M. Barton Laws
Assistant Professor at Brown University
I have studied the patient experience of illness and health care for 15 years, for most of that time as Research Director for a community based AIDS Service Organization and adjunct faculty member at Tufts University School of Medicine, until entering academia full time in 2009. My degree from the Heller School at Brandeis is interdisciplinary, but my work emphasized sociology and was particularly influenced by my studies under the late Irving Kenneth Zola, a pioneer in the sociology of chronic illness and disability. As evaluator of numerous federally funded mental health and substance abuse treatment programs, clinical case management, and other services for people with HIV, I became immersed in the consumer’s experience and developed a commitment to clinical research based in the patient’s perspective. In my scholarly research, I have focused particularly on provider-patient communication, including the construction and measurement of patient-centeredness and patient agency in medical encounters, and factors related to effective clinical communication. The long-term goal of my research is to support the continuing transformation of medicine and health care more broadly into an institution built around patients’ needs – physical, psychological, and social; which meets those needs effectively; and in which patients have ultimate agency and authority.
- B.A. | Swarthmore College
- M.A. | Tufts University
- Ph.D. | Brandeis University