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Sucheta J. Doshi, M.D., M.P.H.

Dr. Sucheta  J. Doshi, M.D., MPH has accomplished a great amount in improving health care for Veterans and employees within her three years at VA Boston Healthcare System.

Dr. Doshi came to the VA after working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for three years in the area of Global Health and Vaccination Policy.  She worked as a full-time primary care float physician in 2008, working at several primay care sites including Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Brockton and the Worcester Clinic.

 During her first year, she sat on the Infection Control Committee and the Flu Task Force. The H1N1 influenza outbreak occurred at this time, and she was asked to sit in on the H1N1 task force where she helped coordinate the primary care response.

“We actually didn’t have any confirmed employee cases here, so I think something I’m really proud of is the way we rolled out our vaccination response to the H1N1 crisis,” Doshi said.
In her role of Medical Director for Occupational Health, Dr. Doshi has been looking at the vaccination recommendations for medical center employees.  VA requires employees to have a PPD, and to be protected against tuberculosis. According to Dr. Doshi, health-care workers can be at risk for exposure to measles, especially in relation to the recent outbreak in the U.S.

Dr. Doshi is working with Infection Control to create a measles vaccination policy for employees and hopes to also include protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough) epidemics occur every 3 to 5 years in the U.S. In 2010, 27,550 cases of pertussis were reported, according to the Center of Disease Control. Recommendations have been changed to suggest that everyone get one dose of the tetanus, diptheria and acellular pertussis vaccine.
A year after becoming Medical Director for Occupational health, Dr. Doshi became a full-time physician in the Women’s Health Program.

As a full-time physician there, Dr. Doshi has noted that vaccination rates amongst women Veterans are historically low. She continues to look into ways to encourage women Veterans to get vaccinated.

In conjunction with this is the VA’s national goal to encourage routine HIV testing.

“They started this initiative in primary care a year ago, with a grant actually. And that’s where we got a clinical reminder to see how that may improve routine HIV testing in primary care patients, but we noticed that it wasn’t helping to increase rates among women,” Dr. Doshi said.

Because VA received low testing rates in women, VA Central Office released a grant aimed at improving routine HIV testing amongst women Veterans. The VA Boston Women’s Health Program applied for the grant and received it.

With the grant, Dr. Doshi hopes to create an interactive educational tool where patients can see why routine HIV testing is important and make a decision on their own using a decision-making tool.

Dr. Doshi realizes how important a continuum of support for patients can be and is working to educate physicians and nurses as well on the importance of routine HIV testing.

Within the last three years, Dr. Doshi has taken on many tasks and expresses gratitude to VA Boston for giving her the opportunity to do so.

“I really enjoy working at the VA. I think over the last three years I’ve been given an opportunity to work on my interests in vaccines, my interests in women’s health, and my interest in helping to promote healthy employees to promote healthy veterans," Dr. Doshi said.

“I think it’s really a great place to be able to explore all of your interests, and there’s been a lot of support which is really wonderful."

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