I love teaching and mentorship. In my mind, what links my seemingly disparate careers in medicine and anthropology is the centrality and importance of teaching. For me, learning to be an educator is one of the most vital components of being a clinician-scholar: it allows us to both disseminate and produce new knowledge, it provides a pipeline of future scholars, and it is an avenue for justice and equity in research and education. My teaching philosophy draws from my background and training as a future clinician/anthropologist and enables students at several levels (undergraduate, graduate, and medical school) to develop the tools they need to understand complex issues at the intersection of medicine and society.
At the undergraduate level, I have served as a teaching assistant for both large survey courses and small upper-division seminars. I’ve also designed courses in medical anthropology at multiple universities. My undergraduate courses emphasize growth and maturation over initial competence, rewarding students for their efforts to become more effective thinkers and writers through low-stakes assignments early in the semester that build confidence and allow learners to acclimate to the challenges of thinking anthropologically. Through in-class exercises like debates and media critiques, we work together as a class to collectively produce knowledge that draws upon their personal experiences of health and healing and contextualizes their narratives within the communities in which they live. Further, learners understand the complexities of caregiving across settings, in particular the unintended consequences of these practices. On my journey to becoming an educator, I’ve also taken courses in teaching & pedagogy at the college level.
I developed a similar approach at the medical school level, where I have been involved in course design, implementation, and evaluation for a required course in the medical social sciences. For two years, I served as the Course Liaison for the School of Medicine’s introductory social medicine course, Doctoring IA: Introduction to Medicine and Society. As co-director of the course, I selected weekly lecturers and course readings that could appeal to 165 students with varying levels of exposure and interest in the medical humanities and social sciences, social medicine, and public health. Through a certificate in medical education at Penn, I am strengthening my skills as a clinical educator, from the classroom to the wards.
For copies of my syllabi, please e-mail me.