COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Daily Updates and ResourcesCOVID Resources

Family Medicine & Epidemiology Directories

Rebecca S. Etz, Ph.D.

Rebecca S. Etz, Ph.D. [View Image]Associate Professor Co-Director, The Larry A. Green Center

Department: Department of Family Medicine & Population Health

Phone: (804) 827-4995

Email: rebecca.etz@vcuhealth.org

One Capitol Square, 6th Floor, Room 629
830 E. Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Rebecca Etz, Ph.D., is a cultural anthropologist who recently joined the family medicine department. That may sound an odd match, but it fits Etz perfectly. “In college, I always imagined I’d be a family doctor,” she says. To learn more, she shadowed general practitioners, but found the reality did not match her expectations. She gravitated to anthropology, getting her Ph.D. at Rutgers.

Next, she took a postdoctoral fellowship at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and did research, from the vantage point of an anthropologist, on primary care practice. From that experience, she emerged with two driving motivations: cultural anthropology has a lot to offer primary care practitioners, and current primary care practice does not yet do enough to integrate mental and behavioral health. “For my career to have meaning, I’d like to help figure out how to have medical records give voice to patient concerns and to foster everyday integration of mental and behavioral health into primary care practice,” said Etz.

Etz was excited to come to the MCV Campus because of “the really incredibly gifted team” in the department. “They have an unusual level of passion and enthusiasm for what they do,” she said.

Her current work involves finding exemplars of primary care practice and identifying key attributes — whether innovative staffing or integrated care delivery — from which others could learn and grow.

Areas of interest

  • Primary care, mental health, primary care practice transformation, patient centered care, cultural anthropology, health services research

Professional Affiliations

  • Member of several primary care and anthropological professional organizations; consults for several universities and foundations.


  • Ph.D. - Cultural Anthropology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
  • B.A. - Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA

Previous experience

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University

Back to Listing

View graphic version