Richard S. Baker, M.D.


Richard S. Baker, M.D. is Executive Director of the Center for Health Services Research and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science and President of the Charles Drew University Multi- Specialty Practice Group. He holds a joint faculty appointment at UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine and is a member of the Jules Stein Eye Institute where he serves as Associate Director of the Jules Stein Center for Eye Epidemiology. He is a board certified ophthalmologist and a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Previous positions at Charles Drew University include University Provost, Dean of the College of Medicine, Associate Vice President for Research, Associate Dean for Research, Assistant Dean for Medical Student Research and Director of the Charles Drew NIH-RCMI Biomedical Research Center. He has also served as Associate Dean at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.

Dr. Baker is the founding Director of the Drew Health Services Research Center and Co- founder and Executive Director of the Drew Urban Telemedicine Center of Excellence. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Medical Association (CMA), the Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS), the Latinx Physicians of California (LPOC) and Healthy African American Families (HAAF). Previous Board service includes the Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA), the Association of Minority Health Professions Schools (AMHPS), the UCLA School of Medicine Board of Visitors, the California Black Health Network, the Drew Economic Development Corporation, the Drew Faculty Practice Plan, and as a founding board member of the Los Angeles Eye Institute.

Dr. Baker has been recognized for his scientific and civic contributions by National Medical Fellowships as a Distinguished Alumnus, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the National Association of Public Hospitals, the California State Legislature, Tavis Smiley/Microsoft, the City of Lynwood and numerous community organizations. He is an elected member of the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society and has been recognized as one of “America’s Top Ophthalmologist” by the Consumer Research Council of America.

A native of Harlem New York, Dr. Baker received his undergraduate degree in Physics from Stanford University.  He was awarded his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School with concurrent doctoral training in Health Sciences Technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Upon completion of medical school, Dr. Baker was awarded a fellowship at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School.  He then went on to complete an internship in General Surgery at the University of Minnesota.  After completion of his internship, Dr. Baker was awarded a National Institutes of Health Fellowship in Biostatistics and Epidemiology at the University of Minnesota.  He then completed his ophthalmology residency training at the Charles Drew University.

Dr. Baker currently serves as Chair of the Council on Scientific and Clinical Affairs of the California Medical Association. He has been Principal Investigator of multiple studies and a published author in the fields of Ophthalmology, Telemedicine, Epidemiology and Health Services Research. He has served on numerous expert panels for the National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and has over 200 scientific publications, book chapters, and presentations.