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 and... 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 with Diane Sawyer," "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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Deciphering the Signs of Anorexia in the Very Young
Richard Besser
Apr 16, 2014 05:03 PM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
The Flu: Everything You Need to Know This Season
Richard Besser
Jan 14, 2014 06:00 AM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
New Brain Monitor Aims to Alert Doctors When Patients Wake During Surgery
Richard Besser
Jan 17, 2013 05:29 PM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
5 Tips to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Richard Besser
Jan 23, 2013 08:30 AM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
Doctors Warn of New Stomach 'Superbug' Hitting U.S.
Richard Besser
Jan 26, 2013 06:01 AM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
Early Flu Season Hits Hard
Richard Besser
Jan 08, 2013 05:48 PM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
Tropical Diseases Infect 1 in 6 People Worldwide
A nurse works to treat patients in Bangladesh. (Credit: Dr. Richard Besser) There are so many things we take for granted in America. One of them is that our children are not regularly
Apr 02, 2013 07:00 AM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
Nelson Mandela's Lung Infection Could Be Pneumonia
Richard Besser
Mar 28, 2013 10:29 AM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
Hepatitis A Outbreak: A Berry Important Lesson
"Tell Me the Truth, Doctor" is a weekly column written by ABC News' chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser.
Jun 27, 2013 06:01 AM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
Soda Sale Decline Could Signal Healthy Change
Richard Besser
Jul 25, 2013 06:00 AM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiatives, Big and Small
Richard Besser
Sep 10, 2013 10:38 AM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
Older Americans Over-Screened for Colon Cancer
Dr. Richard Besser. Look for Dr. Besser's book April 23.
Mar 14, 2013 06:00 AM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
Over 50? Join the 'Colonoscopy Club'
"Tell Me the Truth, Doctor" is a weekly column written by ABC News' chief health and medical editor Dr. Richard Besser.
Mar 07, 2013 06:02 AM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
Tired? It Could Be Your Heart
. Dr. Richard Besser is ABC News' chief health and medical editor.
Feb 07, 2013 07:00 AM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
Outrage at the Increasingly High Cost of Cancer Drugs
Richard Besser
Dec 18, 2013 06:00 PM Blog Entry from Health Richard Besser, ABC News
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