Rochester, Minnesota




Katherine Carroll, Ph.D., is a medical sociologist, hospital ethnographer and qualitative researcher. Her research uses diverse qualitative approaches in conjunction with social theory to examine the specificities of health care practices from the perspective of patients and health professionals. Dr. Carroll's research focuses on patient and health professional interactions with the everyday materials of health care, such as the handling of donated bodily tissues or the use of medical technologies in the hospital or the home.

Focus Areas

  • Qualitative research specializing in hospital ethnography, video reflexive ethnography, feminist research principles, and visual methods
  • Sociocultural aspects of human milk donation, human milk banking, oocyte donation and oocyte vitrification for fertility preservation
  • Collaborative approaches that work with the unique understandings and experiences that patients and clinicians bring to health care research

Significance to Patient Care

The collaborative research paradigm employed by Dr. Carroll works with health professionals, patients and their families to access the specificity, precision, emotion and personalization of health care. This provides a fine-grained analysis of how health care is actually accomplished in naturalistic settings, and honors the unique insights that patients and practitioners contribute to research on health care optimization.

Professional Highlights

  • Awarded a 3-year national research grant by the Australian Research Council to research the sociocultural aspects of donor human milk use in neonatal intensive care, 2011-2014
  • Alumni Award for Excellence, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, 2013
  • Jean Martin Award, best Ph.D. in a social science discipline, The Australian Sociological Association, 2011



  1. Doctor of Philosophy - Medical Sociology University of Technology Sydney
  2. Honors Bachelor of Arts - Sociology La Trobe University
  3. BS - Physiotherapy La Trobe University

Clinical Studies

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