Lillie Williamson

Position title: Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Arts, UW–Madison

Pronouns: she/her/hers


Website: Lillie Williamson's website

Lillie Williamson headshot

My research broadly examines the ways in which racial experiences and health communication interact to influence racial health inequalities. More specifically, much of my work investigates the effects and interactions of communication within and outside the clinical context and medical mistrust, particularly for Black Americans. I approach this work grounded in three principles: a) medical mistrust is an adaptive response, b) my work is useless if it is not rooted in and reflective of lived experiences, and c) given the pervasiveness of racism and extraction, we must strive for more equitable research practices.

Past projects have investigated the antecedents of medical mistrust; the effects of exposure to vicarious racial discrimination (e.g., news stories about racial discrimination) on medical mistrust, and social support as a buffer to the effects of stressors, such as racial discrimination. As I build on this work, some of my current projects explore: communication about medical racism, the ways in which medical mistrust influences health information seeking, and shared trust between clinicians and patients. Additionally, I am a Co-PI on an NSF-funded, 3-year mixed methods project that creates an ongoing dialogue with Black Wisconsin communities about science mistrust and misinformation.

Research areas

Health equity

Medical mistrust

Intersections of racial experiences and health communication