Amy Dao, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Geography and Anthropology, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

3801 W. Temple Ave., Office 5-142, Pomona, CA 91768 Contact:

PhD, Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University (2018)

MA, Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University (2015)

BS, Anthropology, UC Riverside (2008)

I am a medical anthropologist whose research focuses on how concepts of care shape economic life. My most recent project examined how the implementation of universal health insurance coverage in Vietnam was mediated by kinship relations, risk perceptions, and temporal frames. I conducted research on the variety of actions people took to obtain health care as the country's health system was re-organized following market principles. Along the way, I became part of the community as I tried to grasp whether the promises of the health insurance policy improved their health and economic well-being. By understanding people's health seeking behavior as well as the structural constraints they faced, this project has real world applications for understanding their health and financial decision-making in relation to health insurance.


If you have any trouble accessing, I am happy to provide PDFs of any of the articles below. Please email me at

Updated Google Scholar Page

2020 Dao, Amy. Imagining Insurance: Everyday Illustrations from Vietnam’s Campaign for Universal Health Coverage. Journal of Vietnamese Studies (2020) 15 (4): 99–109

2020 Dao, Amy. What It Means to Say “I Don’t Have Any Money to Buy Health Insurance” in Rural Vietnam: Anticipatory Activities as a Factor in Enrollment. Social Science and Medicine (226). [Open Access]

2019 Dao, Amy and Juliet McMullin. Unintentional Injury, Supervision, and Discourses on Childproofing. Medical Anthropology 38(1): 15-29

2017 Vu Duy Kien, Hoang Van Minh, Kim Bao Giang, Amy Dao, Lars Weinehall, Malin Eriksson and Nawi Ng. “Socioeconomic inequalities in self-reported chronic non-communicable diseases in urban Hanoi, Vietnam.” Global Public Health 12(12): 1522-1537

2016 Dao, Amy and Jessica Mulligan. “Towards an Anthropology of Insurance and Health Reform: An Introduction to the Special Issue.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 30(1): 5-17. [PDF]

2016 Dao, Amyand Mark Nichter. “The Social Life of Health Insurance: An Anthropological Agenda.” Medical Anthropology Quarterly 30(1): 122-143. [PDF]

2016 Vu Duy Kien, Hoang Van Minh, Kim Bao Giang, Amy Dao, Le Thanh Tuan and Nawi Ng. “Socioeconomic inequalities in catastrophic health expenditure and impoverishment associated with non-communicable diseases in urban Hanoi, Vietnam.” International Journal for Equity in Health 15(169).

2014 McMullin, Juliet and Amy Dao. Watching as an ordinary affect: Care and mothers’ preemption of injury in child supervision. Subjectivity 7: 171-189.

2013 Dao, Amy, Jennifer Hirsch, Le Minh Giang, Richard Parker.Social Science Research on HIV in Vietnam: A Critical Review. Global Public Health 8(S1):S7-S29.

2012 Le Minh Giang, Nguyen Huu Minh, Nguyen Thuy Anh, Amy Dao. Nghiên cứu Khoa Học Xã Hôi về HIV/AIDS: Những Đóng Góp Bước Đầu từ Hợp Tác STAR (Social Science Research on HIV/AIDS in Vietnam: Contributions from STAR Partnership). Journal of Family and Gender Studies 22(6):59–63. NIHMSID: NIHMS426771


  • Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

  • Methods in Anthropology

  • Globalization and Development

  • World Cultures via the Internet

Web Presence and Coverage

"Columbia Researcher Reports on Healthcare Decision-Making in Vietnam." Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health

"Cultures of Care and Finance." Student Voices, Columbia University

"Health Insurance in Vietnam." The Reed: The Biannual newsletter of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University. Winter 2013. My fieldwork photo is featured on the cover.

"Amy Dao's Exploration of Health Insurance in Vietnam." Blog, Weatherhead East Asian Institute, Columbia University