Dr. Christy L. Cummings’ research and scholarly activities focus broadly on medical ethics, professionalism and humanism, and their intersection with education in pediatrics and neonatology. She is passionate about research that cultivates the moral, human aspect of medicine. Dr. Cummings is currently interested in the acquisition of ethical principles and knowledge, including interpersonal competence and professionalism, via role-play and simulation during training in neonatology. After conducting a national needs assessment on the state of ethics education for neonatal-perinatal fellows, she is in the process of developing a digitally innovative ethics and professionalism curriculum, as well as assessment tools, for this group of trainees by partnering with OPEN PediatricsTM and collaborators from across the country. Prior research has involved the ethics of parental counseling surrounding emerging technologies in pediatric medicine, using intestinal transplant for neonates with severe short bowel syndrome as an example, as well as the ethics of social media use in children’s hospitals between staff and patients and/or their parents. Recent work has appeared in Pediatrics, Hastings Center Report, J Perinatology, and Journal of Medical Ethics.
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 Instructor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and an attending neonatologist in the Division of Newborn Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. She is an Ethics Associate and permanent member of the Ethics Advisory Committee at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dr. Cummings completed additional training in effective physician-patient communication via Harvard’s PERCS program (Program to Enhance Relational and Communication Skills) through HMS’ Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice (IPEP) and is now a PERCS Faculty Facilitator in the NICU at BCH. She is also the Medical Director of the Compassionate Care Committee at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, while also serving on the hospital’s Ethics Committee there.