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Delaney Ruston Physician and Documentary Filmmaker

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Delaney Ruston chose her two career paths of primary care physician and documentary filmmaker for one reason: to help create positive change in people’s lives. Growing up in Berkeley with a single mom and a father with schizophrenia, she experienced adversity firsthand. Her family experiences, along with her experiences receiving medical care in free clinics, inspired her to pursue medicine.

Intrigued by personal documentaries from a young age, Delaney began studying filmmaking and made her first short film during her internal medicine residency at UC San Francisco. She went on to found MyDoc Productions and has made several award-winning short and feature-length documentaries. Her films focus on solutions to often-ignored health issues, particularly mental health.

Her current feature documentary, SCREENAGERS: Growing up in the digital age. The film looks at solutions to how to raise successful youth in the face our new screen society. Over 2 million people have come out to public screenings in over 50 countries thus far. Delaney is a known expert on this topic and frequently in the press, such as Good Morning America, NPR, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and many others.

Delaney is an internationally recognized speaker on the effect of screen time on youth development and health issues. She has been invited to speak at The World Health Organization, Harvard, Google, TEDx, Facebook, The Aspen Institute, The United Nations and numerous other teaching institutions, businesses, and international organizations.

Examples of other award-winning documentaries include UNLISTED: A STORY OF SCHIZOPHRENIA about her father and HIDDEN PICTURES about global mental health, both of which have been screened widely, aired on PBS, and were at the forefront of advocacy campaigns, including with the World Health Organization.

A nationally recognized mental health advocate, Dr. Ruston has received wide recognition fromnational mental health organizations including Harvard’s McLean National Council. She has also been awarded the Fountain House Associates Advocacy Award and Navos Expanding Horizon’s Award.

Delaney trained at Stanford Medical School, followed by an internal medicine residency at UC San Francisco and a fellowship in Bioethics and Communication. For over twenty years she has practiced medicine along with teaching medical students. She has been on the faculty of The University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle and Stony Brook Medicine in New York State.

Delaney is Fulbright Scholar and has conducted health-related research for many years. Her research has been published in leading scientific journals, such as The New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

As of Fall 2017, she lives with her family in Seattle, Washington where she continues to create films and social movements, as well as provide primary care to the underserved and homeless – which has been the focus of her medical work for many years.


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