Julia "Julie" E. Szymczak is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology and Informatics at the Perelman School of Medicine. She is a medical sociologist with expertise in symbolic interactionism, organizational change, the sociology of professions, and ethnography. Through her research, she seeks to achieve two goals: (1) generate knowledge about the social mechanisms that produce safe, high quality, and equitable healthcare and (2) apply that knowledge to the design and implementation of interventions that improve patient outcomes, minimize unintended consequences, and are sustainable.
Dr. Szymczak is a nationally recognized expert on the social dynamics that shape antimicrobial use across clinical contexts, and has served in advisory roles on this topic for the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Pew Charitable Trust, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Presidential Advisory Council on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. Her research on antimicrobials and stewardship has been funded by AHRQ, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute. In 2020 she received the SHEA Research Scholar Award for her work on burnout in antimicrobial stewardship personnel.
She enjoys collaborating on team science projects that integrate theory-informed qualitative methodology to answer complex questions about process and the influence of context on outcomes with Investigators across the School of Medicine. Dr. Szymczak is the Associate Director for Social Science Methods in Healthcare Delivery in the Center for Pediatric Clinical Effectiveness at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and is an Associate Editor of BMJ Quality and Safety.
Dr. Szymczak completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Division of Infectious Diseases at CHOP, holds Ph.D. and A.M. degrees in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in sociology from Brandeis University. She lives in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia with her husband and enjoys cycling, container gardening and photography.