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Dr. Ruthbeth Finerman
  Dr. Ruthbeth Finerman  
  Professor and Department Chair  
  316 Manning Hall  
             (901) 678-3334  
  Curriculum Vitae  

Expertise and Interests

Applied medical anthropology, family health and caregiving, reproductive
health and childbirth; ethnomedicine and ethnobotany; mental health;
international health services delivery, health program evaluation, health
disparities and barriers to care among US immigrant, refugee, and economically
disadvantaged populations; indigenous and peasant populations in South and
Central America.


Dr. Finerman received her PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles. She specializes in research and teaching in applied medical anthropology, focusing on family health and caregiving, international health services delivery, reproductive health and childbirth, ethnomedicine and ethnobotany, mental health, and program evaluation to improve healthcare quality and access for underserved populations. She was a Fulbright Scholar, and has received the University of Memphis Outstanding Young Researcher Award, the University of Memphis Distinguished Teaching Award, the College of Arts and Science Excellence in Teaching Award, the Thomas Briggs Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award, and Dunavant Professorship.


Research Projects

Dr. Finerman has 30 years of fieldwork experience among indigenous and peasant populations in South and Central America, including a longitudinal study of medical change and medicinal plant use in Andean Ecuador, and an evaluation of child survival programs in Guatemala. She has served as consultant or technical advisor on health projects for the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Health Organization. Research in Memphis includes enhanced health services delivery to immigrant and refugee groups, and populations facing health disparities. She collaborates with local agencies such as the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department, Methodist Healthcare, and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on infant mortality prevention, infection control, barriers to health services among Latino immigrants and economically disadvantaged populations, and cultural competency training for local health providers. 

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Selected Publications

Submitted, In Review    K. Johnson, M. Gonz├ílez, M. Melgar, F. Antillon-Klussman, R. Finerman, M. Caniza. Understanding Hand Hygiene Behavior in a Pediatric Oncology Unit in a Low Middle Income Country: A Focus Group Approach. Submitted: Journal of Infectious Disease. 

In Press for 2015 Finerman, R., A. Sanders, and L. Sagrestano. Pregnancy and Birth as a Medical Crisis. In: The Wrong Prescription for Women: How Medicine and Media Create a "Need" for Treatments, Drugs, and Surgery, M.C. McHugh and J.C. Chrisler, Eds. ISBN: 978-1-4408-3176-8 ABC/CLIO.

2014 Finerman, R. God's Laboratory: Assisted Reproduction in the Andes by Elizabeth F. S. Roberts. American Anthropologist 116(4):889-890, 2014

In Press, Accepted for 2014   Finerman, Ruthbeth. Family and Physical Health. The Encyclopedia of Health, Illness, Behavior, and Society.  William Cockerham, Robert Dingwall, and Stella Wuah, Editors. Wiley-Blackwell.

2013    Sagrestano, L., J. Clay, and R. Finerman. Transportation vulnerability as a barrier to service utilization for HIV-positive individuals.  AIDS Care: Psychological and Socio-medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV, DOI: 10.1080/09540121.2013.819403.

Selected Awards


Additional Resources

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Department of Anthropology | 316 Manning Hall | Memphis, TN | 38152-3530 | Phone: 901-678-2080 | Fax: 901-678-2069
Last Updated: 1/23/15