R. Van Harrison is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Learning Health Sciences at the University of Michigan Medical School. His training as a social psychologist emphasized individual behavior in organizational settings. A major interest is the evaluation and improvement of physician performance in the delivery of health care, including developing clinical guidelines, developing measures of clinical performance, and designing changes at the individual and organizational levels to improve care. He has studied the delivery of continuing medical education at medical schools and how better to align CME and quality improvement. His educational activities include teaching systems and quality improvement to physicians, residents, medical students, and graduate students.

Areas of Interest

Research and scholarly interests: evaluation and improvement of physician performance in the delivery of health care, developing clinical guidelines, developing measures of clinical performance, designing changes at the individual and organizational levels to improve care quality and efficiency, continuing education of physicians, aligning individual interests and organizational goals

Subject-matter expertise: social psychology, procedures for developing clinical guidelines, maintenance of certification, the operation of continuing medical education units at medical schools in the U.S. and Canada, quality improvement in health care, survey research methods.

Other professional highlights: 

  • More than 100 peer-reviewed publications, including more than 50 in professional journals and more than 50 clinical care guidelines.
  • Award for Excellence in Research, Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions (2006)
  • Distinguished Service in Continuing Medical Education Award, Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education (2008)
  • Academic Medicine: Excellence in Reviewing Award (2009, 2017, 2019). Master Reviewer Award (2019)
  • Inaugural member, League of Educational Excellence, UM Medical School (2012)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award in Medical Education, University of Michigan Medical School (2019)

National professional leadership, including: President and other presidential track roles, Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education (1991-1994); Board of Directors, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (2005-2007); Steering Committee for Integrating Quality and Education, Association of American Medical Colleges (2008-2014), Expert Committee on Developing a Clinical Investigator Pathway for Part IV MOC, American Board of Medical Specialties (2013); Board of Directors, American Board of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (2017-2023).

Published Articles or Reviews

Selected publications:

  • Harrison RV. A systems-based framework for CME and improvements in translating new knowledge into physicians’ practices. Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions. 2004; 24 (4 supplement): S50-S62.
  • Harrison RV, Janz NK, Wolfe RA, Tedeschi PJ, Stross JK, Huang X, McMahon LF. Characteristics of primary care physicians and their practices associated with mammography rates for older women. Cancer. 2003; 98(9): 1811-1821.
  • Davis DA, Mazmanian PE, Fordis M, Harrison RV, Thorpe KE, Perrier L. Accuracy of physician self-assessment compared with observed measures of competence: a systematic review. JAMA. 2006 Sep 6;296(9):1094-102. Review.
  • Harrison RV, Standiford CJ, Green LA, Bernstein SJ. Integrating education into primary care quality and cost improvement at an academic medical center. J Contin Educ Health Prof. 2006 Fall;26(4):268-84.
  • Scisney-Matlock M, Bosworth HB, Giger JN, Strickland OL, Harrison RV, Coverson D, Shah NR, Dennison CR, Dunbar-Jacob JM, Jones L, Ogedegbe G, Batts-Turner ML, Jamerson KA. Strategies for implementing and sustaining therapeutic lifestyle changes as part of hypertension management in African Americans. Postgrad Med. 2009 May;121(3):147-59. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2009.05.2015(link is external). Review.
  • Chavey WE, Harrison RV, Hogikyan RV, Kwok YS, Nicklas JM. Medical management of heart failure due to reduced ejection fraction. American Family Physician, 2017; Jan 1, 95(1):13-20.
  • Shelgikar AV, Priddy C, Harrison RV.  Meeting ACGME and ABMS quality improvement requirements in a sleep medicine fellowship program.  Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 2017; 13(10):1177-1183.