Dr. David Rakel started his career near the Teton Mountains in Driggs, Idaho, where he was in rural private practice for five years before completing a two-year residential fellowship in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Center. He was the founder and director of the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine Program and was awarded tenure in the department of family medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health in 2010. Dr. Rakel is co-editor of the Textbook of Family Medicine (8th and 9th editions), editor of Integrative Medicine (1st through 5th editions), co-editor of Conn’s Current Therapy, and editor-in-chief of Primary Care Practice Update. He is also the author of a book on the power of the therapeutic relationship titled The Compassionate Connection (WW. Norton Publishing).
Dr. Rakel has received NIH funding to study the ‘clinician effect’ and to incorporate healing modalities into medical school curricula. His team was awarded a six-year contract to educate clinicians in the Veterans Health Administration toward a personalized, proactive, and patient-driven cultural shift in healthcare delivery. He has been awarded a number of teaching awards, including the Baldwin E. Lloyd clinical teacher award, the UW Department of Family Medicine faculty excellence award, the Marc Hansen lecture award, the resident teacher-of-the-year award, and the Leonard Tow Faculty compassion award. He has also been elected to the Gold Humanism medical society.
His professional passion is to explore complex systems and develop insight into how each can find a path toward health. This focus has served in addressing clinician burnout and strategizing to improve healthcare delivery systems. Dr. Rakel is now the professor and chair of the Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque, New Mexico.