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Ruth M Parker, M.D.

Ruth M Parker, M.D.
Professor, Medicine
Professor, Pediatrics

Personally Authored Bio:

Dr. Parker attended Davidson College and received her medical training at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She completed her residency and chief residency at the Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, New York, and her fellowship as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. She holds Board Certification in both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics.

Dr. Parker is currently Professor of Medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine. She is also Associate Director of the Faculty Development program in the Division of General Medicine, and holds a secondary appointment at the Emory University School of Public Health in the Division of Epidemiology. Dr. Parker’s primary research interests and activities have been in the area of medical education and health services of underserved populations. She has been actively involved in medical education and faculty development since joining the medical school faculty. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Parker has focused extensively on healthcare issues of underserved populations, particularly health literacy. She was a principal investigator in the Robert Wood Johnson Literacy in Health Study and helped create a widely used measurement tool to quantify patients’ ability to read and understand health information (TOFHLA, the test of functional health literacy in adults). She has authored numerous papers on health literacy, and co-edited the complete bibliography of medicine on health literacy for the National Library of Medicine. She co-authored the most widely used definition of health literacy, which was used in Healthy People 2010 and is currently used by the IOM and by the NIH. Dr. Parker currently serves as consultant and advisor to numerous federal agencies, professional societies, and members of industry on their initiatives related to health literacy.

Dr. Parker has received national recognition for her work. In 2001, she received the Silver Achievement Award for Women in Medicine, which honors women and men who have contributed substantially to women in academic medicine. In 2004, she received the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal award from the American College of Physicians, given “…to that physician-scientist, clinician, or scientific group whose recent innovative work is making a notable contribution to improve clinical care in the field of internal medicine.” In 2005, she received the Walter C. Alvarez award from the American Medical Writers Association “…in recognition of someone known for his/her excellence in communication of health care developments and concepts to the public.”

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Last Update: 07/23/2014