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Dr. Pooja Kumar

Partner, Boston
Leads McKinsey’s knowledge development on ambulatory and academic medical-center operations and strategy, with expertise in health system operational transformations as well as growth and partnership strategies in markets experiencing payment reform


A physician by trade, Pooja focuses on health-system performance transformations as well as growth and partnership strategies in markets experiencing payment reform. She has worked across public- and private-sector institutions and for both not-for-profit and for-profit health systems, and she leads much of McKinsey’s academic-medical-center work.

Pooja also coleads the firm’s knowledge development on physician strategy, including improving access to practices and operational enhancement, physician behavior and attitudes on innovative payment models and risk, and alignment strategies between physician practices and systems. Recent engagements include a comprehensive cost- and revenue-side transformation for a nationally leading academic health system, improving patient access and medical-group performance in multiple markets, and multiple partnership strategies between academic medical centers and community systems.

Pooja has worked extensively in refugee health in Azerbaijan, the Congo-Zambia border, East Timor, and India.

Published work

The productivity imperative for healthcare delivery in the United States,” McKinsey & Company, February 2019

Clinically integrated networks: Can they create value?” McKinsey & Company, June 2016

Unlocking the potential of academic and community health system partnerships,” McKinsey & Company, February 2016 (registration required)

The access imperative,” McKinsey & Company, February 2015

Past experience

Partners HealthCare
Resident physician

International Rescue Committee
Refugee health fellow


Harvard Medical School, Harvard University

Magdalen College, University of Oxford
MS, economic and social history

Duke University
BA, health policy