Balancing academics, research, and practice
The Masters Program in Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice is designed as a two-year, full-time program requiring a total of 60 semester hours, a summer fieldwork or field practicum requirement, and five professional development workshops. Students are also required to participate in one professional-development workshop per semester, and in one during the summer. They also attend the weekly Research-In-Progress meeting in the Department of Family Medicine, with clinician researchers.
Students can also opt to participate in the program on a half-time basis.
The overall goal of the Masters in Medical Anthropology and Cross-Cultural Practice is to provide interdisciplinary training in medical anthropology and cross-cultural clinical practice. The curriculum has been designed to provide students with a solid foundation in the theory and methods of medical anthropological and qualitative research, and in the student’s own area of concentration. Students also participate in anthropology-related skill and career-development workshops, and in the weekly Research-in-Progress Meeting in the Department of Family Medicine.
By the time students complete their program they should be able to demonstrate:
- Advanced knowledge of the history and breadth of medical anthropology theory and its application in research;
- An ability to design and propose an original fieldwork research project for ethics-committee review and funding agencies;
- Expertise in a particular area of research concentration;
- Effective public and professional communication of medical anthropology research through publication and presentations;
- The ability to collaborate with a group related to research focus, to develop applied dimensions;
- The ability to work across disciplinary boundaries.
We see the strength of this training when our students submit paper or poster proposals to national academic conferences, like those of the Society for Medical Anthropology and the Society for Applied Anthropology. To date, all of their proposals have been accepted, bringing their work to national attention.
The program prepares students for:
- Incorporation of anthropological and qualitative methods, skills, and knowledge into research, teaching, and clinical work
- Doctoral-level training and eventual academic positions
- A domestic focus on global health issues as these have entered the U.S. context as a result of globalization
- Consulting for healthcare agencies and companies
- Leadership roles in the health professions, in response to the growing need for personnel trained in cross-cultural perspectives, methods, and skills
All of our graduates have either gone on to doctoral-level training or to jobs directly related to their training. Some, for example, have been accepted to medical anthropology doctoral programs and medical schools. The others have found jobs in research project management, clinical research coordination, and healthcare consulting both in the United States and internationally,
The core curriculum for the proposed program incorporates state-of-the art, advanced training in:
- Theory and its application to medical anthropological research
- Research design and related proposal development for ethics-committee review
- Qualitative and anthropological research and fieldwork methods
- Proposal development for funding applications
- The student’s own area of research concentration
- Skill and career-development workshops
- Techniques for translating medical anthropological research into clinical interventions and services
- Strategies for effective public and professional communication of medical anthropology research through publication and presentations
The combination of a core curriculum and elective courses allows students to design a program tailored to their specific needs and career plans.
Original research experiences that result in a masters thesis (15,000 words) is required and emphasizes the integration of medical anthropology with the student’s own discipline or profession. This independent research must be advised by a three-member faculty committee, and presented at the end of the fourth semester to the student’s committee, and other faculty and students. The thesis, on a topic of the student’s choice, must demonstrate a solid research design; engagement in fieldwork and/or practicum with the collection of related data; the effective application of theory; and well written results.