Dr. Kathleen Rice joins the McGill Department of Family Medicine


Published: 12Dec2018

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Kathleen Rice will join the Department of Family Medicine as a full-time Assistant Professor starting January 2019. She comes to us as a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded Postdoctoral Fellow from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health and Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto.

Dr. Rice earned a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology from Concordia University.

She has held appointments at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St Michael’s Hospital, the Health Sciences Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital, and in the Social Aspects of HIV Unit of the Human Sciences Research Council in Cape Town, South Africa.

In 2011, Dr. Rice received a Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, leading to the publication of Purity, Propriety and Power: Negotiating Lobola and Virginity Testing as Sites of Gendered and Generational Power among Xhosa South Africans. Additionally, she received an Engaged Anthropology Grant, which helped support her video project called In My Youth We Cared about Each Other: An Oral History Film of Xhosa Elders, her 2015 video project.

Dr. Rice has recently been awarded a Hunt Fellowship from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research to support the completion of her first book, which is provisionally titled Rights and Responsibilities: Gender, Personhood, and the Crisis of Meaning in Rural South Africa. Her book proposal is currently in review with Duke University Press.

Her expertise spans the areas of social theories of power and inequity and in ethnography. Her research interests include northern and rural health, gender, human rights, chronic pain and multimorbidity, as well as medical education.

“I have a longstanding interest in the hidden curriculum of medical education - that is, the knowledge that trainees absorb over the course of their training and mentorship, but that is not explicitly taught,” she explains. She hopes to focus an anthropological lens on how concepts such as cultural competency are taught and learned by medical students, graduate students, residents and other health professionals.

Dr. Rice will receive her first Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant this coming January. Her research will focus on Northwestern Ontario, primarily on the health and social care needs of low-income migrants who, having been priced out of housing in Southern Ontario, are now migrating to economically depressed Northern communities.

“The objective of this project is to trace the influence of policies and institutional rationalities in the lives and experiences of both new patients and their primary care providers, gathering the data needed to inform health policy to better meet the needs of rural communities, which I know is an area of concern for McGill Family Medicine,” she says.

Dr. Rice has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the disciplines of anthropology, family medicine, and public health. She will be leading the course Advanced Doctoral Primary Care Research Seminars (FMED702) in the winter term. Her recent publications can be found in the journals Academic Medicine, Social Science & Medicine, and the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, among others.

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Rice and wishing her the utmost success in her new position!

Dr. Howard Bergman
Chair, Department of Family Medicine
McGill University