Ronald Epstein MD is professor of family medicine, psychiatry, oncology and medicine (palliative care) at the University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry (Rochester, New York, USA). Dr. Epstein is a family physician, palliative care physician, teacher, researcher, and writer who has devoted his career to understanding and improving patient-physician communication, quality of care, and clinician mindfulness. He has received major funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and several foundations to do groundbreaking research to improve communication, the patient-physician relationship, and decision-making in the context of serious illness; to promote patient involvement in care; and to cultivate clinician mindfulness and resilience.
Through innovative programs in mindful practice and communication skills, Dr. Epstein has helped a generation of physicians practice more attentively and effectively; develop stronger relationships with patients; approach difficult decisions more mindfully; develop inner strength and resilience to combat burnout; and be more present when their patients need them the most. He directs the Center for Communication and Disparities Research and co-directs Mindful Practice® programs and the Deans Teaching Fellowship program.
Dr. Epstein is a graduate of Wesleyan University and Harvard Medical School and is the recipient of numerous lifetime achievement awards related to communication and humanism; a Fulbright scholarship at the Institute for Health Studies in Barcelona, Spain; and visiting fellowships at the University of Sydney in Australia and the Brocher Foundation in Switzerland. He is a frequent keynote speaker at major national and international conferences on medical education, communication, and mindfulness in health care. He has published over 250 articles and book chapters. His first book, Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity, was released in January 2017.
He enjoys cooking, biking, cross-country skiing and playing the harpsichord. His wife, Deborah Fox, is a freelance lutenist and founding artistic director of Pegasus Early Music. They have two children, Eli and Malka.