Member Profile

Naomi Schoenfeld

Affiliate Faculty, Lecturer, University of California San Francisco

Social Medicine Consulting Clinician, San Francisco General Hospital

Contributor, Platypus: The CASTAC Blog

Research Interests

About Naomi

Medical anthropologist and public health nurse practitioner in San Francisco. Her areas of expertise include medical anthropology, STS, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, postsocialism, social medicine, and critical public health. She has conducted ethnographic research examining (post)socialist technoscientific formations through Cuban cancer vaccines. Her new research examines a novel program providing thousands of rooms in tourist hotels to persons experiencing homelessness during the COVID19 pandemic.

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Contributions to Platypus: The CASTAC Blog

View all of Naomi's posts on Platypus: The CASTAC Blog.

Co-signature Event Context: Toward a Participatory Electronic Health Record

The days of doctors scratching illegible notes in charts fated to hide in obscure files never read by another soul is long gone. Over the last two decades, paper charts have nearly disappeared as the evolution of the electronic health record (EHR) has come to dominate the healthcare environment not only in the US, but globally. The health record performs multiple types of labor. It serves to facilitate communication in medical care or research; it is a legal document and a record to justify billing. A new diagnosis and billing code must make its first entry into the medical record accompanied by the signature of a clinician authorized to determine this diagnosis. After this initial entry, non-professional personnel may then use this diagnosis for any of the above purposes (communication, billing, legal). This blog post explores how developments like the patient portal of the EHR create new opportunities for interpretation, use, and contestation by the patient themselves, and how marginalized communities might be excluded from these new possibilities. New forms of Patient Involvement in Electronic Health Records (EHR) On April 5, 2021, in the US, the 21st Century Cures Act took effect. The Act was originally signed in December 2016 by US President Barak Obama as a broad funding initiative aimed at jumpstarting innovation in biomedical practice and research. It was intended to ensure greater access for patients to their own EMR. Prior to the Act, patient access could be limited only to very basic information such as medication lists (more...)

Through Mother’s Eyes: Subjectivity Reimagines Technology in Documentary Film

An Interview with Filmmaker Natalia Almada and Sound Designer Dave Cerf

Anthropology and Documentary

Anthropology and documentary are shaped by integrating subjectivity with philosophical and ethical questions. This post draws from an interview with filmmaker Natalia Almada and sound designer Dave Cerf, a couple with two young children, about their new film, Users (2021), winner of the 2021 Sundance Documentary Directing award. In contrast to Almada’s prior films which are deeply rooted in Mexico, this cinematic documentary seems unbounded by geography, taking as its starting point a mother’s interrogation of the effects of technology on humanity and earth. This interview focuses on how the structuring choices of filming and editing afforded an opportunity to generate a novel sense of the epic nature of the domestic sphere on par with the vastness of wasteland and sea. (more…)