Dr. Cayla R. Teal

(Health Fellows & Scholars)
Director, Educational Evaluation and Research, Office of Undergraduate Medical Education
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, Texas
United States


Cayla R. Teal, Ph.D., is currently an Assistant Professor and the Director of Educational Evaluation and Research for the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education at Baylor College of Medicine. Prior to this, Dr. Teal was a health services researcher in the Houston HSR&D Center of Excellence and a co-director of the Center’s Education Program (which included junior faculty and post-doctoral fellows). Dr. Teal completed her PhD in Community Psychology, with emphases in applied measurement, psychometrics and research methods, at Wichita State University and later completed a health services research post-doctoral fellowship at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center. She is a mixed-methods researcher, including quantitative (e.g., latent variable analysis), qualitative (e.g., focus groups, cognitive interviews, etc.) and psychometric (e.g. questionnaire development) methodological training and experiences. Her research experiences have been primarily in applied settings, with an emphasis on educational settings. As a co-investigator and consultant, she has also conducted research with community-based and volunteer associations, healthcare providers, law enforcement and mental health facilities. She has worked as research consultant since 1995. Dr. Teal has extensive training in health disparities as a community psychologist, Kellogg Foundation Health Disparities Scholar and CDC career development awardee. As a principal investigator, her broad research agenda focuses on the cultural influences that contribute to health and mental health disparities, and her work has two current parallel tracks, a) the development of enhanced means for measuring patient-level cultural influences on health and mental health behavior, and b) examination and improvement of cross-cultural communication between providers and patients. Her research support has included the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and others.