Mary Ellen Macdonald, PhD, Program Head (Research) and Medical Scientist, Palliative Care Programs, Division of General Pediatrics

École de sciences infermières et la division de pédiatrie générale

Hospital information

Academic appointments 

Assistant Professor, Oral Health and Society Research Unit, Faculty of Dentistry, McGill University


Research interests 

I am a medical anthropologist with training in palliative care as well as Aboriginal health issues. My main research interests include end-of-life care for both children and adults, and parental bereavement after the death of a child. I also focus on cultural aspects of health and illness through my work with Aboriginal communities in Montreal as well as in Northern Quebec, where I have done work on cancer, palliative care, oral health, and maternal/child issues.

Research foci 
  • Palliative care;
  • Parental bereavement;
  • Oral health; 
  • Cultural aspects of health and illness; 
  • Aboriginal health; 
  • Health professions research.

Medical anthropology, pediatrics, palliative care, qualitative methodologies, cultural competency, Aboriginal health

Selected publications 

Macdonald ME, Kennedy K, Molls S, Pineda C, Mitchell LM, Stephenson PH, Cadell S. Excluding Parental Grief: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Bereavement Accommodation in Canadian Labour Standards. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, in press.

Mitchell LM, Stephenson PH, Cadell S, Macdonald ME. Death and Grief on-line: Virtual Memorialization and changing concepts of childhood death and parental bereavement on the Internet. Health Sociology Review, 21(4):413-431, 2012.

Macdonald ME, Rigillo N, Brassard P. Urban Aboriginal Understandings and Experiences of Tuberculosis, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Qualitative Health Research 20(4): 506–523, 2010.

Macdonald ME, Chilibeck G, Affleck W, Cadell S. Gender Imbalance in Pediatric Palliative Care Research Samples, Palliative Medicine 24 (4) 435-444, 2010.

Macdonald ME, Growing Quality in Qualitative Health Research, International Journal of Qualitative Methods 8(2): 97-101, 2009.