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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 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.



  • 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

Gainsburg I, Derricks V, Shields C, Fiscella K, Epstein R, Yu V, Griggs J. "Patient activation reduces effects of implicit bias on doctor-patient interactions." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.. 2022 Aug 9; 119(32):e2203915119. Epub 2022 Aug 01.

Kehoe L, Sanapala C, DiGiovanni G, Yousefi-Nooraie R, Yilmaz S, Bauer J, Loh KP, Norton S, Duberstein P, Kamen C, Gilmore N, Gudina A, Kleckner A, Mohile S, Epstein RM. "Older adults with advanced cancer are selective in sharing and seeking information with social networks." Patient education and counseling.. 2022 Jun 9; Epub 2022 Jun 09.

Harvey SB, Epstein RM, Glozier N, Petrie K, Strudwick J, Gayed A, Dean K, Henderson M. "Mental illness and suicide among physicians." Lancet.. 2021 Sep 4; 398(10303):920-930.

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