Erica Frank

Erica Frank

Erica Frank, Professor in the School of Population and Public Health, and the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, is an American-born physician, researcher and activist now working in Canada. She specializes in preventive medicine, and her research emphasizes the degree to which a clinician's positive health habits influences patients' positive health habits.


Frank is a UBC Tier I Canada Research Chair in Preventive Medicine and Population Health and a Senior Scholar of the [ The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research] . She is the Founder and Executive Director of [ Health Sciences Online] , the largest and most comprehensive ad-free health sciences information portal; she is also an active volunteer and environmentalist and the President of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Previously, until 2006, she was full Professor, Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, and Director of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

She was Co-Editor in Chief of the scientific journal, "Preventive Medicine" from 1994 to 1999.

Personal life

She is the daughter of [ Ulrich Anton Frank] (1922-1990) a biomedical engineer with many patents and a prolific painter and sculptor, and Ruth Esser Frank, Ed.D. (1922-), a former professor of education at Bucks County Community College. She is married to Randall White, MD, Vancouver psychiatrist and environmentalist, and mother of Ridge Frank-White. She is a former resident of the [ Lake Claire cohousing community] (1999-2006), and (with her husband) co-designed, built, and inhabited the only energy independent home in Georgia (1995-2006).


Frank received a Medical Doctorate (1988, Mercer University) and a Master's Degree in Public Health with an emphasis on Health Education and Epidemiology (1984, Emory University). Frank completed a residency (1990, Yale University) and fellowship training (1990-1993 Stanford University) in preventive medicine, and is board certified in preventive medicine.


Frank's research has focused on physician's preventive habits. This work has led to develop the Healthy Doc - Healthy Patient project, a series of programs to improve physicians' prevention counseling by improving their personal health practices. Frank has done extensive research on the extent to which physicians' habits shape their patients' habits. She has published over 100 articles including four first-authored "JAMA" citations, and articles in other major peer-reviewed medical journals such as the "The Lancet", "BMJ" and "Annals of Internal Medicine".

As Principal Investigator, Frank conducted "The Women Physicians’ Health Study". WPHS demonstrated that:
# physicians’ health practices strongly and consistently influence their patient care practices and that
# women physicians represent a high standard for adoption of health behaviors.The study demonstrated that female physicians have healthy habits and that those physicians with the healthiest habits are most likely to encourage patients to adopt such habits. These data are summarized in a one-page JAMA paper, [cite journal |title=Physician Health and Patient Care |author=Frank Erica |journal=JAMA |url= |date=2004-02-04 |volume=291 |issue=5 |accessdate=2008-01-30 |pages=637 |doi=10.1001/jama.291.5.637] and in several dozen additional papers.

Frank was next the Principal Investigator of a national study at 17 U.S. medical schools, showing that it is possible to cultivate personal health habits among medical students, and that these students are then more likely to counsel their patients about prevention.

Frank continues her Healthy Doc = Healthy Patient work by expanding the lens of her research to include international collaborations, including leading the Canadian Physician Health Study in 2007-2008, and work in Colombia, Laos, and Cambodia.

Awards and Accomplishments

Frank has been lauded in the scientific community for her work in public health and preventive medicine. She is a member of Alpha Omega Alpha (a national medical honor society), and her work has been recognized in a number of awards, including:
* The AMA/Pettis Award, for her work as the outstanding U.S. medical student communicator (1987)
* The American College of Preventive Medicine’s (ACPM’s) “ [ Rising Star Award] ” (in 1996, the first year this award was offered)
* The Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Rollins School of Public Health (1998)
* Featured as an “ecoheroine” by [ Atlanta Woman magazine] (2005)
* Appointed as Canada Research Chair (2006)


External links

* [ earlier bio at The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research]
* [ Official web page at The University of British Columbia]
* [ Health Sciences Online]

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