New SIG: Health Professions Education Special Interest Group

The Executive Board of the Society for Medical Anthropology (SMA) approved the proposal for the Health Professions Education Special Interest Group. (SMA HPE SIG) on November 11!    

A formal organization within the AAA and SMA is a positive step in guiding and supporting the value of anthropology in medical education. To be inclusive, people from all countries of the world are welcome to join: students, health practitioners, university professors, and those interested in influencing health professions with anthropology perspectives, methods, and information. Members do not need to be a member of the AAA or SMA. 

If you haven’t already joined, you are invited to become a member in support of the SIG’s mission:  “To support anthropologists in making a positive and lasting impact on medical and health professions education by creating an organizational space that nurture’s healthy professional identity, promoting lifelong career advancement, and serve as a representative voice for anthropology among the health professions and the public.”  


1. Create a professional organizational space for anthropologists and those interested in medical and health professions education to continue their affiliation with the discipline of anthropology. 

2. Enhance education and training for the teaching of anthropological perspectives to medical and health professionals on the continuum from undergraduate education to professional development.  

3. Share resources on related education research, training, career opportunities, and policy matters.  

4. Affiliate with organizations to collaborate on mutual topics and priorities. 

5. Provide direction and guidance for representatives of anthropology in professional health organizations, accrediting bodies, etc.  

6. Maintain a recognized professional organizational voice on educational and public policy issues.  

7. Advocate the presence of anthropological perspectives on professional school entrance examinations, certifications, and licensing examinations. 

8. Formalize the representation of anthropologists on medical and health professional boards, committees, and special initiatives at the local, state, national, and international levels. 

9. Recommend curriculum for anthropology graduate programs training students for careers in medicine and the health professions. 

10. Promote the representation of anthropologists on accreditation bodies to legitimize the employment of anthropologists in medical and health professions teaching roles. 

To join the SMA Health Professions SIG sign-up using this Google form:

Within two months of SMA approval, 140 individuals signed-up from a wide array of countries and health professions willing to make this a vibrant and productive Interest Group. 

The SIG is now beginning to build the organizational foundation in guiding and supporting the value of anthropology in the health professions.  To facilitate their dialogs, a listserv is now active, and additional communications media are being initiated. And, if you complete the sign-up form above, you will be invited to join the HPE listserv.