Ronald M. Epstein, M.D. is Professor of Family Medicine, Psychiatry & Oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is board-certified in Family Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He serves as Director of the Center for Communication and Disparities Research and as Director of the Dean's Teaching Fellowship Program for junior and mid-career faculty.

Dr. Epstein's NIH-, AHRQ- and foundation-funded studies have added to our understanding of the impact of patient-physician relationships and communication on health, the process of care and health care costs. In particular, his research has focused on patient-centered care, patient influence on clinicians' practice patterns, and clinician mindfulness and self-awareness. Dr. Epstein's research has addressed important barriers to communication, compassion and patient/family-centered care. His observational and intervention studies have focused on AIDS, depression, somatization, advanced cancer and care at the end of life, and also address racial and social disparities in the achievement of patient-centered care. His seminal work on mindful practice and shared mind addresses how self-awareness of underlying biases and attitudes influences the patient-physician relationship and quality of care.

Over the past 25 years, Dr. Epstein has developed innovative educational programs in mindful practice, communication skills, the patient-physician relationship, physician self-awareness and assessment of professional competence, including peer assessment. His widely cited papers on educational theory and practice have been published in JAMA and the New England Journal of Medicine. In 2009, his team demonstrated the positive effects of an educational program in mindful communication on physician empathy, burnout and clinical care. He has over 170 peer-reviewed publications relating to communication in medicine and medical education, and an additional 60 chapters, editorials and monographs. He has produced influential monographs on patient-centered care for the National Cancer Institute (2007) and American Board of Internal Medicine (2008).