Ruth Jesse Hickman, MD

Ruth Jessen Hickman, MD
Title: Medical and Science Writer
Education: Kenyon College, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Health and medical writer for 10+ years
  • Frequent writer for multiple medical societies, including The American College of Rheumatology; the American Society of Nephrology; The American Society of Hematology; The American College of Emergency Physicians; and The American Laryngological, Rhinological, and Otological Society
  • Often covers medical conferences, e.g., for the American Association of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Neurology, the American College of Rheumatology, and others
  • Author of “Going Through Puberty: A Girl’s Manual for Body, Mind, and Health” and “Going Through Puberty: A Boy’s Manual for Body, Mind, and Health”
  • Member of the American Medical Writers Association

Experience

During medical school, Ruth came to feel that the medical system sometimes failed patients when it came to education and clear communication. She thought that patients could often understand their medical problems more deeply if they received the right context and instruction. Thus, instead of pursuing clinical medicine, Ruth opted to build on her strength of clearly explaining medical topics though a career as a freelance medical writer, writing both for lay people and for health professional audiences. She writes across the biomedical sciences but holds strong interests in rheumatology, neurology, rare diseases, autoimmune conditions, genetics, and the intersection of broader social, cultural, and emotional worlds with biomedical topics.

For more than a decade, Ruth has written for multiple outlets providing patient education, including Health and Verywell. She has written for health student education companies, collaborating on an anatomy textbook project with McGraw-Hill. Ruth also enjoys writing for young audiences, as in her book on the changes of puberty. When writing for health professionals, Ruth minimizes unnecessary technical language in news and magazine pieces. For all audiences, Ruth provides highly accessible and relevant content.

I write health information because I want to provide clearer but more accurate information to patients, helping them make better informed choices and ultimately live healthier lives. With my educational background, I’m able to provide approachable but detailed information in a way that people can understand.

Education

Ruth Jessen Hickman, MD, attended Kenyon college, where she studied English, psychology, and other topics in the humanities, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, summa cum laude. She worked in a neuroscience lab at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where she studied Fragile X syndrome. She completed a year of graduate work in Integrated Biomedical Science at The Ohio State University, where she studied mouse models of multiple sclerosis, kidney disease, psychoneuroimmunology, and other topics. She graduated from Indiana University Medical School in 2011, where she took a particular interest in neurology, psychiatry, rheumatology, immunology, genetics, and women’s health issues.

About Health

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