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Mary Alice Scott

Mary Alice  Scott
Associate Professor
Regular Faculty

Contact Info
Breland 312

Expertise: Medical Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology


Dr. Scott is a medical anthropologist whose research interests include critical ethnographic analysis of health, health care, and health policy in the United States, with particular focus on the U.S.-Mexico border region. She is also interested in participatory methodologies and action-oriented research. You can view her Academia page here.

Current Research

My current research is an ethnographic study of teaching and learning medicine in a family medicine residency program. Drawing on critical and applied medical anthropology, I work with an interdisciplinary team of students and faculty to both describe and critique the “culture of medicine” in this particular location and to develop strategies to better focus training on upstream medicine and to address issues related to physician depression, burn-out, and suicide. I am also involved as an applied anthropologist in local organizations that address health inequities and health system reform.
My previous research was conducted in a sugar cane producing community in southern Veracruz, Mexico. That work focused on women whose family members have traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border and into the United States seeking work. I examined the intensification of women’s paid labor and unpaid reproductive labor, the production of illegal deportable subjects at the U.S.-Mexico border, and the neoliberalization of the public health sector in Mexico. I used ethnography and case studies to explore the multiple contexts in which poor, rural, Mexican women experience health and illness.