American Sociological Association

Sociology in Action: Gayle Sulik

Gayle Sulik is a medical writer who joined EBSCO Health’s division on evidence-based medicine in November of 2017. Five years prior, she founded the Breast Cancer Consortium (BCC). ASA asked Sulik about her work with BCC and how her PhD in sociology influenced that work:

What is the mission of the Breast Cancer Consortium? The Breast Cancer Consortium (BCC) is an international nonprofit (501c3) that analyzes the social, cultural, and system-wide factors affecting breast cancer. BCC promotes research and development in the social sciences and humanities and uses evidence-based models to inform and improve the breast cancer paradigm.

Can you briefly describe the project in more detail? The Breast Cancer Consortium, which I founded in 2012, seeks to make visible the unintended consequences of the existing breast cancer paradigm and to identify key areas for change: 1) by providing information to the public, media, opinion leaders, and policymakers; 2) by developing analyses, exhibits, publications, and multimedia tools; 3) by sharing research, tools, and capabilities; 4) by conducting new research; 5) by promoting understanding of the socio-cultural factors impacting disease.

What sociological knowledge and/or skills do you use? I used my background in medical sociology, mixed methods research, and analysis of cultural and social factors impacting health, medicine, and illness experiences. I developed my skills in medical writing independently outside of the academy.

Is there anything else you would like to share about this work? BCC has been an all-volunteer labor of love for the working group. We've operated with no budget and have no ties to specific institutions or advocacy agendas beyond the stated mission to improve critical health literacy, evidence-based medicine, and critical thinking on breast cancer. Our website (www.breastcancerconsortium.net) is searchable and offers a wealth of crucial information and insightful commentary.