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Directory Page Title

Reya Farber

Assistant Professor

Office: Boswell Hall 224
Email: [[rdfarber]]
Areas of Specialization: Medical Sociology; Global Health; Gender Studies; Globalization; Science, Technology, and Medicine Studies; Qualitative Methods
Office Hours: Monday 3:30-5:00 p.m. or by appointment.


B.A., Bryn Mawr College
Ph.D., Boston University


Professor Farber’s scholarship focuses on the intersection of globalization, health, and gender. She has analyzed how medical tourism, or health-related travel, impacts and involves Thai transgender women. Medical tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry that transforms health care practices worldwide, yet little research has focused on how it affects people in destination countries. Professor Farber conducted over a year of ethnographic research in Thailand to determine how Thai transgender women have not only helped advance medical tourism, but how they now experience inequities in health care access as well as employment opportunities. While foreigners visiting Thailand may access internationally-accredited health care in luxury hospitals, many Thai transgender people still face difficulties when accessing basic public health care.  

As governments and private health care organizations promote medical tourism worldwide, Professor Farber’s work illuminates the mechanisms and lived effects of such policies and practices, especially related to gender, health outcomes, and social rights for local people.

Professor Farber earned her Ph.D. in Sociology with a Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Boston University. She has also worked in several health-related nonprofit organizations in Miami, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Bangkok.