Primary Health Care: Open Access

ISSN - 2167-1079

Roberta E. Goldman

Roberta E. Goldman

Clinical Professor of Family Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University


 Roberta E. Goldman, Ph.D., is a cultural anthropologist specializing in the sub-discipline of medical anthropology, with particular expertise in qualitative methods of research. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese, and has done research in the Portuguese Azores Islands, Peru, Mexico and Alaska, as well as among Latino, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, African American, West Indian and non-Hispanic White groups in the US.  In addition to Masters and Doctoral degrees in anthropology, she holds a Master’s Certificate in Latin American Studies.

She is Adjunct Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard School of Public Health. She is also Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University where she is Director of the Scholarly Development Program in the family medicine residency, and Director of Community-Based Research at the Brown University Center for Primary Care and Prevention.

Dr. Goldman has broad experience using qualitative methods of research for mixed-methods studies in clinical and community settings, and for incorporating social contextual issues into research and intervention design.  She consults nationally and internationally on qualitative research methods, and she teaches the yearly course at the HSPH: SHH288 – Qualitative Research Methods for Public Health.

Her research primarily focuses on issues relevant to health and illness in the contexts of urban poverty, immigration and adjusting to life in the US. Her research has included an ethnographic study among Cape Verdean health center patients in Pawtucket and Central Falls, Rhode Island; cancer prevention among Dominicans and Puerto Ricans in Rhode Island; perceptions of cholesterol, CVD risk and COPD risk among diverse patients; the transition to increasing use of electronic health record technology in the primary care setting; cancer prevention among construction laborers, diverse employees of small businesses, and residents of subsidized housing; use of interactive online technology to study menopause and disease prevention at mid-life among Latinas in Rhode Island; medication safety among English- and Spanish-speaking older adults; physician-patient communication in second-opinion hematology-oncology consultations; social and cultural influences on perspectives of biospecimen donation for research; follow-up of abnormal mammogram results among Latinos and Haitians; the use of electronic health record alerts and automated voice-recognition software to enhance management of diabetes, pediatric obesity, laboratory monitoring, and management of hyperlipidemia and hypertension; parents’ perceptions of antibiotics for their children; sugary soft drink consumption among college freshman; and a study of social factors relating to substance use among Black and Latino youth in Providence, RI.

Dr. Goldman has become increasingly involved in health services research, particularly evaluation of initiatives to transform medical practice using the Patient-Centered Medical Home model.  She directs the Evaluation Unit of the Brown Primary Care Transformation Initiative, housed in the Brown Department of Family Medicine.

Research Interest

 Primary care; Medical homes; Practice transformation

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