Mariam Krikorian Atkinson

Assistant Professor of Healthcare Management and Policy

Department of Health Policy and Management

Mariam Krikorian Atkinson, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Health Policy and Management department at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Atkinson studies standardized versus customized interprofessional practice in the clinical setting, focusing on task automation and the use of an evidence base to guide decision-making among those of differing expertise. She examines when and why standardization is appropriate, and the influence of standardization on professional practice and patient outcomes. In one stream of her research, Dr. Atkinson analyzes how physicians determine who is in charge of particular patients and tasks, showing how standardization of these decisions has important implications for the quality and cost of care provided. Additionally, Dr. Atkinson has taken an in-depth study of the role of the hospitalist in relation to subspecialist physicians. Her work in this area illustrates the benefits and pitfalls of implementing novel roles like the hospitalist, and the influence formalization of this role has on an established group of subspecialist physicians.

Building on foundational principles in research on the sociology of professions, Dr. Atkinson draws from different theories on standardization versus customization, boundary work, interprofessional collaboration, and the coordination of expertise. She explores her research questions using both qualitative and quantitative methods: participant observation, interview, survey, and econometric analyses. A portion of her research was awarded Best Paper and published in Academy of Management Proceedings. Additionally, Dr. Atkinson’s research has been supported by agencies such as the National Science Foundation (award #1459996).

In addition to research, Dr. Atkinson enjoys teaching, especially using case methods. She teaches Competitive Strategy (HPM 231) to Harvard’s MPH students in the Spring 2 term. Dr. Atkinson also teaches healthcare strategy courses to a variety of students including medical residents at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Health Policy PhD students at Harvard Medical School, and Health Policy MSc students at the London School of Economics.

Dr. Atkinson received her Ph.D. from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business, and a B.A. in business economics and pre-medicine from the University of California, Los Angeles. Her past experience includes work as a valuation analyst at Ernst & Young LLP, as well as a business analyst at Live Nation Entertainment.