Kathleen Akgün, MD, MS

  • Associate Professor Term
  • Director, Medical Intensive Care Unit, VA CT Healthcare System, West Haven

Kathleen Akgün, MD, MS, has been a member of the Pulmonary and Critical Care faculty since she completed her fellowship in 2008. Dr. Akgün is board-certified in pulmonary medicine, critical care medicine and hospice and palliative care medicine. Her outpatient practice is primarily at VA-Connecticut (West Haven and Newington campuses) where she specializes in general pulmonary diseases. She also supervises Yale PCCSM fellows in their VA continuity clinic. Her inpatient practice is at both VA and Yale-New Haven Hospital campuses where she primarily focuses on adult critical care, particularly for older persons with multiple chronic conditions who may be approaching the end of their lives.

Dr. Akgün earned her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University, Cook College with a major in the Biology. She received her MD from UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Camden Campus. Dr. Akgün completed her internship, residency in internal medicine and her pulmonary and critical care fellowship at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Yale University School of Medicine. Since joining the Yale PCCSM faculty, she completed a Masters of Science in Chronic Disease Epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health.

Dr. Akgün's clinical research has focused on outcomes for HIV-infected compared with uninfected patients following admission to the intensive care unit (ICU). She has received research support through her selection as a T. Franklin Williams Research Scholar through the Association of Specialty Physicians-CHEST Foundation of the American College of Chest Physicians Geriatric Development Research. She also received a VA-based VISN1 Early Career Development Award. Dr. Akgün's more recent research projects have been focusing on the use of clinical informatics tools to develop and validate tools to measure the frequency and quality of palliative care delivered during ICU admissions.

Research interests
Aging; Critical Care; Epidemiology; HIV; Intensive Care Units; Medical Oncology; Terminal Care; Veterans; Pulmonary Medicine; Immunocompromised Host; Palliative Medicine
Research summary

Dr. Akgun's research is focused on critical illness in immunocompromised patients. Specifically, she is working with the Veteran's Aging Cohort Study (VACS) to investigate the risk factors for and incidence of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions in HIV-infected patients. She received funding from the American Subspecialty Physicians-American College of Chest Physicians CHEST Foundation investigating ICU admissions in older HIV-infected patients and the impact of age on ICU admission diagnosis and outcome in this patient population. She was also funded by VISN from from the Department of Veteran Affairs to describe patient- and ICU-level risk factors for decrements in quality of life outcomes in ICU survivors. She is beginning to identify frequency and content of family meetings for patients admitted to the ICU using electronic health records.

Specialized Terms: Critical care, Pulmonary disease in HIV and other immunocompromised hosts, Aging, HIV and critical illness Palliative and end of life care in the intensive care unit (ICU), Resident debriefing and emotional distress during training

  • MS, Yale Graduate School of Public Health, 2014
  • MD, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, 2001
  • BS, Rutgers University, 1997