Dr. Carolyn Smith-Morris is a medical anthropologist and Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University. Her research documents the experience of chronic disease and disability, particularly diabetes, through mixed methodologies. She has conducted research among the Gila River (Akimel O’odham) Indian Community of Southern Arizona, Mexicans and Mexican immigrants to the U.S., and Veterans with spinal cord injuries. Her most recent work questions the inadequacies of disease-specific health care systems: that is, the systems of multiple medical appointments, overlapping medication regimes, and competing professional explanations that patients suffering from multiple chronic conditions must endure, understand, and manage.
Dr. Smith-Morris received her B.A. in anthropology from Emory University, an M.S. in rehabilitation services from Florida State University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Arizona. She is the author of several articles in minority and indigenous health, health and research ethics, the end-of-life, diabetes, and reproduction. She has published in the journals American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Appetite, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Science, Human Organization, JAMA Clinical Crossroads Online, Medical Anthropology, Medical Anthropology Quarterly, the Omega Journal of Death and Dying, Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology, and Social Science & Medicine.
Her first monograph is a holistic view of the diabetes epidemic at the Gila River Indian Reservation, where more than half of adults have this disease. Diabetes Among the Pima: Stories of Survival was published in 2006 by the University of Arizona Press. She has also co-edited two ground-breaking volumes in the social science of medicine: Chronic Conditions, Fluid States: Chronicity and the Anthropology of Illness (2010) with Lenore Manderson through Rutgers University Press; and as sole editor of Diagnostic Controversy: Cultural Perspectives on Competing Knowledge in Healthcare (2015) through Routledge Press.