Richard Besser

Chief Health and Medical Editor
Biography

Dr. Richard Besser, M.D., is ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor. In this role, he provides medical analysis and commentary for all ABC News broadcasts... Read More »

Dr. Richard Besser, M.D., is ABC News' Chief Health and Medical Editor. In this role, he provides medical analysis and commentary for all ABC News broadcasts and platforms, including "World News Tonight with David Muir," "Good Morning America" and "Nightline." In 2011 he led ABC's global health coverage, "Be the Change: Save a Life," reporting on health issues from seven different countries.

Dr. Besser came to ABC News in 2009 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he served as Acting Director for the CDC from January to June 2009, during which time he led the CDC's response to the H1N1 influenza pandemic. He also served as director of the Coordinating Office for Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response. In that role, he was responsible for all of the CDC's public health emergency preparedness and emergency response activities.

Dr. Besser began his career at the CDC in 1991 in the Epidemic Intelligence Service working on the epidemiology of food-borne diseases. Following this, beginning in 1993, he served for five years on the faculty of the University of California, San Diego as the pediatric residency director. While in San Diego he worked for the county health department on the control of pediatric tuberculosis. He returned to CDC in 1998, where he served in various capacities, including as epidemiology section chief in the Respiratory Diseases Branch; acting chief of the Meningitis and Special Pathogens Branch in the National Center for Infectious Disease; and as medical director of "Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work," the CDC's national campaign to promote appropriate antibiotic use in the community.

Dr. Besser volunteers as a Pediatrician with the Children's Aid Society in New York City. He is currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health.

The author and coauthor hundreds of presentations, abstracts, chapters, editorials and publications, Dr. Besser has received many awards for his work in public health and volunteer service. He received the Surgeon General's Medallion for his leadership during the H1N1 response, and in 2011 he accepted the Dean's Medal for his contributions to public health from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. His investigative reporting into umbilical cord blood banking was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2011. In 2012 he received an Overseas Press Club award as part of ABC's coverage of global maternal health issues and 2 Peabody Awards as part of ABC News' coverage of hurricane Sandy and Robin Roberts' health journey. His first book, "Tell Me the Truth, Doctor: Easy-to-Understand Answers to Your Most Confusing and Critical Health Questions," was published by Hyperion in April 2013.

Dr. Besser received his bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Williams College and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a residency and chief residency in pediatrics at John Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Besser met his wife, Jeanne, a food writer, while on his first outbreak investigation in 1991. They have two sons, Alex and Jack.

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The Great Water Challenge
RICHARD BESSER
Dec 17, 2010 07:11 PM Story from Health RICHARD BESSER, ABC News
Somalia Famine: How to Help
Dr. RICHARD BESSER
Jul 16, 2011 03:18 PM Story from International Dr. RICHARD BESSER, ABC News
Patient's Bill of Rights: Be Empowered Before Next Doctor Visit
DR. RICHARD BESSER
Jul 14, 2011 07:45 AM Story from Health/RichardBesser DR. RICHARD BESSER, ABC News
New Lung Cancer Pill Highlights Improved Way of Treating Patients
ENJOLI FRANCIS and RICHARD BESSER
Aug 30, 2011 07:36 AM Story from Health/CancerPreventionAndTreatment ENJOLI FRANCIS and RICHARD BESSER, ABC News
Dr. Besser's Notebook: Women's Rights in Senegal
Dr. Richard Besser Reports on One Woman's Mission to End Female Genital Cutting
Mar 16, 2011 02:21 PM Story from Health/WomensHealth RICHARD BESSER, M.D., ABC News
Are Food Allergies Exaggerated? New Study Sparks Questions
Dr. Richard Besser Answers Your Food Allergy Questions
May 17, 2010 10:28 AM Story from WN DR. RICHARD BESSER, ABC News
Dr. Besser's Notebook: African Village Faces Pneumonia
africa, global, health, pneumonia, death, world, village, kibera, vaccine, nairobi, slum, CDC, dr richard besser
Mar 17, 2011 10:03 AM Story from Health/GlobalHealth RICHARD BESSER, M.D., ABC News
What Dad Didn't Know Best: Heart Attack Signs
DR. RICHARD BESSER
Apr 19, 2012 03:51 PM Story from Health DR. RICHARD BESSER, ABC News
Robin's Next Challenge: Myelodysplastic Syndrome
"Good Morning America" anchor Robert Roberts shared news today that she's facing a serious new health challenge: MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome. Dr. Richard Besser explains what MDS
Jun 11, 2012 09:26 AM Story from Health DR. RICHARD BESSER, ABC News
Two Americans With Ebola to Be Flown Back to US 'Early Next Week'
DR. RICHARD BESSER
Aug 01, 2014 04:35 PM Story from Health DR. RICHARD BESSER, ABC News
Man Thought to Have Died From Ebola Awakens After Burial Team Wraps Him Up
Ebola, Liberia, Richard Besser,
Oct 02, 2014 11:11 AM Story from Health DR. RICHARD BESSER, ABC News
Face-to-Face With Patients in the Ebola Ward
Dr. Besser Becomes First Journalist to Walk Through ELWA2 Ebola Ward
Sep 30, 2014 12:39 PM Story from Health DR. RICHARD BESSER, ABC News
H7N9 Avian Influenza: Virus Widens Geographic Reach in China
Dr. RICHARD BESSER
Apr 13, 2013 03:09 PM Story from Health Dr. RICHARD BESSER, ABC News
Bird Flu a 'Truly Nasty Virus'
Dr. Richard Besser Reports on Dangerous Outbreak
Apr 16, 2013 09:34 AM Story from Health RICHARD BESSER, M.D., ABC News
Hong Kong Screening Chinese Poultry for Bird Flu
Dr. Richard Besser Reports on Dangerous Outbreak
Apr 16, 2013 04:07 PM Story from Health RICHARD BESSER, M.D., ABC News
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