LaTonya J. Trotter is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology and an affiliate of the Office of Population Research at Princeton University. Using a variety of methods, from quantitative to ethnographic, her work addresses key questions in the areas of medical sociology, the sociology of gender, and social inequality.
Having received her Masters of Public Health from the University of Washington, she has published and done collaborative work in health disparities. Her dissertation work explores the interplay between professional identity and the changing terrain of medical care through analyzing the Nurse Practitioner. Rather than viewing the NP as simply a rising new professional, she approaches the nurse practitioner as a new technology – a practice innovation in the provision of primary care. New technologies cannot be understood by simply looking asking the designers what they are, but by observing what is done with them. She approaches the questions of “what do NPs do” and “what do others do with NPs” ethnographically. How are these new providers being incorporated into the cultural and practical terrain of work thought of as medical practice? And how might these processes of incorporation potentially change our understanding of not only who the NP is, but of what medical work consists? Through attention to a set of health care providers, whose professional and social history differs significantly from that of physicians, LaTonya’s work provides insight into the processes and assumptions that create, and may potentially change, the medical worlds we inhabit.
In addition to research, LaTonya has a keen interest in teaching. She is currently a Frederick Douglas Teaching Fellow at Bloomsburg University, teaching undergraduate courses in the sociology of medicine, race and ethnicity, and gender.