Erica Frank

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Erica Frank
Photo of Dr. Erica Frank.jpg
Erica Frank

NationalityAmerican and Canadian
EducationSmith College
Mercer University
Emory University
Yale University
Stanford University
OccupationPhysician, Medical researcher
Medical career
InstitutionsCleveland Clinic
Yale University
Stanford University
United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
University of British Columbia
Sub-specialtiesPreventive medicine
ResearchPreventive medicine
AwardsAmerican Medical Association Pettis Award (1987)
American College of Preventive Medicine Rising Star Award (1996)
Rollins School of Public Health Outstanding Alumnus Award (1998)
National Cancer Institute Director's Group Award (2012)
American College of Preventive Medicine Distinguished Service Award (2012)

Erica Frank (born in 1962)[1] is a U.S.-born educational innovator, physician, medical and educational researcher, and public health advocate. Since 2006, she has been a Professor and Canada Research Chair in the School of Population and Public Health, and the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia (UBC). Her medical specialty is Preventive Medicine.


Frank received a B.A. in Honors and Independent Studies degree from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, an M.D. degree in 1988 from Mercer University (Macon, Georgia) and an M.P.H. degree in 1984, with an emphasis on Health Education and Epidemiology, from Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia).[1] She interned from 1988 to 1989 at the Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland, Ohio), completed a preventive medicine residency in 1990 at Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut), was an NIH Prevention Research Fellow from 1990 to 1993 at Stanford University (Palo Alto, California) in preventive medicine, and is board certified in preventive medicine.[2]

Professional experience[edit]

In 2006, Frank became the Tier I Canada Research Chair in Preventive Medicine and Population Health at UBC. Before moving to UBC she was a full Professor, Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, and Director of the Division of Preventive Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia. She clinically specialized in cholesterol management at Emory's indigent health clinics and in their tertiary referral center from 1993 – 2004. During that time she also served as a Research Physician, Medical Epidemiologist, and Medical Consultant at the U.S. CDC, in Cancer Control, Health Care and Aging, Injury Control, Nutrition and Physical Activity, STD Prevention, and the Office on Smoking and Health.[citation needed]

She is an advocate for public health, most notably having served on the boards of the American College of Preventive Medicine (1997–2003) and Physicians for Social Responsibility (1998–2009, including serving as PSR's president from 2008 to 2009), and as an elected municipal official with special responsibilities for public health and sustainability for the University Neighbourhoods Association of the University of British Columbia (2007–2013). She has also served as a board member, executive committee member, and/or president of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, American Medical Association (AMA) Council on Long Range Planning, AMA Section on Medical Schools’ Governing Council, Association of Teachers of Preventive Medicine Foundation, Center for Policy Analysis on Trade and Health, DuPont Epidemiology Advisory Board, DuPont Health Advisory Board, National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation, UBC President's Commission on Sustainability, and the Ulrich and Ruth Frank Foundation for International Health. Frank is research director of the Annenberg Physician Training Program (since 2005), served as a senior medical scientist for the Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare of BC (2006–2007), and has travelled and/or worked in 70 countries. She founded the Ulrich and Ruth Frank Foundation for International Health in 1988 and continuously served as its president until 2019.

She is the inventor/founder (in 2001) of,[3] now (as of 2020) with registrants in every country, and effectively the world’s first free university.[4] Starting with a focus in the health sciences,’s uniquely free and accredited courses span from college-level pre-health sciences and community health worker trainings, through fully developed Graduate Medical Education and the first globally freely available degree content, a Master's in Public Health. She has tested and published on this model in North American medical, public health, and undergraduate students, and in community health workers and primary care physicians in Kenya and in India, and holds a $16 million USD endowment for this work.

Frank was the health reporter from 1985 to 1987 for the central Georgia ABC-TV affiliate, Editor of the student component of JAMA in 1987–88, the health reporter for Vogue in 1988–89, and Co-Editor in Chief of the scientific journal, Preventive Medicine from 1994 to 1999. She has also made multiple international television and radio appearances, written editorials, and been quoted in print as an expert on various prevention-related topics with Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, BBC, CBC, CNN, Later Today Show, National Press Club, The New York Times, Reuters, USA Today, The Vancouver Observer[5] and others.[2]

Frank also has worked as a green building designer, UBC School of Population and Public Health museum Founder/Director, social entrepreneur, and environmentalist. In sustainable design, she helped lead developing 3 of UBC’s "Top 10 Campus Gems" (a skatepark, an outdoor classroom, and the display of the Bioenergy Research & Demonstration Facility),[6] was co-designer and inhabitant of three cohousing communities, and had 12 years of co-designing, owning, and inhabiting the only energy independent home in Georgia. She is the Founder and Director of the Museum of Population and Public Health at UBC, was the Founder and President of, and was the owner/SuperHost of the only non-profit AirBnb/VRBO home.[7]


Frank has published over 170 peer-reviewed scientific publications, including four first-authored papers in JAMA and articles in other major peer-reviewed medical journals such as The Lancet, BMJ and Annals of Internal Medicine.

In addition to Frank's research on the efficacy of to improve health, her other research has revealed how physicians’ (and medical students') personal and clinical prevention habits strongly and consistently influence their patients' habits. This work has led to her developing the Healthy Doc – Healthy Patient initiative, a series of studies and programs to improve physicians' prevention counseling by improving their personal health practices.

This research began in 1991 with Frank's conducting "The Women Physicians’ Health Study". WPHS demonstrated that physicians’ health practices strongly and consistently influence their patient care practices and that (contrary to myth) physicians have extremely healthy personal practices. Frank was also the Principal Investigator of a national study at 17 U.S. medical schools, showing that it is possible to cultivate personal health habits among medical students, and that these students are then more likely to counsel their patients about prevention. Frank has globally led the study and promotion of the relationship between physicians’ personal and clinical prevention habits, publishing >100 physician health articles, found here.[8] This includes being Principal Investigator of multiple (>=2/country) national studies in Canada, Colombia, Israel, and the U.S., importantly establishing the strong, consistent "Healthy Doc = Healthy Patient" relationship (shown here[9] with 1.9 million Israeli patients and their 1,488 physicians), and its predecessor, a 5 year, 17 U.S. medical school intervention study[10] showing the positive effects of encouraging medical students’ healthy behaviors on their personal and clinical prevention habits.

Personal life[edit]

Frank is the daughter of Ulrich Anton Frank, a prolific and renowned biomedical engineer, sculptor, and painter, Ruth Esser Frank, Ed.D., a professor of education at Bucks County Community College, both refugees from Hitler's Germany. Frank was married to Randall White (from 1990-2015), the father of their son, Nathaniel Etheridge Frank-White ["Ridge"]. She is married (2015-present) to Kevin Bradley, a sustainable designer/builder, and her partner in scalable carbon sequestration charities and businesses. She was from 1999 until 2006 a resident of the Lake Claire cohousing community, and co-designed, built, and inhabited [11] the only energy independent home in Georgia (1995–2006).[12]


  • Nominated by U.S. Congressman John Lewis and selected as U.S. National Library of Medicine "Local Legend" (2004)[13]
  • Recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, presented by the American College of Preventive Medicine (2012)[14]
  • Recipient of the Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award, presented by the American College of Preventive Medicine (2015)[15]


  1. ^ a b Staff (December 30, 1990). "Dr. Erica Frank, Physician, Weds". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  2. ^ a b "biography - Erica Frank, MD - Georgia". Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Erica Frank". The Vancouver Observer. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  6. ^ "Top 10 campus gems". 12 August 2013.
  7. ^ "Lovely views from our remarkable resort lodge home - Houses for Rent in Sedro-Woolley, Washington, United States". Airbnb.
  8. ^ "Sorted List of Physician/Medical Student Health publications from Erica Frank, MD, MPH". Google Docs.
  9. ^ Frank, Erica; Dresner, Yizchak; Shani, Michal; Vinker, Shlomo (1 January 2013). "The association between physicians' and patients' preventive health practices". Canadian Medical Association Journal. 185 (8): 649–53. doi:10.1503/cmaj.121028. PMC 3652935. PMID 23569163 – via
  10. ^
  11. ^ CNN Environmental News (2006). Solar powered house makes light of utility bills. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  12. ^ Florida / Georgia Resource Directory. Building Concerns - Case Studies Residential. Retrieved 2010-07-26.
  13. ^ "Meet Local Legend: Erica Frank, M.D." U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  14. ^ "2015 Distinguished Service Award". American College of Preventive Medicine. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  15. ^ "2015 ACPM Award Winners". American College of Preventive Medicine. Retrieved 7 July 2015.

External links[edit]