I am a medical sociologist with a particular interest in people's experience of health and illness and of medical services; and provider-patient relationships and communication. I use both quantitative and qualitative methods. A great challenge in the study of interpersonal communication is bridging the gap between the highly reductionist quantitative methods that have so far been used; and the rich description of qualitative methods. Our current work is focused on that problem.
Dr. Laws has studied the patient experience of illness and health care for 15 years. He has been particularly influenced by his studies under the late Irving Kenneth Zola, a pioneer in the sociology of chronic illness and disability. As evaluator of numerous federally funded behavioral health services for people with HIV, he developed a commitment to clinical research based in the patient's perspective. He has focused particularly on physician-patient communication, including the construction and measurement of patient agency in medical encounters. He developed the Generalized Medical Interaction Analysis System, which has been the basis of several published studies. The long-term goal of his research is to support the continuing transformation of medicine and health care more broadly into an institution built around patients' needs physical, psychological, and social; which meets those needs effectively; and in which patients have ultimate agency and authority.
MICHAEL BARTON LAWS, Ph.D., M.A.
On The Web:
Stayin' Alive (blog)
Coding manuals and other resources
Collaborators at other institutions:
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