Elizabeth A. Rider, MSW, MD, FAAP

Director of Academic Programs


As Director of Academic Programs, Elizabeth creates and directs programs to enhance relational and communication skills and professionalism for healthcare leaders, faculty, trainees, and clinicians. She helps develop new initiatives and teaches in various Institute programs.

“All interactions in health care take place within relationships and in the conversations between people. Working with the Institute to figure out ways to enhance relationships between clinicians, patients and families, faculty and learners, and among interprofessional colleagues, has been inspiring.”

Elizabeth founded and directs Boston Children’s Hospital / Harvard Medical School’s first Faculty Education Fellowship in Medical Humanism and Professionalism, which is sponsored by the Institute, and co-sponsored by The Academy of Innovation in Education at Boston Children’s Hospital, the Office of Faculty Development, and the Office of Graduate Medical Education. She is on the active staff at Children’s, and also co-directs a year-long psychosocial pediatrics course for clinicians. An Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School (HMS), Elizabeth is a Harvard Macy Institute Scholar and Faculty for the Program for Educators in the Health Professions. At HMS, she was Coordinator of Faculty Development, Resident as Teacher Initiative, and faculty for the Patient-Doctor III course for many years. Elizabeth and colleagues implemented communication skills assessment across the HMS curriculum.

In 2009, Elizabeth was named Community Pediatrician of the Year by Boston Children’s Hospital. In 2012 she received the Nicholas Cummings Award from the National Academies of Practice, a national award given annually for “extraordinary contributions to interprofessional healthcare education and practice.”  Elizabeth has received various teaching awards including the Morgan–Zinsser Fellow in Medical Education Award at Harvard Medical School, Priscilla and Richard Hunt Fellowship Award of the Eleanor and Miles Shore 50th Anniversary Program for Scholars in Medicine, with IPEP colleagues the Medical Educator Award for Innovative Scholarship in Medical Education from The Academy for Innovation in Education at Boston Children’s Hospital, and others.

Elizabeth is Chair of the Medicine Academy, and Carlton Horbelt Senior Fellow of the National Academies of Practice (USA). She serves on the boards of various non-profit organizations including I*CARE (Interpersonal Communication And Relationship Enhancement program), M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Stoeckle Center for Primary Care Innovation, Massachusetts General Hospital, and others. Elizabeth also 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 an Associate Editor for two journals, the international journal Patient Education and Counseling, and the Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice and is lead author of the book, A Practical Guide to Teaching and Assessing the ACGME Core Competencies (2007 & 2010).

A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Elizabeth completed her pediatric residency at Boston Children’s Hospital, and fellowship in general academic pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital. She also holds a master’s degree in clinical social work from Smith College. She brings her combined background as a physician and child/family therapist to her leadership, teaching and clinical roles.

Elizabeth teaches and consults internationally on relationship-centered care, communication skills, professionalism, interprofessional education, reflective practice, ‘everyday ethics’, and healthcare education program development. She has been an invited speaker in various countries including Taiwan, where she was invited by the Education Ministry to teach leaders from Taiwan’s 11 medical schools about integrating communication and relational skills into medical education curricula.

Elizabeth is a founding member and chair of the external advisory committee of the International Research Centre for Communication in Healthcare established at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and University of Technology Sydney, Australia. She leads the Centre’s International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare initiative, an interprofessional collaborative effort to restore core values to healthcare around the world. IPEP is a Partner of the Charter. In 2014, Elizabeth was appointed to the Global Compassion Council, the advisory body for Charter for Compassion International.