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Social Medicine

Making a local and global impact

The Department of Social Medicine is an interdisciplinary department comprised of social scientists, humanities scholars and physicians. We study the dynamic interplay of people, culture, the environment and their impact on health care delivery and health outcomes. Our teaching, research and service inform medical students, health professionals and the public about factors affecting clinical decision making, the social responsibilities of health care providers, the social determinants of health and illness, and health policy and politics.


Chair, Nagesh Rao 

Email: rao@ohio.edu

Phone: 740.593.2409


Administrative Specialist, Cassie Tritipo 

Email: tritipo@ohio.edu

Phone: 740.590.4694

Our Expertise

Our department has active research and teaching expertise in the following areas:

  • Biostatistics
  • Clinical prevention and population health 
  • Cultural competence and health care
  • Epidemiology of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
  • Evidence-based medicine
  • Gerontology and geriatrics
  • Global warming, climate change and health
  • Health in Appalachia
  • Health policy
  • International health and medicine
  • Maternal and child health
  • Medical decision making
  • Medical ethics
  • Reproductive health
  • Stress, nutrition and aging
  • Sustainability and urban environments

Our Disciplines

Our faculty's disciplines include:

  • Biological anthropology
  • Biostatistics
  • Epidemiology
  • Experimental psychology
  • Family studies
  • Health psychology
  • History of medicine
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Pediatrics
  • Social psychology

Global Health Initiative

Person on speaking about the Global Health initiative

Students, faculty and staff experience impactful research, education and outreach activities abroad and in immigrant communities in the U.S. to truly understand global health issues and increase multicultural awareness.

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Our Faculty

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Discover the diverse research topics and current projects conducted by our faculty.

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Social Medicine

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From our mission to teaching topics to employment opportunities, you’ll find it all here.

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Policy course adapted to extend student learning during pandemic

Dan Skinner, Ph.D., had decided to transform his Health Care Management Clerkship course from in-person to distance learning even before the COVID-19 outbreak happened. But having the course already available to students via their laptops seemed a bit of luck when the virus hit.

Public forum series based on Heritage College faculty book wins national prize

A public forum series about Ohio’s opioid crisis, based on a book edited by two faculty at the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, has won a national award for the state humanities council that helped fund it.

Heritage College faculty member to co-lead new hospital research project

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine faculty member Berkeley Franz, Ph.D., is one of two principal investigators on a new grant-funded research project that will examine how much community health benefit for-profit hospitals provide to the areas in which they’re located.


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