Author | Contributor

Richard A. Swenson, MD

Richard A. Swenson, MD, 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 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 for a total of three years), including a year of study in Europe and medical work in developing countries. While speaking at a church in Kuwait (2009), he fished in the Persian Gulf in sight of Iran & Iraq with a Pakistani guide named Mohammad. 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 is CONTENTMENT: The Secret to a Lasting Calm (June 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, balance, contentment, stress, overload, complexity, progress, societal change, healthcare, future trends, and the connection between science and theology. 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, Congress, NASA, and the Pentagon. A Minute of Margin was distributed to thirty heads of state at the 2012 Chicago NATO conference. He was an invited guest participant for the 44th Annual National Security Seminar at the Army War College.

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 Material Command Commander’s Conference. He has given a dozen presentations at the Mayo Clinic, as well as hundreds of other national, regional, 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 2003, he was awarded Educator of the Year by Christian Medical & Dental Associations.

Dr. Swenson and his wife, Linda, live in Menomonie, Wisconsin. They have two sons, Matthew (and Suzie) and Adam (and Maureen) and a granddaughter Katja.



Dr. Swenson speaks on the following topics:

  • margin
  • stress and overload
  • life balance
  • contentment
  • complexity
  • progress and profusion
  • suffering
  • authenticity
  • future trends
  • healthcare
  • science and the sovereignty of God
    Travels from Wisconsin
    Contact Dr. Swenson by email.


Just Add Water DVD: Marks of a Christian Doctor 1&2 Marks of a Christian Doctor 1&2

More than Meets the Eye: DVD

Do you need a new vision of God? Not the vague image we fold up and stuff...

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Just Add Water DVD: Marks of a Christian Doctor 1&2 Marks of a Christian Doctor 1&2

Just Add Water DVD: Science and the Sovereignty of God 1 & 2

Are you uneasy about the relationship between science and faith? Because you are a person of science,...

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Contentment by Richard Swenson, MD


In a world that honors outward achievement tells people they'll never have enough, and encourages an impossibly...

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Margin by Richard Swenson, MD


As a medical practitioner, Dr. Swenson sees a steady stream of exhausted, hurting people coming into his...

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A Minute of Margin by Richard Swenson, MD

A Minute of Margin

Prescriptions for peace. Fatigued? Swamped? Irritated? If you feel under-rested and overwhelmed, steal a minute to reflect...

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More Than Meets the Eye by Richard A Swenson, MD

More Than Meets the Eye

Is God simply watching from a distance or are His hands guiding our every move? In this...

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Contentment: The Secret of a Lasting Calm

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If someone offered me a parka in a blizzard, I’d take it. Same with a hat in Death Valley, soup during a famine or a parachute in freefall. I’d not only take these things, I’d lunge for them. You would too. When desperate, we accept help.

Balance: The Possible Impossible Dream

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It’s trendy to be a bomb-thrower regarding balance. “Destructive,” says one Christian author. “A myth,” claims an inspirational speaker. Impossible, undesirable, unrealistic, and unattainable are other accusations hurled in the balance direction. The business magazine Fast Company ran an article headlined “Balance is Bunk!”

The Sovereignty of God: Surrendering to Sovereignty

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Einstein’s life began badly and kept getting worse. At birth, his parents were alarmed about his malformed head. They prayed his brain was not damaged. He was slow to speak, raising fears of retardation. “Classmates regarded Albert as a freak,” said a friend. “Teachers thought him dull-witted because of his failure to learn by rote and his strange behavior.” When his father asked what profession suited the boy, the headmaster said, “It doesn’t matter; he’ll never make a success of anything.”

The Changing Role of the Doctor

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Today’s “new normal” is an unglued mindscape for some doctors, an exciting opportunity for others. How Christian doctors relate to limitless change will be governed primarily by the quality of their relationship with the One who never changes and their trust that they really are His work in progress.

About Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

The Christian Medical & Dental Associations® (CMDA) is made up of the Christian Medical Association (CMA) and the Christian Dental Association (CDA). CMDA provides resources, networking opportunities, education and a public voice for Christian healthcare professionals and students.

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