Anna S. Mueller

Anna S. Mueller is a medical sociologist whose research emphasizes how social contexts, organizations, and relationships shape individuals’ life chances, in terms of health, wellbeing, and professional/academic opportunities.

The majority of Anna’s current work focuses on understanding (1) how and why youth suicide clusters form and often persist in some schools and communities, but not others, and (2) the social roots of youth suicide. As part of this research, this fall Anna is beginning fieldwork in two communities (with 7 high schools) in Colorado. Both communities have at least one high school with a serious youth suicide problem (including clusters), which provides interesting opportunities for comparisons across schools (and between communities). Thankfully she’s undertaking this project with her wonderful collaborators, Prof. Seth Abrutyn (University of British Columbia) and Dr. Sarah Diefendorf (University of Utah).

When Anna needs a break from studying youth suicide, she switches her focus to her “side” project on the production of gender inequality during emergency medical residency training. Using a really interesting longitudinal dataset of 13,000 in-the-moment numeric and text evaluations of residents by attending physicians, she and her collaborators examine the evaluations (using qualitative, quantitative, and computational methods) to understand how and why women residents trail men residents significantly and substantially in their third and final year of residency, but not in their first.

When she’s not working, Anna loves doing just about anything that gets her outside, but especially hiking, gardening, horse-back riding, and kayaking. She also loves to travel, especially in Latin America, and is a pretty serious trekker. Last summer she made the amazing (if grueling) trek to the virtually unspoiled Inca ruins at Choquequirao (up the Inca Trail from Macchu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes). She can’t wait to do it again.