Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH)
Richard W. Besdine, M.D.
Dr. Richard W. Besdine has devoted his career to the development and advancement of geriatrics through university-based and public health care policy work for more than 25 years. He has trained more than 120 physicians for careers in geriatrics, most of whom are now academic faculty. Dr. Besdine is Professor of Medicine, Director of the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research at Brown University, Director of the Division of Geriatrics in the Department of Medicine, Chief of Geriatrics for Lifespan, and the first Greer Professor of Geriatric Medicine. He is also Chief Medical Officer for Healthcentric Advisors, the Quality Improvement Organization with the Medicare contract for Rhode Island. Dr. Besdine also served as Interim Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences at Brown Medical School (2002–2005). He is past President of the American Geriatrics Society, and past chair of its Board of Directors.
Dr. Besdine has created innovative recruitment and training programs for future leaders in the field of geriatrics while leading the three fellowship programs he founded. He has been listed in all editions of Best Doctors in America for internal medicine and geriatrics. He has authored nearly 100 scholarly publications on aging, and edits widely in medicine. Before coming to Brown in 2000, he was Professor of Medicine, founding Director of the University of Connecticut Center on Aging, and the first Travelers Professor of Geriatrics and Gerontology at the University of Connecticut Health Center School of Medicine. He was also principal investigator of an NIH Claude Pepper Older Americans Independence Center, and oversaw studies of interventions to prolong vitality in older persons. Dr. Besdine was on the Harvard Medical School faculty for 15 years. During that time, he cofounded Harvard's Division on Aging with John W. Rowe, M.D., and developed one of the first academic Geriatrics fellowship training programs.
Dr. Besdine spent 1995–97 in Federal service as HCFA (now CMS) Chief Medical Officer and Director of its Health Standards and Quality Bureau. His research interests include prevention, Medicare quality improvement, and interventions to promote independence in older persons.