Michael Rich

Dr. Rich was one of the panelists for the Forum’s discussion on Why We Overeat.

Cognizant of the potency of images and of the primacy of mass media as a source of information and influence for young people, Dr. Michael Rich focuses on media as a force that powerfully affects child development, health, and behavior. In 2002, he founded the Center on Media and Child Health (CMCH), an interdisciplinary center of excellence in research, clinical interventions, and education on the effects of media on the physical, mental, and social health of children and adolescents. CMCH is developing and evaluating interventions to help children protect themselves from negative aspects of media, while still using and enjoying them.

Having come to medicine after a 12-year career as a filmmaker in Hollywood and Japan, Dr. Rich actively uses media as a tool for understanding and actively promoting child health. Dr. Rich wrote and co-produced an engaging, child-friendly video, Relieve the Squeeze, starring Danny DeVito and Nia Long, which educates and empowers children with asthma to take control of their disease. The Society for Adolescent Medicine honored Dr. Rich in with their New Investigator Award in 1998 for the creation of Video Intervention/Prevention Assessment (VIA), a research method where child and adolescent patients make video illness narratives to show and tell their clinicians about their experience of illness. To date, VIA has been used with children and adolescents to study chronic health conditions ranging from asthma and obesity to spina bifida and HIV.

Dr. Rich received his MD from Harvard Medical School and his MPH degree from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He completed an internship, residency, and fellowship at Children’s Hospital Boston. Dr. Rich is a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Society for Adolescent Medicine and is board certified in Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.