Rebecca Etz

Rebecca Etz, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist at Virginia Commonwealth University with expertise in qualitative research methods and design, primary care measures, practice transformation, and engaging stakeholders. She has spent the last ten years dedicated to learning the heart and soul of primary care. Her career has been shaped by iterative research cycles that expose and reflect on the tacit norms and principles of primary care in which clinicians, thought leaders, and patients are equally invested.

Her work has three main lines of inquiry: 1) bridging the gap between the business of medicine and the lived experience of the human condition, 2) making visible the principles and mechanisms upon which the unique strength of primary care is based, and 3) exposing the unintended, often damaging consequences of policy and transformation efforts applied to primary care but not informed by primary care concepts.

​As a member of the VCU Department of Family Medicine and Population Health, and previous co-director of the ACORN PBRN, Dr. Etz has been the Principal Investigator of several grants, contracts and pilots all directed towards making the pursuit of health a humane experience. Recent research activities have included studies in primary care measures, behavioral health, care coordination, preventive care delivery, simulation modeling, care team models, organizational change, community based participatory research, the study of exemplars, and adaptive use of health technologies.

Since March 2020, as the Co-Director of the Larry A. Green Center, Dr. Etz has led the Green Center's work, in collaboration with the Primary Care Collaborative, to survey the primary care community on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Green Center and PCC have fielded and distributed more than 35 surveys of primary care clinicians since the start of the pandemic. The surveys have been used by elected and government officials and the media as valuable sources of data on the abilities and attitudes of primary care during COVID.

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