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Lokvani Talks To Dr. Saraswathi Muppana

Ranjani Saigal

Dr. Saraswathi Muppana is American Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary, Critical care medicine, Sleep medicine and Obesity medicine and runs multi specialty practice that is affiliated with  Beth Israel Deaconess - Lahey Hospital Milton, Plymouth and Tufts Medical Center.

She is the President of the Indian Medical Association of New England (IMANE) . She is also President to be June 2019, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin – Sleep (AAPIOS).

She serves on the Medical executive committee at Beth Israel Deaconess Lahey Hospital Milton. She recently was the finalist for the India New England Woman of the Year. 
Why did you choose to focus on pulmonary care? 

From a young age I was fascinated with breath. My father took me to Pranayama classes and I used to do those exercises as a child.  After my medical training at  Kilpauk Medical College in Chennai, I decided to pursue a career in this field. 

As a pulmonary care doctor, what do you think about Pranayama and other breathing exercises? 

I am a big proponent of Ayurved, Pranayama and other ancient techniques. I talk with my patients about home remedies and other ideas taken from Ayurved. I strongly recommend Pranayama to everyone.  Breathing exercises, Neti and other techniques can have a positive impact. 

Can you tell us a little about Obesity medicine? 

There are many reasons why people are obese.  Obesity medicine is about diagnosing the cause of obesity and working with the patient to treat it. For some it is an addiction to food and by understanding the addiction we can refer changes. For others it may be a medical condition. Obesity leads to many different issues and should be handled. 

What motivated to join IMANE and become its President ? 

Right from the early years of my time in medical school I have felt it is important to give back. I have worked with several NGOs.  When the opportunity at IMANE came, I was honored to accept the position for it is a great platform to give back to the community. It has been a delightful experience to be part of this organization. 

As President, how do you hope to lead IMANE? 

In addition to leading and organizing the annual events that includes the IMANE gala, I really would like to try and increase the opportunity for IMANE members to give back to the community.  So many doctors have a strong community service gene in them. I would like to harness that energy.  

Within the Indian community, I am looking into having doctors speak at different temples and other venues to present information that is specific to South Asian health.  I have some ideas as well that I working on presenting to the executive committee. 

Do you have any plans to support local communities? 

Yes. I really would like to work to solve the opioid crisis. Milton, the town I live in an affluent neighborhood where one would normally not expect to have any opioid issues. But it is seen even here. I would like to provide awareness at the school level and create resources for parents, teachers and others who may encounter such a need for their children or others. 

You are a busy woman. How do you address the work life balance issue? 

Balance is an issue for all women, whether you work outside the home or not.  All caregiving, for children, parents and in-laws always falls on the women.  Someone told me the trick is to always keep an eye on the juggling balls and make sure none falls. I am trying. 

What would say your passion in life is? 

 My 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. 

Thank you so much for your time.

Thank you. 

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