Dr. Betancourt's primary interests include cross-cultural medicine, minority recruitment into the health professions, and minority health/health policy research. He has served as Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on grants from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, The Commonwealth Fund, the California Endowment, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in addition to being co-investigator on projects funded by the National Cancer Institute and the Health Resources and Services Administration. Dr. Betancourt has served on several Institute of Medicine Committees, including those that produced "Unequal Treatment: Confronting Racial/Ethnic Disparities in Health Care," "Guidance for a National Health Care Disparities Report," and "In the Nation's Compelling Interest: Ensuring Diversity in the Health Care Workforce." Dr. Betancourt currently co-chairs the MGH Disparities Committee and the Harvard Medical School Cross-Cultural Care Committee. He also chairs Aetna's External Racial/Ethnic Disparities Advisory Committee, and was recently named to Wal-Mart's Health Insight Panel. He co-created the nationally used e-learning program, "Quality Interactions: A Patient-Based Approach to Cross-Cultural Care."
Dr. Betancourt has written on topics including racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care; hypertension, diabetes, and cerebrovascular disease in minority populations; cross-cultural care and education; ethics; workforce diversity; clinical decision-making; and the impact of language barriers on health care. He teaches cross-cultural medicine, health disparities, and health policy at MGH-Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health.
Dr. Betancourt received his medical degree from the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School in 1994, and completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in 1997. Following residency, he completed the CFHU Fellowship, and received his M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health in 1998.Publications: Betancourt JR, Green AR, Carrillo JE, Park ER. Cultural competence and health care disparities: key perspectives and trends. Health Affairs (Millwood). 2005 Mar-Apr; 24(2):499–505. Betancourt JR, Green AR, Carrillo JE, Maina A. Barriers to health promotion and disease prevention in the Latino population. Clin Cornerstone. 2004; 6(3):16-26; discussion 27–9. Betancourt JR, Ananeh-Firempong O. Not Me! Doctors, decisions, and disparities in health care. Cardiovascular Reviews and Reports 2004; 25:105–9. Betancourt JR, Maina A. The Institute of Medicine report "Unequal Treatment": implications for academic health centers. Mt Sinai J Med. 2004; 71:314–21. Betancourt JR. Cultural competence—marginal or mainstream movement? N Engl J Med. 2004; 351:953–5. Cone DC. Richardson LD. Todd KH. Betancourt JR. Lowe RA. "Health care disparities in emergency medicine." Academic Emergency Medicine. 10(11):1176–83, November 2003. Betancourt JR. Green AR. Carrillo JE. Ananeh-Firempong O 2nd. "Defining cultural competence: a practical framework for addressing racial/ethnic disparities in health and health care." Public Health Reports. 118(4):293–302, July/August 2003. Betancourt JR. King RK. "Unequal treatment: the Institute of Medicine report and its public health implications." Public Health Reports. 118(4):287–92, July/August 2003. Betancourt JR. "Cross-cultural medical education: conceptual approaches and frameworks for evaluation." Academic Medicine. 78(6):560–9, June 2003. Betancourt JR. "IOM highlights health disparities: implications for health plans." Healthplan. 43(4):30–3, 36, July/August 2002. Betancourt JR. "Unequal Treatment in Health Care: Findings, recommendations and new directions for our healthcare system." Harvard Health Policy Review, January 2003. Joseph R. Betancourt, Alexander Green, J. Emilio Carrillo. Cultural Competence in Health Care: Emerging Frameworks and Practical Approaches. The Commonwealth Fund, October 2002. Joseph Betancourt, MD, MPH. "Unequal Treatment: The Institute of Medicine's Findings and Recommendations on Healthcare Disparities." Harvard Health Policy Review, Vol. 3, No. 2, Fall 2002. Green A, J Betancourt and J Carrillo. "Integrating Social Factors into Cross-Cultural Medical Education." Academic Medicine. Vol. 77, No. 3, March 2002. Green A, J Betancourt, and J Carrillo. "Why the Disease-Based Model of Medicine Fails Our Patients." West Journal of Medicine. Vo. 176, March 2002. Betancourt JR, Jacobs EA. "Language Barriers to Informed Consent and Confidentiality: The Impact on Women's Health." JAMWA. 2000. Betancourt JR, Carrillo JE, Green AR. "Hypertension in Multicultural and Minority Populations: Linking Communication to Compliance." Current Hypertension Reports, 1999. Green AR, Betancourt JR, Carrillo JE. "The Relation Between Somatic Symptoms and Depression (letter)." New England Journal of Medicine. January 2000. Betancourt JR, King RK. "Diversity in Healthcare: Expanding our Perspectives." Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. 2000. Elixhauser, Anne, R Weinick, J Betancourt and R Andrews. "Differences Between Hispanics and Non-Hispanic White In Use of Hospital Procedures for Cerebrovascular Disease." Ethnicity and Disease. Vol. 12, Winter 2002.