The Department of Social Medicine is an academic unit within the School of Medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill committed to the promotion and provision of multidisciplinary education, leadership, service, research, and scholarship at the intersection of medicine and society. This includes focus on the social conditions and characteristics of patients and populations; causes of illness and contexts of medical care; the ethical and social contexts of biomedical clinical and research professionals and institutions; and questions of allocation, organization and financing of health resources including health law and policy.

Faculty from clinical medicine, public health, the social sciences, and the humanities collaborate to teach core curriculum to medical students, develop innovative research and scholarly endeavors, and connect the School of Medicine with the wider University campus. Through our teaching, research, and service we address social dimensions of health and health care in North Carolina and around the globe.

Three affiliated interdisciplinary research centers deepen and expand the Department’s focus in bioethics, health disparities, and ethical, legal, and social implications of genomics: The Center for Bioethics, the Center for Health Equity Research, and the Center for Genomics and Society. Social Medicine is a bridge between medicine and public health, public policy, law, the arts and humanities, social sciences disciplines, and communities across the state.

Chair’s Welcome

Buchbinder article analyzes debate over aid-in-dying laws

Posted 2 months ago

   Medical aid-in-dying laws are on the rise in the U.S., but patients still face substantial barriers to access, according to      an analysis by Mara Buchbinder, PhD. Eight U.S. jurisdictions (seven states plus the District of Columbia) now allow physicians to prescribe a lethal dose of medication to a mentally competent, terminally ill … Continued

Lyerly and Jaffe co-author JAMA Viewpoint on Zika and Guidelines for Testing Pregnant Women

Posted 8 months ago

Annie Lyerly, Professor of Social Medicine and Associate Director of the UNC Center for Bioethics, and Elana Jaffe, a research project manager in Social Medicine, co-authored, along with Ilona Goldfarb, from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Massachusetts General Hospital. A JAMA Viewpoint article analyzing new CDC guidelines for testing pregnant women for the Zika virus.

Repeal, Replace, Repair, Retreat — Republicans’ Health Care Quagmire

Posted 11 months ago

Jon Oberlander. New England Journal of Medicine. For 7 years, Republicans vowed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). With Donald Trump in the White House and Republican majorities in Congress, the GOP was poised to make good on that pledge. Yet less than 7 months into the Trump administration, the GOP’s crusade … Continued

Mara Buchbinder Receives Hettleman Award

Posted 11 months ago

Dr. Mara Buchbinder, Associate Professor of Social Medicine and Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology, has been selected to receive a 2017 Ruth and Philip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. The Hettleman award is one of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s most prestigious acknowledgments of faculty excellence. Dr. Buchbinder was recognized by … Continued

Annie Lyerly Co-Authors Guidance on Pregnant Women & Zika Vaccine Research

Posted 1 year ago

Dr. Annie Lyerly, Professor of Social Medicine and Associate Director of the UNC Center for Bioethics, co-led development of new guidance from The Ethics Working Group on ZIKV Research & Pregnancy on how to ensure that the needs of pregnant women and their offspring are adequately included and addressed in the race towards an efficacious vaccine against the … Continued

Jeffrey Sonis Elected to AOA Honor Society

Posted 1 year ago

Dr. Jeffrey Sonis, associate professor of Social Medicine, has been elected to the UNC School of Medicine chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha, a national honor medical society. Dr. Sonis was nominated and elected to AOA by students in recognition of his outstanding contributions to teaching, particularly around issues of ethics, human rights, and public health. … Continued

Giselle Corbie-Smith Elected President of SGIM

Posted 1 year ago

Dr. Giselle Corbie Smith, Professor of Social Medicine and Medicine, and Director of the Center for Health Equity Research, has been elected to a three-year term as president of the Society of General Internal Medicine (SGIM).

The Mirage of Reform: Republicans’ Struggle to Dismantle Obamacare

Posted 1 year ago

Jon Oberlander. New England Journal of Medicine. Republicans have vowed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ever since its enactment. But President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans are discovering what Democrats learned long ago: health care reform is politically treacherous. Can the GOP dismantle Obamacare?

Gail Henderson Wins Outstanding Mentor Award

Posted 2 years ago

The UNC Office of Postdoctoral Affairs has announced that Gail Henderson is a recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Mentor Award in recognition of her exceptional mentoring of post-doctoral scholars. Dr. Henderson is a Professor of Social Medicine and leads the Center for Genomics & Society. Congratulations Gail!

Social Medicine Welcomes Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein to the Faculty

Posted 2 years ago

Social Medicine is thrilled to announce that Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein has joined the Department as an assistant professor. She will also serve as a core faculty member in the UNC Center for Health Equity Research. Lauren holds a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University and comes to Chapel Hill following post-doctoral work at Brown. Her research focuses on incarceration, health, and … Continued

Jean Cadigan Featured on PBS

Posted 2 years ago

Jean Cadigan is featured in a PBS NewsHour story on the scientific promise and ethical issues associated with biobanking in Kannapolis.

Barry Saunders Wins Teaching Excellence Award

Posted 2 years ago

Barry Saunders is the 2016 winner of the Clinical Teaching Excellence Award for Basic Science from the UNC School of Medicine Academy of Educators. This award recognizes faculty who have made significant contributions to the School of Medicine curriculum in the preclinical years. Congratulations Barry!

Reframing Conscientious Care: Providing Abortion Care When Law and Conscience Collide

Posted 2 years ago

Mara Buchbinder and Annie Lyerly. Hastings Center Report. “It’s almost like putting salt in a wound, for this person who’s already made a very difficult decision,” suggested Meghan Patterson (an alias), a licensed obstetrician-gynecologist whom we interviewed in our qualitative study of the experiences of North Carolina abortion providers practicing under the state’s Woman’s Right to Know … Continued

Dr. Erin Malloy selected to direct the Center for Faculty Excellence

Posted 2 years ago

The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Erin Malloy to be the fourth Director of the Center for Faculty Excellence. Dr. Malloy is a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Social Medicine with extensive leadership experience in the clinical and educational arenas.

Giselle Corbie-Smith Selected as 2016 Recipient of the Hebert W. Nickens Award by the Society of General Internal Medicine

Posted 2 years ago

The Society of General Internal Medicine’s Nickens Award honors an individual who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to cultural diversity on medicine or to improving minority health. The selection committee noted the impact of Dr. Corbie Smith’s community-based participatory research and her many contributions to promoting cultural diversity in medicine and addressing health disparities. Congratulations Giselle!

Raul Necochea Named Simmons Scholar

Posted 2 years ago

The Simmons Scholars Career Development Program – a UNC School of Medicine initiative to support the work and professional development of minority faculty members – recently welcomed pediatrician Keisha Gibson, MD, MPH, and Raul Necochea, PhD.

Susan E. Lederer is visiting Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Professor

Posted 2 years ago

The UNC Center for Bioethics and the Department of Social Medicine are hosting Dr. Susan E. Lederer this 2016 spring semester as the 2016 Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Professor at UNC and Duke University. Susan E. Lederer is the Robert Turell Professor of the History of Medicine and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin School of … Continued

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