Skip Navigation

Camilo Sanz

Skip Side Navigation

Camilo Sanz



Assistant Professor
Ph.D Anthropology, UC Davis, 2016

Office: Dale Hall Tower 512

Research Interests

  • Medical Anthropology
  • Science and Technology
  • Social determinants of health
  • Cancer, sleep patterns and stress
  • Health insurance companies
  • Bioethnography
  • Colombia and the Americas


I am an ethnographer of science and medicine. My research revolves around cancer, health insurance practices, medical knowledge and inequalities in the access to medical services in Colombia.

I am currently working on my book manuscript, Oncopolitics of Exhaustion—under contract with the University of California Press. My manuscript shows how "Universal"  access to medical services in the new liberal era has not countered the socio-economic conditions of patients. On the contrary, when cancer patients are considered low-income, and prescribed treatments classified as "high cost", they endure a contradictory temporality between the time needed by the insurance company to get a financial return to its investments, and the time when accessing chemotherapy would be beneficial—making for an extremely class-based practice of medicine. As a result, cancer emerges differently through medico-insurance practices at top-of-the-notch private hospitals vis a vis resource-scarce public hospitals. 

Ethnographically tracking the contradictory relationship between the tempos of cancer medical practices and economic practices, my book discusses the ways in which the insurance industry's financial innerworkings and the universal health care mandate influence a physician' s medical practices and its consequences. Approaching cancer care practices in this way, the book seeks to shine a light on questions of temporality, dying and health care inequalities in Latin America.

Recent Publications

Sanz, C 2021. Ordinary crisis: Cancer care, tutelas and the outsourcing of ethics in neoliberal Colombia, In Boletin de Antropologia 36(61), 93-116. April

Sanz, C 2019. Malignant yet Benign: The Political Economy of a Skin Cancer Diagnosis in Colombia, In Science technology and Human values, 45(1): 112-137

Roberts, F.S Elizabeth and Sanz, Camilo, 2018. Bioethnography: A how-to guide for the twentieth first Century”. The Palgrave handbook of Biology and Society. Maurizio Meloni et al (eds). London: Palgrave MacMillan. Pp 749-775

Sanz, C 2017 Out-of-Sync Cancer Care: Health Insurance Companies, Biomedical Practices, and Clinical Time in Colombia, In Medical Anthropology 36(3): 187-201