Elizabeth A. Rider, MSW, MD, FAAP

Medicine is Dr. Rider’s second career.  She has been a clinician, clinical teacher, and educator for many years, first as a clinical social worker (child and family therapist) and then as a pediatrician.

Dr. Rider is the Director of Academic Programs for the Institute for Professionalism and Ethical Practice, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, where she creates and directs courses and programs to enhance relational and communication skills for medical education leaders, faculty, residents, and practicing clinicians. She co-directs the year–long psychosocial pediatrics course, “Mastering Pediatric Care in the Age of Healthcare Reform: Thriving in a Patient-Centered Model”, at Newton Wellesley Hospital. She also serves as Director of Programs for Communication Skills at the John D. Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation at Massachusetts General Hospital, a Center dedicated to enhancing the experience of care for patients and families.

Dr. Rider has had two careers, first as a child and family therapist (LICSW), and now as a pediatrician. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Rider completed her pediatric residency at Boston Children’s Hospital, and fellowship in general academic pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. She also has a Master’s degree in clinical social work from Smith College.  She and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, of the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare, and is a Carlton Horbelt Senior Fellow of the National Academies of Practice.

Dr. Rider is Director of the Faculty Education Fellowship in Medical Humanism and Professionalism at Boston Children's Hospital. She directs various courses including the international Harvard faculty development course, “Difficult Conversations in Healthcare.”  An Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, she serves as faculty for the Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in Health Professions, and has won various teaching awards. Dr. Rider was a member of the Kalamazoo Consensus Statement Group on Physician-Patient Communication, brought the Kalamazoo model and assessment instrument to Harvard Medical School, and spearheaded an initiative to implement communication skills assessment across the medical school curriculum.

Dr. Rider is committed to enhancing relationships and communication in healthcare. She teaches and consults internationally on communication skills, relationship-centered care, professionalism, humanism, use of narrative, and medical education program development. She has been an invited speaker in the US, Canada, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia, and elsewhere. She was invited by Taiwan’s Education Ministry to teach leaders from Taiwan’s 11 medical schools about teaching, assessing, and integrating communication skills into medical education curricula. Dr. Rider leads the International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare initiative, a collaborative effort involving people, organizations and institutions around the world working together to restore core human values to healthcare, and has presented the Charter nationally and internationally. She was recently appointed Chair of the External Advisory Committee of the newly launched (2013) International Centre for Communication in Healthcare co-convened by Hong Kong Polytechnic University and the University of Technology Sydney, Australia.

Dr. Rider is co-chair of the Medicine Academy of the National Academies of Practice. She served on the Board of Directors of the American Academy on Communication in Healthcare for many years, and on the National Board of Medical Examiners’ Communication Skills Task Force. She is lead author of the book, A Practical Guide to Teaching and Assessing the ACGME Core Competencies (HCPro, Inc, 2007; 2nd edition 2010), and a Section Editor (Reflective Practice) for the international journal, Patient Education and Counseling, and an Associate Editor for Medical Encounter.

A general pediatrician in part-time practice for many years, in 2009 Dr. Rider was named Community Pediatrician of the Year by Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. In 2012 she received the Nicholas Cummings Award from the National Academies of Practice, a national award given to an individual “for extraordinary contributions to inter-professional healthcare education and practice.”

On a more personal note, I am interested in writing and narrative and how we can use these to teach compassion and relationship. I grew up in Colorado and like the mountains and hiking. I continue to try to figure out how to balance family with career.  My husband is also a physician, and we have been married for 34 years. We have two grown children, a son who participated in Teach for America and recently graduated from law school, and a daughter who graduated from college this year.

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I would like to thank the following for their generous support, without whom this web site and training program would not exist: The Sidney R. Baer, Jr. Foundation, The Alden Trust, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, Project INTERFACE (Newton Public Schools and the U.S. Department of Education), the Locke Educational Fund at Newton- Wellesley Hospital, Aetna Health Plan, the Kenneth B. Schwartz Center,  and the families of my medical practice. 

I hope you find this site useful and encourage any comments.

- Dr. Howard King, M.D.