Professor Matthew Carlson earned his Ph.D. in 1996 from the University of Texas at Austin. In 1998 he received a two year post-doctoral fellowship at Rutgers University Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research. That fellowship advanced his interest in research topics focused on access to and utilization of healthcare. He joined the PSU Sociology department in 2003.
Professor Carlson publishes and presents regularly, and has secured numerous grants enabling extensive research around issues of quality healthcare. Among his many health care projects he studies the impact of language barriers on access to health care; the impact of cost sharing for economically vulnerable people; the health outcomes for people who have lost their health care coverage; and racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care. Research results on the impact of recent Oregon Health Plan changes are now being used nationwide.
Professor Carlson's current research examines health care issues largely within the context of the Oregon Health Plan. Much of his research is conducted through the Oregon Health Research and Evaluation Collaborative (OHREC), a statewide partnership of health services researchers and policy makers. This collaboration allows him to draw from a wide range of expertise and cutting-edge research. Through this research Professor Carlson hopes to demonstrate to lawmakers the real impact of their health care policy decisions.
Current research also informs Professor Carlson's teaching. His courses include medical sociology and health and inequality. Classes are managed like seminars employing contemporary readings and discussion around the most current information in both trends and experiences. Most importantly, he stresses the significance of moving beyond theory and data by encouraging his students to discover current realities through active participation in and demonstration of the principles they are learning.