Ruth Hickman

Ruth Jessen Hickman, MD

Freelance Health and Medical Writer


Medical Journalism, Rheumatology, Autoimmune Diseases, Neurology


Kenyon College, Loyola University, The Ohio State University, The Indiana University School of Medicine


I believe that the better patients understand their disease and treatment options, the more they can take charge of their health and make effective choices to care for themselves. I write across the biomedical sciences, but I am particularly interested in the illnesses of the brain (including those studied by psychiatry and neurology).

— Ruth Jessen Hickman, MD


Ruth Jessen Hickman, MD, is fascinated by the workings of the human body, including the pathophysiology of disease. As a freelance health and medical writer, she strives to write clearly and accurately about a variety of topics related to human health. With her extensive background in the humanities and her broad medical education, Dr. Jessen Hickman is able to write accessibly for both laypeople and medical professionals.

Dr. Jessen Hickman has worked as a freelance health and medical writer since 2011. She specializes in writing about medical topics for non-professional audiences. She has worked with medical communications companies to write straightforward but precise patient education materials. She has also worked part-time as a professional educator in premedical courses and uses this expertise to help shape readable, understandable prose. As the author of “Going Through Puberty: A Girls’ Manual for Body, Mind, and Health,” she has educated young readers about their overall health. Dr. Jessen Hickman also specializes in feature articles aimed at medical professionals. For example, she is a frequent contributor to Rheumatology Now, the physician magazine of the American Academy of Rheumatology.


Dr. Jessen Hickman’s early educational background was in the arts and humanities, and she graduated with a degree in philosophy from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. For several years she worked in a variety of medical research settings, including laboratories studying mouse models of multiple sclerosis and fragile X syndrome. In 2011, she obtained her medical degree from the Indiana University School of Medicine, where she received honors in neurology, rheumatology, and psychiatry. It was here that she developed her passion for empowering patients and their loved ones through providing better communication and education about medical conditions.

Verywell Health Editorial Process

Verywell Health is an award-winning online resource for reliable, understandable, and up-to-date health information on the medical topics that matter most to you. We take a human approach to health and wellness content and reach more than 300 million readers annually.

Our editorial team includes writers, editors, and fact checkers who make sure our information is clear, accurate, and useful so you can make confident choices about your health.

Our writers are notable voices in their respective disciplines, from physicians to medical journalists to patients/patient advocates. These individuals are specifically selected for their extensive knowledge and real-world experience, as well as their ability to communicate complex information in a clear, helpful, and unbiased way.

Our team of qualified and experienced fact checkers provide a critical step in our commitment to content integrity. Fact checkers rigorously review articles for accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. We use only the most current and reputable primary references, including peer-reviewed medical journals, government organizations, academic institutions, and advocacy associations.

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