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Tara McKay

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society
Affiliated Faculty in the Sociology Department
Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Affiliated Faculty in the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health

Virtual Office Hours

Tuesdays, 11:00am-1:00pm CST

For Zoom link, please visit the Current Student Forms and Resources page and click on the “Fall 2020 MHS Faculty Office Hours” link.


PhD, University of California, Los Angeles


Tara McKay is Assistant Professor of Medicine, Health, and Society, affiliated faculty in the Sociology Department at Vanderbilt University, and affiliated faculty in the Department of Health Policy at Vanderbilt University Medical Center at Vanderbilt University. She received a BA in Psychology from Occidental College and MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Before joining MHS, Tara was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, San Francisco. Her research and teaching interests include medical sociology, gender and sexualities, global health, and health policy. In much of her work, Tara has addressed the social, political and economic contexts that shape health and health policy with a focus on vulnerable populations in the US and Africa. Her interests in health, sexuality, and policy have prompted studies of: global AIDS policy formation; the role of clinical trials in providing access to basic health care for a subset of the US population; substance use, sexual identity formation and community membership among young African American and Latino gay men in the US; doctor-patient interactions in HIV/AIDS care in the US; relationship-level dynamics among HIV positive bisexual men. Recently, she has also begun two new projects examining how the Affordable Care Act will affect communities and how social networks affect health among older LGBT populations. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the American Council for Learned Societies, among others, and has been featured in Social Science & MedicineAmerican Journal of Public Health, Culture, Health & Sexuality, AIDS & Behavior.


  • medical sociology
  • gender and sexualities
  • global health
  • health policy