Dr. Pooja Lagisetty - Breaking Down Barriers

Pooja Lagisetty, MD, MSc, Assistant Professor in the Division of General Medicine and the Center for Clinical Management and Research at the Ann Arbor VA, is a primary care physician and teaching hospitalist who treats patients at the Ann Arbor VA. When she’s not caring for patients, she is conducting research focused on understanding how stigma and bias affect access to care for patients with chronic pain and substance use disorders. She also develops and evaluates interventions to improve safe opioid prescribing and integrate addiction treatment in general medical settings. Dr. Lagisetty is a member of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation and the recently established U-M Opioid Solutions.

Behind the Scenes with Dr. Pooja Lagisetty

Dr. Pooja Lagisetty

What is your research about?

My research focuses on how to best address stigma and barriers to care that are experienced by patients with addiction and chronic pain. My ultimate goals are to expand access to evidence-based treatments, develop multi-disciplinary models to integrate behavioral health and physical health treatment, and improve patient engagement. 

Two recent studies led by Dr. Lagisetty include:

Why does this area of research speak to you?

Pain and addiction are common. Almost everybody has either been impacted directly or had a close family or friend impacted by these two diseases. In addition, these diseases lead to significant amounts of morbidity and mortality, especially with the opioid epidemic. We have to find ways to better address these two conditions in a non-stigmatizing way to have an impact on treatment outcomes.

Why did you decide to go into the field of general medicine?

I love having the privilege to treat patients with a broad general medical lens. I can focus on my patients’ medical conditions, mental health comorbidities, and social determinants of health. I also have the opportunity to build long-term relationships and help patients as they transition in and out of acute and non-acute health care settings. Most importantly, I love teaching and learning from the residents and medical students on the wards and from my research collaborators.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Currently, I am really excited about the work we are doing to revamp the addiction curriculum at the Medical School and our work with the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to reduce treatment access barriers for patients on opioid therapy.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I have this incredible mix of teaching, doing research, and clinical time. I am constantly inspired by my research team and collaborators and I love designing and testing new ideas.  

Who has inspired you the most?

It is hard to pick one person. I am lucky to be surrounded by an incredible group of mentors and mentees who inspire me in different ways. 

More about Dr. Lagisetty...

You can find all her publications and read more about her research work at Michigan Research Experts.

You can keep up with what she's doing on twitter @PoojaLagisetty.