Howard Waitzkin

About The Author


Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, University of New Mexico,

Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Illinois.


As a lifelong activist, Dr. Howard Waitzkin has worked for single payer national health programs in the United States and Latin America; local community and worker control for accessible health services; civilian health and mental health services for active duty military personnel in the struggle for peace; and policies to improve the social, political, and economic determinants of illness and early death.

He currently serves as director of the Civilian Medical Resources Network, which provides civilian health and mental health services for GIs who have not been able to meet their needs in the military, and president of the Allende Program in Social Medicine, a small foundation that supports work in social medicine worldwide.

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Howard Waitzkin

Howard Waitzkin, M.D., P.h.D..

Howard Waitzkin grew up in a small town in northeastern Ohio. At an early age, tragedy in his low-income family spurred his interest in the relationships among oppression and inequality, public health, and medicine. Waitzkin received his MD and PhD in sociology from Harvard University in 1972. Over the course of his career, Waitzkin has practiced as a primary care physician in internal medicine and has taught social medicine at a variety of clinics and universities, including the United Farm Workers Clinic in Salinas, California; La Clínica de la Raza in Oakland, California; Stanford University Medical Center; Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston; and the University of California. Waitzkin joined the faculty of the University of New Mexico in 1997.

  • Leo G. Reeder Award for Distinguished Scholarship in Medical Sociology (1997)

  • Fulbright New Century Scholar (2001-2002)

  • Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2002-2003)

  • Jonathan Mann Award for Lifetime Commitment to Public Health and Social Justice Issues from the New Mexico Public Health Association (2003)

  • Eliot Freidson Award for Outstanding Publication from the Medical Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association (2012)

  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Marxist Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association (2016)