Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good

Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good

Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good

Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, a comparative sociologist and medical anthropologist, is Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine in Harvard Medical School’s Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. She also teaches in the Department of Sociology at Harvard University. Professor Good is a faculty affiliate of the Asia Center, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. Professor Good is a past member of the steering committee for the Harvard Initiative on Global Health, and is additionally a member of University standing committees for Middle Eastern Studies, Global Health, Islamic Studies, and Special Concentrations.

At HMS, she was Co-Director of the NIMH Training Program in Culture and Mental Health services, which brought post-doctoral and pre-doctoral trainees in medical and psychiatric anthropology to Harvard for over 24 years. She is a core faculty member of the International Mental Health Training Program, funded by the Fogarty International Center, which trains psychiatrists from China in mental health services research. Professor Good teaches and advises Harvard medical students as well as graduate and undergraduate students in the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences. She is a past chair of the University Milton Fund Committee.

Professor Good’s research broadly focuses on the culture and political economy of biomedicine, biotechnology, and bioethics, including clinical realities and moral dilemmas encountered by physicians in the United States and globally (Indonesia, East Africa). She has published extensively on clinical narratives, particularly in oncology and medicine, as well as on the meaning of professional competence and medical errors in medical training and practice. Her recent research in the United States, funded by the Russell Sage Foundation, asks whether culture counts in mental health services and medical care, and examines both the professional and clinical cultures of psychiatry and medicine as they shape institutional as well as individual clinicians’ responses to the cultural and socioeconomic diversity of patient populations. Professor Good was a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation in 2002-2003.

Professor Good has been a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Gadjah Mada in Indonesia where she was also a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 1996-1997. Since that time, she has collaborated with colleagues at UGM to establish a Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and Social Medicine. Recent collaborative projects include a comparative study of the impact of patient death on physicians and implications for quality of care at the end of life in the United States and in Indonesia, funded by grants from the Cummings Foundation and the American-Indonesian Educational Foundation. Additionally, she collaborates on studies of doctoring in crisis by examining physicians and psychiatrists’ responses to disasters such as the tsunami in Aceh and the earthquake in Yogyakarta.

In addition to her research on biomedicine, Professor Good has been collaborating with Professor Byron Good and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to develop mental health services in post-tsunami and post-conflict Aceh, Indonesia. They have conducted evaluations of levels of military violence and trauma suffered by civilian communities in rural Aceh, and are currently collaborating with IOM to provide outreach mental health care to 75 high-conflict affected villages.

In addition, Professor Good studies political subjectivity of contemporary Indonesians, including artists and physicians and has written together with her husband on the meanings of “amok” in recent Indonesian politics and daily life.

Professor Good was a Peace Corp Volunteer in Turkey and subsequently carried out research on religion and politics; she also studied social change, women’s health, and population and health policies in Iran. She was a scientific advisor for HIID on studies of ORT and child survival in Indonesia and Pakistan, and has had a long interest in women’s mental and physical health. She has written in collaboration with former students and East African fellows on studies of the impact of HIV/AIDS on physician resilience and burnout in Kenya and Tanzania, as well as on comparative projects studying the ethics of medical disclosure in Japan and Thailand.

Professor Good’s comparative interests have long focused on the relationship between individuals and the state and most recently on states in crisis and political subjectivity. She is editor of Postcolonial Disorders (M. Good, Hyde, Pinto, B. Good, University of California Press, 2008), and a contributor to Subjectivity: Ethnographic Investigations (Biehl, B. Good, Kleinman, 2007).

Professor Good is a former Co-Editor-in-Chief of Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry: An International Journal of Comparative Cross-Cultural Research (1992-2004), serving previously as Associate Editor since 1986. She has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, Social Science and Medicine, and Ethos, among others, including the Cambridge/ Rutgers series in Medical Anthropology (Cambridge University Press, 1994-2004; Rutgers University Press, 2005), and the Berghahn series in anthropology (Oxford). Professor Good was a member of the founding steering committee of the International Forum for Social Science in Health (1992-1996).

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