Marc Ringel, M.D. was born and raised in Chicago, attended college in New Orleans and Madrid, did his medical training in Chicago, and then became a rural family physician, starting with the National Health Service Corps in Yuma, Colorado, population 2000. For nine years he served on the faculty of North Colorado Family Medicine Family Practice Residency Training Program (NCFM) in Greeley. There he developed alternative training programs at Sunrise Community Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center, and a rural training track in Wray, Colorado. Both programs, which opened in 1992, are still thriving (as of 2019). Wray remains the smallest town in the United States to host a full-time graduate medical training program.
One of Dr. Ringel’s faculty duties at NCFM was to serve as Director of Continuing Medical Education (CME) for the residency’s sponsoring hospital, North Colorado Medical Center. This led to a rich career in CME, consulting for a number of organizations. He has chaired the medical advisory committees of several CME companies, including HealthStream, for which he still fills a consultative role. Ringel was the first medical director to develop and monitor remedial learning programs for doctors at Colorado Personalized Education Program for Physicians (CPEP). Working with distressed physicians led him to theorize that isolation, professional and personal, is a principal cause of underperformance in medical practice, rural or urban.
Keeping doctors connected, via education and participation in research, are two important strategies for maintaining connection. Over the course of Ringel’s career information technology has risen exponentially in importance, with a huge potential, mostly unrealized, to improve patient care and outcomes, and as a means of countering professional isolation. He was in on the very inception of telehealth in Colorado, having developed three successful telehealth programs–wound care, psychiatry consultation and anticoagulation management–while practicing at East Morgan County Hospital in Brush, Colorado. Ringel has written numerous articles and spoken extensively on telehealth and information technology. He has authored three books: Accessing Medical Information from a Desert Island with Telephone Service in 1993; Telemedicine and the Reinvention of Healthcare in 1999; and Digital Healing: People, Information and Healthcare in 2018. For sixteen years he was a regular commentator on KUNC public radio in Colorado, as well as doing commentaries for American Public Media’s “Marketplace.” He has authored regular health columns in several Colorado newspapers, as well as for the Ripon (WI) Commonwealth, for Nexus Magazine and Health and Money Magazine.
Dr. Ringel is board certified in family medicine, with a certificate of special qualification in hospice and palliative medicine. He worked for five years as a senior clinical instructor in the University of Colorado Department of Family Medicine, where he was associate director of the Rural Track and associate director of High Plains Research Network. He was medical director of Hospice of Northern Colorado in Greeley for three years; has served as medical director of two nursing homes and a home care service; filled multiple medical staff and other professional leadership roles; and for seven months in 1988 was acting medical director of the Weld County, Colorado Department of Health and Environment.
Marc retired from clinical practice in 2018. He continues to write and consult on information technology and rural issues in healthcare. He speaks fluent Spanish.
American healthcare is at a critical juncture. Providers and patients are increasingly frustrated by degradation of the human relationships that lie at the core of medical practice. This book takes a broad view of how and why healthcare and technology have come to their current predicament, and analyzes how to organize the work of healthcare in ways that use machines to do what they do best, thereby freeing humans to do what we do best.Purchase Book