data, such use was later adopted by other practices.

On Professional front:

My association with young healthcare providers at Beth Israel Lehigh Hospital- Milton and Tufts Medical center, as an attending physician, has been on lines of mentoring and has made them bring changes in their practice.

I educate healthcare providers in pulmonary and sleep medicine which in turn helps them to deliver better patient care.

On Community front:

Delivered multiple lectures to various communities on health issues – such as obesity, asthma, COPD, antismoking, sleep apnea and sleep hygiene, measures against drowsy driving, end of life care, health care directives, run CPAP clinics. The most recent one was on April 6, 2019, Beth Israel Lehigh Milton Diabetic fair, educating on good sleep habits.

INE: What is the most pressing issue that you believe women are facing today?

SM: Globally women are striving to strike a balance between work and life which is the most pressing issue. Pressure to perform on all fronts, to be an earning member, homemaker, care taker of children and elders, keep up with traditions, abuse, list is endless.

INE: What is your rare talent that people don’t know about?

SM: Empathizing with whomever I interact and making them feel that they are the most important person.

INE: What are your favorite books?

SM: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying; Start With Why, Brave New World; Emotional Intelligence 2.0; The Great Believers; comics like Tintin, Tom and Jerry.

INE: What are your favorite quotes that motivate you or make you smile?

SM: “Service beyond self’. “Believe the best in one another, want the best for one another and expect the best from one another.” “Living life with an open hand and heart means living life with a greater capacity to give and receive”

INE: Who inspires you the most?

SM: My father, a novelist who has authored around 500 novels and scripted for ten movies in Telugu. He always taught me about helping others, serving community and leaving a legacy for the enrichment of mankind.

INE: Who is the one person you would like to meet and why?

SM: Gandhiji, to learn creative solutions regarding non-violence in this present day and age, and how he would bring about world peace.

INE: What are your core values that you try to live by?

SM: Well, that’s a hard one, I have learnt from my past mistakes, some of which I am not so proud of, however I try my best to practice what I preach, being positive, reliable, loyal and with open mindedness.

I believe in integrity and a healthy life balance, am forgiving and strive for excellence in things I do with a non judgmental attitude. I truly value relationships with people, service to community and to others, and in growing together. I strongly believe that what values we hold are those which we would be giving to our future generations.

To conclude, one of my greatest wish is to create something unique of lasting value for mankind.

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