I study how educators, physicians, and policy makers apply knowledge to improve patient care and how the context in which these actors work impacts how they utilize knowledge. I address questions about how these actors understand the sources of health and healthcare disparities in the U.S. patient population, how they decide what kinds of knowledge are clinically relevant, and how they reproduce forms of inequality in their educational materials and interactional processes – particularly racial inequality. In addition to my book project, I am engaged in research on the application of social scientific knowledge, professional identity formation, interdisciplinary collaboration, education, and the medical profession.
2020 Olsen, Lauren D. "'We’d Rather Be Relevant than Theoretically Accurate': The Translation and Commodification of Social Scientific Knowledge for Clinical Practice." Social Problems (https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spaa012)
2020 Olsen, Lauren D. and Hana Gebremariam. “Disciplining Empathy: Differences in Empathy with U.S. Medical Students by College Major.” Health: An Interdisciplinary Journal for the Social Study of Health, Illness and Medicine. (https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1363459320967055)
2019 Olsen, Lauren D. "The Conscripted Curriculum and the Reproduction of Racial Inequalities in U.S. Medical Education." Journal of Health and Social Behavior 60(1): 55-68.
2016 Olsen, Lauren D. "'It's On the MCAT For a Reason': Premedical Students and the Perceived Utility of Sociology." Teaching Sociology 44(2): 73-82.