Research Overview

Dr. Christy L. Cummings’ research and scholarly activities focus broadly on medical ethics and humanism and their intersection with medical education in pediatrics and neonatology, as well as counseling and communication. She is passionate about research that cultivates the moral, human aspect of medicine. Recent work has involved the ethics of parental counseling surrounding emerging technologies in pediatric medicine. Dr. Cummings is currently researching the acquisition of ethical principles and knowledge during training, including interpersonal competence and professionalism, via simulation and enacted role-play.  She is developing a global curriculum in Ethics and Professionalism in Neonatology through OPENPediatricsTM. She is also conducting research on optimizing prenatal counseling for families facing extremely premature delivery.  Recent work has appeared in Pediatrics, Hastings Center Report, J Perinatology, J Pediatrics, AJOB and Journal of Medical Ethics. Dr. Cummings is the mother of 4 young children, and enjoys time with her family, running, swimming, reading and playing the ‘cello.

About Christy L. Cummings, MD

A graduate of Colby College, Dr. Cummings received her medical degree from the University of Rochester, and training in pediatrics, neonatology and ethics at Yale. She participated in Yale’s Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics Program in Bioethics (2011) and completed the Fellowship Program in Medical Ethics through the Division of Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School (2012-2013). Dr. Cummings is currently an Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and an attending neonatologist in the Division of Newborn Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  As an Ethics Associate, she is a member of the Ethics Advisory Committee at Boston Children’s Hospital, and is Director of Medical Ethics & Humanities for the Division of Newborn Medicine. Dr. Cummings also serves on the hospital’s Institutional Review Board.

Researcher Services

Researcher Areas

  • Ethics and Professionalism
  • Humanism
  • Medical Education Research

Research Departments

Research Divisions

PUBLICATIONS

Publications powered by Harvard Catalyst Profiles

  1. Arzuaga BH, Wraight CL, Cummings CL, Mao W, Miedema D, Brodsky DD. Do-Not-Resuscitate Orders in the Neonatal ICU: Experiences and Beliefs Among Staff. Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2018 Apr 16. View abstract
  2. Cummings CL. Hope, Fantasy, and Communication in the ICU: Translating Frameworks into Clinical Practice. Am J Bioeth. 2018 Jan; 18(1):21-23. View abstract
  3. Blumenthal-Barby JS, Loftis L, Cummings CL, Meadow W, Lemmon M, Ubel PA, McCullough L, Rao E, Lantos JD. Should Neonatologists Give Opinions Withdrawing Life-sustaining Treatment? Pediatrics. 2016 Dec; 138(6). View abstract
  4. Cummings CL. On Being Fired: When Patients or Their Parents Fire Their Physician. Hastings Cent Rep. 2016 09; 46(5):3-4. View abstract
  5. Arzuaga BH, Cummings CL. Practices and education surrounding anticipated periviable deliveries among neonatal-perinatal medicine and maternal-fetal medicine fellowship programs. J Perinatol. 2016 Sep; 36(9):699-703. View abstract
  6. Cummings CL. Teaching and assessing ethics in the newborn ICU. Semin Perinatol. 2016 06; 40(4):261-9. View abstract
  7. Langer T, Cummings CL, Meyer EC. When worlds intersect: practical and ethical challenges when caring for international patients in the NICU. J Perinatol. 2015 Dec; 35(12):982-4. View abstract
  8. Cummings CL, Geis GM, Kesselheim JC, Sayeed S. Ethics and professionalism education during neonatal-perinatal fellowship training in the United States. J Perinatol. 2015 Oct; 35(10):875-9. View abstract
  9. Cummings CL, Diefenbach KA, Mercurio MR. Counselling variation among physicians regarding intestinal transplant for short bowel syndrome. J Med Ethics. 2014 Oct; 40(10):665-70. View abstract
  10. Cummings CL. Patient and trainee: learning when to step in. Hastings Cent Rep. 2013 Jul-Aug; 43(4):5-6. View abstract
  11. Cummings CL. Communication in the era of COWs: technology and the physician-patient-parent relationship. Pediatrics. 2013 Mar; 131(3):401-3. View abstract
  12. Cummings CL, Mercurio MR. Ethics of emerging technologies and their transition to accepted practice: intestinal transplant for short bowel syndrome. J Perinatol. 2012 Oct; 32(10):752-6. View abstract
  13. Cummings CL. Expectations. Hastings Cent Rep. 2012 Mar-Apr; 42(2):8-9. View abstract
  14. Gozzo YF, Cummings CL, Chapman RL, Bizzarro MJ, Mercurio MR. Who is performing medical procedures in the neonatal intensive care unit? J Perinatol. 2011 Mar; 31(3):206-11. View abstract
  15. Cummings CL, Mercurio MR. Ethics for the pediatrician: autonomy, beneficence, and rights. Pediatr Rev. 2010 Jun; 31(6):252-5. View abstract