Bayla Ostrach, PhD

Assistant Professor, Family Medicine

Bayla Ostrach
85 E. Newton St Fuller Building


Bayla Ostrach, MA, PhD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, is a member of the core faculty and coordinator of the Service Learning Internship for the Master’s of Science program in Medical Anthropology & Cross-Cultural Practice. An Applied Medical Anthropologist by training who conducts research designed to result in changes in policy and practice, Dr. Ostrach is a Fellow of the Society of Family Planning and an invited member of the Scholars Strategy Network. She holds memberships in the American Anthropological Association and North American Catalan Society.

Dr. Ostrach’s research focuses on reproductive justice, publicly funded health systems, the ways that structural violence and marginalization contribute to disease interactions known as syndemics (Singer 2009), and the role of intersectional stigma and other forms of injustice in producing or exacerbating health inequality. She began working directly in the field of reproductive health and abortion care in 1999, and has since worked with and volunteered at multiple clinics in Oregon, Connecticut, and Catalunya.

Dr. Ostrach conducts ongoing fieldwork primarily in Catalunya. Her work focuses on publicly funded reproductive health care and popular engagement with the movement for Catalan independence, as it intersects with commitment to protecting health care for immigrants. She also works with patients and staff of health care facilities in the United States that provide abortion and other reproductive health services.

With Shir Lerman and Merrill Singer, she is the co-editor of a forthcoming volume on stigma-linked syndemics. She has co-authored multiple publications on syndemics, and has single-authored and co-authored publications on reproductive health care access and policy. Her forthcoming book, tentatively titled, Health Policy in (a) Crisis: Access to Publicly Funded Abortion in the Context of Austerity, is under contract with Routledge Press.

Other Positions

  • Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students), Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences


  • University of Connecticut, PhD
  • Oregon State University, MA
  • University of Oregon, BA

Classes Taught

  • GMSMA691


  • Published on 5/5/2020

    Hughes P, Ostrach B. Trends in exposure to over-reach: a comment on the methodology of Reynolds et al. 2019. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2020 May 05; 1. PMID: 32368941.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 2/9/2020

    Singer M, Bulled N, Ostrach B. Whither syndemics?: Trends in syndemics research, a review 2015-2019. Glob Public Health. 2020 Feb 09; 1-13. PMID: 32037962.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 9/17/2019

    Zaller N, Ostrach B. HCV, injection drug use, and the importance of harm reduction in Kenya. Lancet Infect Dis. 2019 Nov; 19(11):1158-1159. PMID: 31540842.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 7/1/2019

    Ostrach B, Leiner C. "I didn't want to be on Suboxone at first…" - Ambivalence in Perinatal Substance Use Treatment. J Addict Med. 2019 Jul/Aug; 13(4):264-271. PMID: 30585875.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/4/2019

    Maju M, Sharma A, Beeram A, Ostrach B. A colonial legacy of HIV/AIDS, NTD, and STI super-syndemics: Eugenicist foreign aid and intertwined health burdens in Nigeria. Glob Public Health. 2019 09; 14(9):1221-1240. PMID: 30829113.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 5/1/2018

    Ramage M, Ostrach B, Fagan B, Coulson CC. Stabilizing the Mother-Infant Dyad for Better Outcomes from OB to FM: Caring for Patients with Perinatal Opioid Use Disorder through the 4th Trimester. N C Med J. 2018 May-Jun; 79(3):164-165. PMID: 29735619.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 3/4/2017

    Singer M, Bulled N, Ostrach B, Mendenhall E. Syndemics and the biosocial conception of health. Lancet. 2017 03 04; 389(10072):941-950. PMID: 28271845.

    Read at: PubMed
  • Published on 4/16/2016

    Ostrach, Bayla. This Tangled Web of Reproductive Morbidity Risk: Abortion Stigma, Safety and Legality. Frontiers in Women's Health. 2016; 1(2):online.

    Read at: Custom
  • Published on 3/1/2016

    Ostrach B., Houston A., Singer M. . Insularity & Impenetrability – What Happens to Health Funding and Policy When Voters Can’t Reach Lawmakers. Society of Medical Anthropology Newsletter, Second Opinions. 2016; 4(1):online.

  • Published on 6/24/2015

    Ostrach B, Houston A, Singer M. Syndemics & Legislative Outreach: An Experiment in Educating Congress about the Health Effects of War. Anthropology News. 2015; 56(6):e1-e12..

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