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Ronald Mark Epstein, M.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Office: (585) 506-9484

Fax: (585) 473-2245

URMFGA member of the University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

groupAn Accountable Health Partner

assignmentNot Accepting New Patients

Faculty Appointments

Patient Care Settings

Family Medicine, Palliative Care


Ronald M. Epstein, M.D. is a Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry & Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and is board certified in Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. In addition to his clinical work, Dr. Epstein co-directs the Center for Communication and Disparities Research and Mindful Practice Programs at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Dr. Epstein is an internationally recognized physician, educator, researcher, and writer. He has published groundbreaking research into communication in medical settings and developed innovative educational programs to optimize communication between health professionals and people who are seriously ill and promote professional self-awareness, mindfulness, and well-being. His over 300 scholarly articles and his book, Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness and Humanity, show how health professionals can flourish and build strong connections with patients and colleagues and optimize the care they provide.

Dr. Epstein graduated from Wesleyan University (1976) and Harvard Medical School (1984). 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 Academy of Communication in Healthcare for lifetime achievement in research on communication and health, Humanism in Medicine Award from the New York Academy of Medicine and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine, the Humanities Award from the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, and the American Cancer Society’s highest award, the Clinical Research Professorship. He has been a Fulbright scholar at the Institute for Health Studies in Barcelona, Spain, and a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney and the Brocher Institute in Hermance, Switzerland. He is a frequent keynote speaker at major national and international conferences on medical education, communication, and mindfulness in health care. He is an accomplished harpsichordist and gourmet cook, and an avid cyclist and cross-country skier. His wife, Deborah Fox is a lutenist and founding artistic director of Pegasus Early Music. They have two children, Malka and Eli. Learn more about Dr. Epstein’s work at



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


MD | Harvard Medical School

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

07/01/1988 - 06/30/1990
Fellowship at Highland Hospital of Rochester

07/01/1985 - 06/30/1987
Residency in Family Medicine at Highland Hospital of Rochester

07/01/1984 - 06/30/1985
Internship in Family Medicine at Highland Hospital of Rochester

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Humanities Award, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine

American Cancer Society Clinical Research Professor Award

Health Care Achievement Award
Sponsor: Rochester Business Journal

Gold Humanism Award
Sponsor: Society of Teachers of Family Medicine
Location: San Diego, CA

2014 - 2014
The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds
Sponsor: Thomson Reuters

Highly Cited Researcher
Sponsor: Thomson Reuters

Steven Z. Miller Humanism in Medicine Award
Sponsor: New York Academy of Medicine

"Top Doctor"
Sponsor: Castle Connolly Medical Ltd

"Top Doctor"
Sponsor: US News & World Report

Article of the Year Award
Sponsor: Academy Health

Best Published Research Paper of the Year Award
Sponsor: Society of General Internal Medicine

Outstanding Contributions to the Literature on Theory, Practice & Teaching of Effective Healthcare Communication & Related Skill
Sponsor: American Academy on Communication in Healthcare

Fulbright Senior Scholar Award in Public/Global Health
Sponsor: International Award
Location: University of Córdoba, Spain

Humanism in Medicine Award
Sponsor: Association of American Medical Colleges nominee
Location: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry

1998 - 2013
"Best Doctor in America"
Sponsor: America's Best Doctors

1997 - 1998
Fulbright Senior Lecturers Award
Sponsor: Institute for Health Studies
Location: Barcelona, Spain, International Award

1995 - 1998
George L. Engel and John Romano Dean's Teaching Scholar
Sponsor: URSMD
Location: Rochester, NY

1994 - 1998
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar

Volunteer of the Year Award
Sponsor: Volunteers of America
Location: Rochester, NY

Best Workshop
Sponsor: STFM Northeast Regional Meeting
Location: Hershey, PA

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Journal Articles

George LS, Epstein RM, Akincigil A, Saraiya B, Trevino KM, Kuziemski A, Pushparaj L, Policano E, Prigerson HG, Godwin K, Duberstein P. "Psychological Determinants of Physician Variation in End-of-Life Treatment Intensity: A Systematic Review and Meta-Synthesis." Journal of general internal medicine.. 2023 Feb 2; Epub 2023 Feb 02.

Duberstein PR, Hoerger M, Norton SA, Mohile S, Dahlberg B, Hyatt EG, Epstein RM, Wittink MN. "The TRIBE model: How socioemotional processes fuel end-of-life treatment in the United States." Social science & medicine.. 2022 Nov 24; :115546. Epub 2022 Nov 24.

Dwyer LA, Epstein RM, Feeney BC, Blair IV, Bolger N, Ferrer RA. "Responsive social support serves important functions in clinical communication: Translating perspectives from relationship science to improve cancer clinical interactions." Social science & medicine.. 2022 Nov 7; 315:115521. Epub 2022 Nov 07.

Books & Chapters

Chapter Title: Medicine
Book Title: Encyclopedia of Creativity
Author List: Szuster RR, Epstein, RM
Edited By: Runco, M., Pritzker, S.
Published By: Academic Press 2020

Chapter Title: Mindful Practice
Book Title: Behavioral Medicine, 5th edition
Author List: Epstein RM
Edited By: Feldman M, Christensen J
Published By: Lange 2019

Book Title: Estar Presente: Mindfulness, Medicina, y Calidad Humana
Author List: Epstein RM
Published By: Kairos 2018