Family Medicine

Jeffrey Borkan, MD, PhD

Chair, Professor, Family Medicine


Family Medicine Residency: University of Washington School of Medicine
MD, Case Western Reserve; PhD, MA in Medical Anthropology, Case Western Reserve; Post Doctoral in Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; BA, University of Michigan

Dr. Borkan joined the Department of Family Medicine as Chair in 2001. He is a family physician educator, researcher, clinician, and advocate whose career has bridged two fields (family medicine and medical anthropology), both in the US and abroad. Throughout his career, he has been active in family medicine research, as well as being a practicing family physician and resident/student trainer. After medical school and graduate school at Case Western Reserve and residency at the University of Washington, he joined the faculty of UMass Medical Center, based at an intercity community health center and was a Fellow in Social Medicine at Harvard. Following this, he was a rural doctor for 10 years, providing the full range of medical services to an isolated desert region in southern Israel – from acute and preventive services to births to emergencies to community health. During this time, he was also the Director of Research for the Ben-Gurion Department of Family Medicine, and the founding coordinator of a national practice-based research network. Later he joined a model teaching practice in the Galilee and served as the Vice-Chair of Behavioral Science at Tel Aviv University. At Brown, Dr. Borkan has led the revitalization of the Department of Family Medicine, been active in Rhode Island health policy, and helped spearhead curriculum reform efforts at Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. He is the past President of the Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM) and past-Chair of the Council of Academic Family Medicine (CAFM – the national coordinating organization for academic FM). Since 2013, he has been the Assistant Dean for the Primary Care-Population Medicine Program that started at Brown in August, 2015. This innovative dual degree program (MD-ScM) program enrolls up to 24 medical students seeking training for careers as primary care leaders. Dr. Borkan has frequently worked and conducted research among minorities and the underserved, both in the United States, Israel and the Pacific Island of Tonga, and writes medical stories. He has been married to Suzanne Jacobs for 30+ years and they have three children in their 20s and 30s.