Rachel M. Werner, MD, PhD

Rachel M. Werner, MD, PhD


Executive Director, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics (LDI)
Robert D. Eilers Professor, Health Care Management, Wharton School
Professor, Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine

Dr. Werner, MD, PhD is Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine as well as the Robert D. Eilers Professor of Health Care Management at the Wharton School. She is the Executive Director of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics and a practicing physician at the Philadelphia VA. 

Over the last 15 years, Dr. Werner has built a foundational research program examining the effects of health care policies on health care delivery, using methods designed to draw causal inference from observational data. She has investigated the unintended consequences of quality improvement incentives, and was among the first to recognize that public reporting of quality information may worsen racial disparities.

Her research has been published in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, including JAMA, Health Services Research, and Health Affairs. Beyond publication, Dr. Werner has influenced policy as a member of the National Quality Forum’s Expert Panel on Risk Adjustment and Socioeconomic Status and an advisor to the federal government on quality measurement and quality improvement incentives. She now serves on Pennsylvania’s Nursing Home Quality Improvement Task Force. She is a Core Investigator with the VA HSR&D Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP), and directs one of four national centers to evaluate the effectiveness of the VA's medical home.

Dr. Werner has received numerous awards for her work, including the Alice Hersh New Investigator Award from AcademyHealth, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and the American Federation of Medical Research (AFMR) Outstanding Investigator Award. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine.

She received her undergraduate degree from Macalester College, and her medical degree and doctoral degree in health economics from the University of Pennsylvania.