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James E. Coverdill

Blurred image of the arch used as background for stylistic purposes.
Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor
Department Head

Dr. James E. Coverdill, Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor of Sociology (view Dr. Coverdill's Meigs video) has been at the University of Georgia since receiving a Ph.D. in Sociology from Northwestern University.  One main and ongoing prong of his research explores the ways culture and social organization intertwine to shape the work and training of surgeons.  This research is grounded in fieldwork with surgeons in a teaching hospital and three rounds of mixed-methods data collection (questionnaires and follow-up interviews) that expand on key issues from the fieldwork. A book in preparation on this topic, tentatively titled An Unkind Cut?  Why Surgeons Struggle with Work-Hour Reforms, will be complete by the summer of 2019.  Another recent project is a collaboration with William Finlay to extend and elaborate their earlier research on headhunters (labor-market intermediaries who are paid by employers to find and recruit job candidates). Their new book, High Tech and High Touch:  Headhunters, Technology, and Economic Transformation (Cornell University Press) was published in November of 2017.  Emerging projects explore the work of nurse practitioners and the challenges of securing and retaining physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants in rural areas of Georgia.  

  • Ph.D., Sociology, Northwestern University, 1991
  • M.A., Sociology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1985
  • B.A., Philosophy and Sociology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, 1981
Selected Publications:
  • Coverdill, James E. et al.  2018.  "The Promise and Problems of Non-Physician Practitioners in General Surgery Education:  Results of a Multi-Center, Mixed-Methods Study of Faculty."  The American Journal of Surgery 215(2): 222-226
  • Coverdill, James E. et al.  2018.  "Assessing the 16 Hour Intern Shift Limit:  Results of a Multi-Center, Mixed-Methods Study of Residents and Faculty in General Surgery."  The American Journal of Surgery 215(2):326-330.
  • Coverdill, James E., and William Finlay.  2017.  High Tech and High Touch:  Headhunters, Technology, and Economic Transformation.  Ithaca, NY:  Cornell University Press. 
  • Coverdill, James. et al.  2016.  "Professionalism in the Twilight Zone:  A Multi-Center, Mixed-Methods Study of Shift Transition Dynamics in Surgical Residencies."  Academic Medicine 91(11):S31-S36.
  • Coverdill, James E., and William Finlay.  2014. "Contingency Headhunters:  What They Do -- and What Their Activities Tell Us About Jobs, Careers, and the Labor Market."  The Oxford Handbook of Job Loss and Job Search, edited by Ute-Christine Klehe and Edwin A. J. van Hooft.
  • Coverdill, James E. et al.  2011.  "Fatigue as Impairment or Educational Necessity?  Insights into Surgical Culture."  Academic Medicine 86(10):S69-S72.
  • Coverdill, James E., Carlos A. López, and Michelle A. Petrie. 2011. "Race, Ethnicity, and the Quality of Life in America, 1972 - 2008." Social Forces 89(3):783-806.
  • Coverdill, James E., et al.  2010.  "A New Professionalism? Surgical Residents, Duty-hour Restrictions, and Shift Transitions." Academic Medicine 85(10):S72-S75.
Of Note:
  • 2008. Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Georgia.
  • 2002-2005. General Sandy Beaver Teaching Associate Professorship, University of Georgia.
  • 2000. Richard B. Russell Teaching Award, University of Georgia.
  • 1996. Special Sandy Beaver Teaching Award, University of Georgia.
Events featuring James E. Coverdill
MLC 148

The Sociology Department warmly invites all recent or pending graduates – Fall 2015, Spring 2016, or Summer 2016 – and their guests to join faculty and staff for our Sociology Graduation Event.  

The event will be held on Friday, May 13th (the same day as spring graduation), from 2:30 to 3:30 in the Miller Learning Center (MLC), room 148.   The building has…