Photo by Ashley LaBonde, Wide Eyed Studios

 Photo by Ashley LaBonde, Wide Eyed Studios

I am an Assistant Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine (Infectious Diseases) at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and a Senior Scholar in the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics. I completed my doctoral training in sociology at Penn and a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Infectious Diseases and the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Broadly, my research interests include medical sociology, work and organizations, patient safety, quality improvement and implementation science. I aim to understand how the social organization of medical work influences the uptake of standards, guidelines and best practices. Most of my research utilizes qualitative methodology (particularly ethnography) to uncover the mediating conditions that influence whether a practice will be adopted consistently or not. I also enjoy collaborating with clinician-scientists and health policy researchers. I strongly believe that the theories and methodological tools of sociology can be brought to bear fruitfully onto better understanding problems of real-world significance to the health of populations.

To date I have examined various case studies of efforts to improve health care quality and patient safety in the United States, including resident duty hour restrictions and infection prevention practices. My current research focuses on the nonclinical factors that shape antibiotic prescribing and the social factors that influence success in antibiotic stewardship. I have received funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Cancer Institute (NCI), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences Graduate Division. My research has appeared in journals such as Social Science and Medicine, The Milbank Quarterly, JAMA Pediatrics and Journal of Health and Social Behavior.