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Physician-in-Chief, Department of Medicine, Tufts Medical Center; Chair and Sheldon M. Wolff Professor, Department of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine; American Cancer Society - Harry and Elsa Jiler Clinical Research Professor
Department + Services
Medicine, Internal Medicine and Adult Primary Care; Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Clinical Focus Areas
Adult primary care, women's health, breast cancer screening
Seeing Patients In
Tufts Medical Center Primary Care — Boston
Biewend Building, 6A
260 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02111
Phone #: 617-636-5400
Fax #: 617-636-9712
2020, "Top Doctor," Boston Magazine
2017, "Top Doctor," Boston Magazine
View all of Dr. Freund's publications on PubMed.
Karen M. Freund, MD, MPH is Physician-in-Chief for the Department of Medicine and the Sheldon M. Wolff Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. She is Associate Director for Research Collaborations within the Tufts Clinical and Translation Science Institute (CTSI), and teaches in the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences.
Dr. Freund received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, her MD from Stanford University School of Medicine and her MPH for Boston University School of Public Health. She is double boarded in Internal Medicine (residency at Cambridge Health Alliance) and Preventive Medicine (residency at Boston Medical Center) and completed a general medicine fellowship at Boston University.
Dr. Freund joined the Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts Medical Center in 2012. Prior to this, she was Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine and Public Health, Director of the Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Research Center, and Chief of the Women’s Health Unit at Boston Medical Center. She served as PI of the Boston University BIRCWH (Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health) to mentor the next generation of clinical investigators in women’s health research.
Dr. Freund’s research has focused on addressing the social determinants of health which influence the receipt of health care services, which in turn lead to disparities in mortality. She has addressed a broad number of issues in the screening, diagnosis and treatment phases of health care. This has included looking at the role of patient beliefs and behaviors, physician attitudes and decision making, and the role of systems barriers, especially navigating the increasing complex health care system. Breast cancer has been a major focus, but the research has also addressed cervical and colon cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, exercise, depression, eating disorders and domestic violence.
Her current research is focused on systems interventions to reduce health disparities. Her team is one of 9 funded sites on the NCI Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities Patient Navigation Research Program (U01 CA116892). This is the largest controlled trial of the benefits of care coordination and patient navigation for women and men with cancer or abnormal cancer screening tests. She has funding in comparative effectiveness research to address the impact of Massachusetts Health Insurance Reform on health disparities (RC1 MD004582-0110).
Her other major academic interest is in faculty development, especially the issues faced by women and underrepresented minority faculty. Along with Dr. Phyllis Carr, she is PI of the Longitudinal Follow-up to the National Faculty Survey (R01 GM-09-012), to look at predictors of academic success among junior faculty. She leads the CTSI institutional faculty development grants to develop programs to successfully mentor the next generation of clinical and translational investigators.