Bayla Ostrach, PhD
Assistant Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Family Medicine

PhD, University of Connecticut
MA, Oregon State University

Bayla Ostrach, MA, PhD, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine, is a member of the core faculty and coordinator of the Service Learning Internship for the Master’s of Science program in Medical Anthropology & Cross-Cultural Practice. An Applied Medical Anthropologist by training who conducts research designed to result in changes in policy and practice, Dr. Ostrach is a Fellow of the Society of Family Planning and an invited member of the Scholars Strategy Network. She holds memberships in the American Anthropological Association and North American Catalan Society.

Dr. Ostrach’s research focuses on reproductive justice, publicly funded health systems, the ways that structural violence and marginalization contribute to disease interactions known as syndemics (Singer 2009), and the role of intersectional stigma and other forms of injustice in producing or exacerbating health inequality. She began working directly in the field of reproductive health and abortion care in 1999, and has since worked with and volunteered at multiple clinics in Oregon, Connecticut, and Catalunya.

Dr. Ostrach conducts ongoing fieldwork primarily in Catalunya. Her work focuses on publicly funded reproductive health care and popular engagement with the movement for Catalan independence, as it intersects with commitment to protecting health care for immigrants. She also works with patients and staff of health care facilities in the United States that provide abortion and other reproductive health services.

With Shir Lerman and Merrill Singer, she is the co-editor of a forthcoming volume on stigma-linked syndemics. She has co-authored multiple publications on syndemics, and has single-authored and co-authored publications on reproductive health care access and policy. Her forthcoming book, tentatively titled, Health Policy in (a) Crisis: Access to Publicly Funded Abortion in the Context of Austerity, is under contract with Routledge Press.

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University School of Medicine, Graduate Medical Sciences

2015 Berger-Marks Foundation Edna Award for Social Justice: Finalist
2015 National Society of Collegiate Scholars: Distinguished Faculty Member
2013 University of Connecticut Medical Anthropology Forum Fund Dissertation Grant: First Recipient

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

iCite Analysis       Copy PMIDs To Clipboard

  1. Ostrach B. Human-Centered Design for a Women's Health Screening Tool: Participant Experiences. South Med J. 2020 Oct; 113(10):469-474. PMID: 33005959
  2. Ostrach B, Lynch K, Houston A, Carney MA. Conditions of Immigration Detention Increase Risks for COVID-19 Disease Interactions. Medical Anthropology Quarterly. 2020. View Publication
  3. Hughes P, Denslow S, Ostrach B, Fusco C, Tak C. Exploration of the STOP Act and Opioid Deaths in North Carolina, 2010-2018. Am J Public Health. 2020 10; 110(10):1573-1577. PMID: 32816537
  4. Ostrach B, Buer LM, Armbruster S, Brown H, Yochym G, Zaller N. COVID-19 and Rural Harm Reduction Challenges in the US Southern Mountains. J Rural Health. 2020 Jul 11. PMID: 32652621
  5. Hughes P, Ostrach B. Trends in exposure to over-reach: a comment on the methodology of Reynolds et al. 2019. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 2020 May 05; 1. PMID: 32368941
  6. Carney M, Ostrach B. Austerity, Not COVID-19, Strains National Healthcare Systems. 2020. View Publication
  7. Singer M, Bulled N, Ostrach B. Whither syndemics?: Trends in syndemics research, a review 2015-2019. Glob Public Health. 2020 Jul; 15(7):943-955. PMID: 32037962
  8. Ostrach B. Publicly Funded Abortion and Marginalised People's Experiences in Catalunya: A Longitudinal, Comparative Study. Anthropology in Action. 2020; 27(1):24-34. View Publication
  9. Barnes LL, Laird LD, Ostrach B. From Medical Anthropology at a Medical School to Careers in Community-Based Applied Anthropology. Practicing Anthropology. 2020; 42(1):36-42.
  10. Koenders SL, Barnes LL, Laird LD, Ostrach B, Fix GM. Applied Training in a Medical Anthropology Master's Program. Practicing Anthropology. 2020; 42(1):43-47.
Showing 10 of 32 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 31 publications over 9 distinct years, with a maximum of 10 publications in 2020


In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

abortion access
applied anthropology
health inequality
health policy
publicly funded health care
reproductive health
reproductive justice

Available to Mentor as: (Review Mentor Role Definitions):
  • Advisor
  • Co-Mentor or Peer Mentor
  • Education Mentor
  • Research / Scholarly Mentor
Contact for Mentoring:

85 E. Newton St Fuller Building
Boston MA 02118
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