Liza Buchbinder is an internal medicine physician at UCLA Health, a clinical instructor in the UCLA Department of Medicine and a project scientist at the UCLA Center for Social Medicine and Humanities. Her research interests include human trafficking within the United States and the disparate ways in which trafficking victims interface directly and indirectly with local hospitals, clinics and the correctional health facilities. She is also interested in the greying California prison population and the experiences of released elderly prisoners as they navigate the safety net health system to manage chronic illnesses, as well as the ways in which compassionate release programs reflect on contemporary attitudes towards aging, criminality and public safety.
Prior to starting medical school at UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program, she was part of the Peace Corps based in Togo, West Africa, for two years. During medical training, she completed a PhD in medical anthropology from UC Berkeley and UCSF. Her dissertation focused on the limits of naming violence against adolescent domestic servants through the rights discourse on child trafficking and called for an alternative framework to address child labor exploitation in West Africa. She completed her internal medicine residence at UCLA Oliveview.
As an academic internist and anthropologist within the field of social medicine, she provides care to vulnerable and underserved populations, while pursuing a combination of ethnographic research, medical education and advocacy work.