About the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences

Our mission is to solve problems that create barriers to healthy life by proposing effective interventions at the intersections of health, humanity, and society.

Our faculty and students examine the historical, ethical, racial, cultural, and political conditions that impact the promises of biomedical research and health care equity. Attentive to the demands of social justice and ecosystem symbiosis, we are training the next generations of scholars, clinicians, and researchers who will work in clinical, policy, academic, and research institutions, to guide the transformation of health care for all.

The department is positioned to recognize and foster collaboration among faculty across UCSF who are engaged in research and teaching in the medical / health humanities (including history, narrative medicine, and health journalism) and social sciences (including anthropology, health policy, health systems research, bioethics, and community-based ethnography of health care). Through joint appointments and affiliations, we aim to coordinate research in these areas. We hope to promote the results and publications through our scholarship repository, and to facilitate public events, seminars, and teaching where opportunity arises.

As the department grows, we look forward to working alongside our colleagues in related institutes, centers, and departments to strengthen UCSF’s excellence in delivering humanitarian care, offering creative solutions to health care problems, and providing insightful analyses of social challenges that we must overcome to foster UCSF’s diversity, equity, and inclusion.

I would like to thank everyone who helped craft our department vision over the past two years, especially Vice-Provost Dan Lowenstein and Dean Talmadge King, as well as our primary and affiliated faculty, our students, and our campus colleagues.

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