Claudia Chaufan, MD, PhD

Associate Adjunct Professor


My research includes the sociopolitical and economic factors and forces that shape health and other inequalities in basic human needs at a local and global levels, international comparisons of health systems, the politics of health and social policy, and the sociology of human genomics. My former career in medicine has led me to use type 2 diabetes and obesity as case studies to illuminate the dynamics underlying these factors and forces.

Since 2009, my research has included selected areas in the Middle East (Palestine), Asia (Taiwan), and Latin America (Argentina, Cuba, Venezuela). I am interested in studying how the global architecture of economic (IMF, World Bank), military (NATO) and political/policy (UN/WHO) institutions, as well as the dynamics of imperialism / colonialism / neocolonialism, shape health and other social inequalities in these nations. I am particularly interested in these processes as they pertain to the history of, and current developments in, popular left movements in Latin America. In my view, these movements have shown that indeed, “another world is possible”, and I do my best to incorporate their lessons into my academic work, including my teaching. Other intellectual interests include the history, philosophy and sociology of science, power/discourse, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

I teach courses in the sociology of health and illness, the politics of global health policy, comparative health care policies and systems, and the politics of health and science. I’ve also taught sociological theory and the sociology of power. One of the greatest pleasures of academia as a profession has been the bonds I have developed with my students and mentees, to the point that I can hardly imagine my scholarship as separate from my teaching and mentoring. Both activities jointly challenge me to clarify my ideas, seek better ways to communicate them, and sharpen my ability to articulate the power of the sociological lens that has so deeply transformed my intellectual, professional, civic, and personal lives.


Honors and Awards

Fulbright Visiting Research Chair in North American Integration, York University, Fulbright Commission, 2014-2015
Fulbright Specialist Roster in Global/Public Health, Fulbright Commission, 2013-2018
Medical Education Research Program Fellowship, Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC), 2012
Allene Van Son Education Award, American Association of Diabetes Educators, 2000


Ford-Jones PC, Chaufan C. A Critical Analysis of Debates Around Mental Health Calls in the Prehospital Setting. Inquiry. 2017 01 01; 54:46958017704608.
Chaufan C, Karter AJ, Moffet HH, Quan J, Parker MM, Kruger J, Schillinger D, Fernandez A. Identifying Spanish Language Competent Physicians: The Diabetes Study of Northern California (DISTANCE). Ethn Dis. 2016 Oct 20; 26(4):537-544.
Chaufan C. What Can US Single-Payer Supporters Learn From the Swiss Rejection of Single Payer? Int J Health Serv. 2016; 46(2):331-45.
Chaufan C, Yeh J, Sigal B. Advancing family health through the Garden of Eatin': on-site food gardens in early childhood education. Am J Public Health. 2015 Apr; 105(4):625-8.
Chaufan C, Harris G. Cost-effectiveness and health care costs. Health Aff (Millwood). 2015 Jan; 34(1):188.
Claudia Chaufan, Jarmin Yeh, Leslie Ross and Patrick Fox. You can’t walk or bike yourself out of the health effects of poverty: Active school transport, child obesity, and blind spots in the public health literature. Critical Public Health: p. 1-16.,. 2014; 10.1080/09581596.2014.920078.
Chaufan C. Is the swiss health care system a model for the United States? Int J Health Serv. 2014; 44(2):255-67.
Chaufan C, Constantino S, Davis M. 'You must not confuse poverty with laziness': a case study on the power of discourse to reproduce diabetes inequalities. Int J Health Serv. 2013; 43(1):143-66.
Chaufan C, Joseph J. The 'missing heritability' of common disorders: should health researchers care? Int J Health Serv. 2013; 43(2):281-303.
Chaufan C. Problematic assumptions in study of costs of care. Health Aff (Millwood). 2012 Jun; 31(6):1369.
Chaufan C, Yeh J, Fox P. The safe routes to school program in California: an update. Am J Public Health. 2012 Jun; 102(6):e8-11.
Chaufan C, Hollister B, Nazareno J, Fox P. Medical ideology as a double-edged sword: the politics of cure and care in the making of Alzheimer's disease. Soc Sci Med. 2012 Mar; 74(5):788-95.
Chaufan C, Davis M, Constantino S. The twin epidemics of poverty and diabetes: understanding diabetes disparities in a low-income Latino and immigrant neighborhood. J Community Health. 2011 Dec; 36(6):1032-43.
Chaufan, C.; Constantino, S., Davis, M.. "It's a full time job to be poor:" Understanding barriers to diabetes prevention among Latinos in the USA. Critical Public Health. 2011; doi:10.1080/09581596.2011.6303.
Chaufan, C., Hong, G., Fox, P.. Food for thought: Menu labeling as obesity prevention public health policy. Critical Public Health. 2011; doi: 10.1080/09581596.2010.492.
Chaufan C, Isa K. Heal thyself: Dealing with trauma work--Gaza 2008/2009. Health (London). 2011 Jan; 15(1):22-37.
Chaufan C, Hong GH, Fox P. "Sin-food" taxes and sugar-sweetened beverages--the right policy for the wrong reasons? Am J Health Promot. 2010 Nov-Dec; 25(2):87-90.
Chaufan C, Hong GH, Fox P. Taxing "sin foods" - obesity prevention and public health policy. N Engl J Med. 2009 Dec 10; 361(24):e113.
Chaufan, C., Weitz, R. . The elephant in the room: The invisibility of poverty in research on type 2 diabetes. Humanity and Society . 2009; Feb/May(33):74-98.
Chaufan C. How much can a large population study on genes, environments, their interactions and common diseases contribute to the health of the American people? Soc Sci Med. 2007 Oct; 65(8):1730-41.
Chaufan C. Patient compliance: in search of the real question in diabetes care. Am Fam Physician. 2000 Feb 01; 61(3):644, 647.
Claudia N. Chaufan
+1 415 476-6580
3333 California Street, Rm 350
UCSF Box 0646
San Francisco, CA 94118
United States