Social Science & Medicine: A Meandering Path

Aubry Koehler

Aubry N. Koehler Hildebrandt '07, Integrated Care Strategist

Major: Anthropology; Religion Minor, Five College Certificate in Culture, Health, & Science; Five College Certificate in Buddhist Studies

Post-graduate internships: Concord Hospital, Behavior Health Intern; Vidant Medical Center Behavioral Health Intern

Advanced Degrees: MA in Marriage and Family Therapy, Antioch University; Ph.D. in Medical Family Therapy, East Carolina University

Employer: Cardinal Innovations

While studying at Mount Holyoke, I focused on Medical Anthropology and got a Five-College certificate in Culture, Health, & Science.

I was passionate enough about this subject to get a Medical Anthropology/Public Health internship right out of college and to enroll in a Medical Anthropology Master's program the following year. Ultimately, the timing and fit of this program was poor; I left after a semester and had to think long and hard about the essence of why Medical Anthropology mattered to me. I realized it was the combination of social science and medicine/healing and the opportunity to understand others' stories.

Medical Family Therapy presented a unique combination of these elements; I was able to train a social science lens on healing/health/heath care and go deeper into individual and family narratives about this (as well as, cultural narratives around biomedicine and the settings in which it was practiced).

I never imagined I would be working for a managed care organized as an integrated care strategist, but I still think of myself as an anthropologist at heart, observing and participating in a system that I am enough a part of to change (hopefully!) and enough set apart from to see from a unique perspective.


"Biopsychosocial-Spiritual Factors Impacting Referral to and Participation in Cardiac Rehabilitation for African-American Patients: A Systematic Review". Koehler Hildebrandt, Aubry N.; Hodgson, Jennifer L.; Dodor, Bernice A.; More Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation & Prevention . 36(5):320-330, September/October 2016.