Let's get to know Meghna...


Hometown: Rochester Hills, Michigan

Major/Minor: Sociology of Health and Medicine major; Biology minor 


What inspired you to major in Sociology?

I came into college believing I would major and focus my studies in Biology. As a pre-medical student, I thought it was the obvious path to take in meeting pre-health course requirements and preparing myself for medical school. However, during my first semester, I took SOC 100 and learned, for the first time, what exactly sociology was and how it differentiates from other fields of study. Additionally, during my first-year, I learned about the intersection between medicine and sociology which really piqued my interest and I began looking into sociology courses classified under the Health & Medicine category. After taking Sociology of Sexuality and Sociology of the Body during my sophomore year, I realized how useful sociology can be to practicing physicians. Half the work of physicians is interacting with patient populations. I now know that having an understanding on social identities, social institutions, and socially-influenced behaviors is essential to my path in becoming a clinician. 


What classes have you most enjoyed?

SOC 346 (Sociology of the Body) with Professor PJ McGann 

SOC 475 (Sociology of Health, Medicine, and Society) with Professor Andrea Kelley


How has Sociology helped you to understand the pandemics the U.S. is currently facing: COVID-19 and/or systemic racism?

It has been almost two years exactly since the university transitioned online for the first time, and since then we have seen an amplified view of how racism and socioeconomic disparities impact certain patient populations more disproportionately. Sociology has provided me with the lens through which I can better understand social phenomena and identify methods by which we can address healthcare disparities systematically. 


Have you participated in undergraduate research, fieldwork, or an internship experience?

During the winter semester of my sophomore year, I began my role as a Research Assistant on Lacey Bobier's project titled "Dress Codes and the (Re)production of Inequality" as part of the Sociology Undergraduate Research Opportunity (SURO) program. Currently, I am working on drafting a proposal for my honors thesis. I would like to research the intersection between gender and healthcare. In particular, I am interested in how gendered pain perception impacts patient behavior, such as how patients communicate their pain to healthcare providers.


What do you hope to do after graduating from the University of Michigan?

After graduation, I hope to attend medical school and become a practicing physician with a focus on underserved patient populations. I want to use the knowledge I have gained through sociology to better interact and build trust with patients of varied backgrounds. 


Do you have advice for prospective Soc majors in this moment?

Sociology is an incredibly versatile major. There are so many ways you can apply sociological approaches to different aspects of life and to many different careers. I want to particularly provide encouragement to any pre-health students who are currently debating majoring in sociology. Choose a major that you are passionate about!