Ronald M. Epstein, M.D.

Ronald M. Epstein, M.D.

Contact Information

Highland Family Medicine
777 South Clinton Avenue
Rochester, NY 14620-1448

Appointment: (585) 279-4800

  • Admits to Strong Memorial Hospital Admits to Strong Memorial Hospital
  • Primary Care Physician Primary Care Physician

Patient Care Bio

Ronald M. Epstein, M.D. is Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry & Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and board-certified in Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Epstein is active in research and medical education. He is Director of the Center for Communication and Disparities Research, which focuses on how to improve communication between clinicians, patients and their loved ones. He also directs the Deans Teaching Fellowship program to promote excellence in medical education. He has over 200 publications.

Dr. Epstein graduated from Wesleyan University (1976) and Harvard Medical School (1984). Among his accomplishments, he was named the first George Engel and John Romano Dean's Teaching Scholar at the University of Rochester. National honors include the Lynn Payer Award from the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare for lifetime achievement in research on communication and health and the Humanism in Medicine Award from the New York Academy of Medicine. He has been a Fulbright scholar at the Institute for Health Studies in Barcelona, Spain and a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney. He is a frequent keynote speaker at major national and international conferences on medical education, communication, and mindfulness in health care. He is a accomplished harpsichordist and gourmet cook, and an avid cyclist and cross-country skier. His wife, Deborah Fox is a freelance lutenist and founding artistic director of Pegasus Early Music. They have two children, Malka and Eli.

Awards & Honors (National)

Highly Cited Researcher | Thomson Reuters 2014 - 2014
"Top Doctor" | Castle Connolly Medical Ltd 2013
Steven Z. Miller Humanism in Medicine Award | New York Academy of Medicine 2013
"Top Doctor" | US News & World Report 2011
Best Published Research Paper of the Year Award | Society of General Internal Medicine 2006
Article of the Year Award | Academy Health 2006
Visiting Lectureship on Doctor-Patient Relationship | Koppaka Family Foundation | University of Virginia 2005
Outstanding Contributions to the Literature on Theory, Practice & Teaching of Effective Healthcare Communication & Related Skill | American Academy on Communication in Healthcare 2005
Humanism in Medicine Award | Association of American Medical Colleges nominee | University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry 2004
Pfizer-American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation Visiting Professorship | University of California, San Diego 2003
Visiting Lectureship on Doctor-Patient Relationship | Koppaka Family Foundation | Oregon Health Sciences University 2003
"Best Doctor in America" 1998 - 2013
The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds: 2014 | Thomson Reuters 2014

Awards & Honors (Local)

Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in Public/Global Health | International Award | University of Córdoba, Spain 2004
Fulbright Senior Lecturers Award | Institute for Health Studies | Barcelona, Spain, International Award 1997 - 1998
George L. Engel and John Romano Dean's Teaching Scholar | URSMD | Rochester, NY 1995 - 1998
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar 1994 - 1998
Volunteer of the Year Award | Volunteers of America | Rochester, NY 1991
Best Workshop | STFM Northeast Regional Meeting | Hershey, PA 1989

Current Appointments

Professor - Department of Family Medicine (SMD) - Primary
Professor - Department of Medicine, Palliative Care (SMD)


Hospice and Palliative Medicine - American Board of Family Medicine
Family Medicine - American Board of Family Medicine


MD | Medicine | Harvard Medical School1984
Pre-Medical Studies | Columbia University1980
BA | Music | Wesleyan University1976

Post-Doctoral Training & Residency

Fellowship in FM/Psych/HIV at Highland Hospital of Rochester07/01/1988 - 06/30/1990
Residency in Family Medicine at Highland Hospital07/01/1985 - 06/30/1987
Internship in Family Medicine at Highland Hospital07/01/1984 - 06/30/1985