julia szymczak headshot

Philadelphia, PA

Phone: 215-898-1793
Email: jszymcza@pennmedicine.upenn.edu
Research Area(s): Clinician Behavior

Julia Szymczak, PhD

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology, Perelman School of Medicine


Dr. Szymczak is a medical sociologist interested in understanding how the social organization of medical work shapes the implementation of efforts to improve the safety, quality, and cost-effectiveness of healthcare. Most of her work utilizes qualitative methodology (particularly ethnography and in-depth interviewing) to uncover the social, cultural, and contextual factors that shape how healthcare workers and patients behave in complex clinical settings. She has examined various case studies of efforts to improve healthcare quality and patient safety including resident duty hour restrictions and healthcare associated infection prevention. Her current research focuses on understanding of the social determinants of antibiotic prescribing and the socio-behavioral factors that shape clinician acceptance of antibiotic stewardship interventions.  She strongly believes the theories and methodological tools of sociology can be brought to bear fruitfully on understanding complex challenges in healthcare delivery.