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For the past six decades, Berkeley’s Sociology Department has consistently been ranked among the world’s top sociology departments. Our graduate program is ranked #1 in the latest U.S. News and World Report, and our undergrad degree is currently the best in the US according to College Factual and features on Grad Reports’ Best College List 2020.
Prof. Einstein served graduate students as a model of prudence in remaining unfashionably true to the grand…
Departmental Colloquium Series
Eliza Brown, "Gaming Health: How Patients and Doctors Weigh Chance and Risk in Fertility Clinics"
Monday, December 5, 2022, 2-3:30pm Hybrid: The Graduate Hotel, California Room & via Zoom
This talk illustrates how, in the context of consumer medicine, physicians convince patients to invest in particular medical treatments by weighing risks with them, reframing uncertain processes as calculable gambles. I delve into the case of twins as a by-product of fertility treatment, which transitioned from a welcome outcome to a problematic one for fertility professionals, while remaining a desirable birth outcome for many patients. From observing hundreds of patient-provider consults at three fertility clinics in New York State that catered to distinct patient populations, as well as conducting over a hundred in-depth interviews with patients and medical providers, I argue that providers reframe the prospect of having twins to patients by communicating with them not only about the associated health risks, but also those related to temporal, financial, and emotional constraints, and show how these negotiations diverge depending clinics' organizational imperatives, particularly the class of patients they are set up to serve.