Richard A. Swenson, M.D., received his B.S. in physics (Phi Beta Kappa) from Denison University (1970) and his M.D. from the University of Illinois School of Medicine (1974). Following five years of private practice, in 1982 Dr. Swenson accepted a teaching position as Associate Clinical Professor within the University of Wisconsin Medical School system-Department of Family Medicine where he taught for fifteen years. He currently is a full-time futurist, physician-researcher, author, and educator. As a physician, his focus is "cultural medicine," researching the intersection of health and culture. As a futurist, his emphasis is fourfold: the future of the world system, western culture, faith, and healthcare.
Dr. Swenson has traveled extensively (to fifty-five countries, living abroad a total of three years), including a year of study in Europe and medical work in developing countries. During a week of speaking (English only) at a large church in Kuwait, he fished in the Persian Gulf in sight of Iran & Iraq with a Pakistani guide named Muhammad. He is author of nine books, including the best-selling MARGIN: Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives and THE OVERLOAD SYNDROME: Learning to Live within Your Limits, both award-winning. His latest book, Contentment: The Secret of a Lasting Calm was released in 2013. His books have seen eleven translations and are known to exist in 150 countries.
He has written and presented widely, including both national and international settings, on the themes of margin, life balance, contentment, stress, overload, complexity, societal change, health care, and future trends. A representative listing of presentations include a wide variety of career, professional, educational, governmental, and management groups, most major church denominations and organizations, members of the United Nations, of Congress, of NASA, and of the Pentagon. He was an invited guest participant for the 44th Annual National Security Seminar.
Dr. Swenson has given keynote presentations to national medical conferences such as the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Association of Occupational Medicine, and the U. S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command Commander's Conference. He has given ten presentations at the Mayo Clinic as well as hundreds of other national, state, and local medical settings. He also has researched extensively and written on the future of healthcare, helping to initiate a national multidisciplinary group examining the health care crisis and exploring new paradigms. In 2002, he was awarded the National Leadership Award from the Central States Occupational Medical Association for his original work on margin and overload. In 2003 he was awarded Educator of the Year Award by Christian Medical and Dental Associations.
Dr. Swenson and his wife, Linda, live in Menomonie, Wisconsin. They have two sons, Matthew (& Suzie) and Adam (& Maureen), and a granddaughter, Katja Elizabeth.