Rochester, Minnesota




Michelle van Ryn, Ph.D., studies the equity and quality of health care encounters for patients and families, with a special focus on the ways that individual and social interaction processes influence interpersonal quality of care and clinical decision-making. Her research has improved the national understanding of how providers unintentionally contribute to disparities in care. This work is leading to interventions to improve health care encounters, experiences and outcomes for providers, patients and their families.

Focus areas

  • Provider, patient and encounter factors that protect from inequalities in health care
  • Factors that protect providers from unintended biases in care
  • The impact of medical education on the equity and quality of care provided by new physicians
  • The impact of patient experiences of stigma and stereotype threat on health care encounters and outcomes
  • Provider personal resources and well-being

Significance to patient care

All patients deserve high-quality interpersonal interactions with providers and the best clinical decision-making providers have to offer. All providers deserve the conditions and support necessary to provide high-quality and equitable care to all their patients. Dr. van Ryn's research examines factors that either interfere with or advance those goals. This information guides strategies to improve health care interactions, experiences and health outcomes for providers, diverse patients and their families.


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Academic Rank

  1. Professor of Health Services Research


  1. Postdoctoral Training - Training Grant in Applied Research in Aging University of Michigan, National Institute on Aging
  2. PhD - Social Psychology and Health Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies; University of Michigan
  3. Predoctoral Fellowship - Rackham Predoctoral Fellowship Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies
  4. Traineeship - Training Grant in Psychosocial Factors and Mental Health and Illness University of Michigan, National Institutes of Health
  5. Predoctoral Fellowship - National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Foundation University of Michigan
  6. MPH - Health Behavior and Health Education School of Public Health, University of Michigan
  7. BS - Liberal Studies Regents College

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