Department of Emergency Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine Leadership & Faculty

Raina M Merchant, MD MSHP FAHA

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine
Director, Social Media and Health Innovation Lab, University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Director, Social Media and Policy, Center for Emergency Care and Policy, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Emergency Medicine
Co-Director, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania
Associate Vice President, University of Pennsylvania Health System
Director, Center for Digital Health
Department: Emergency Medicine

Contact information
PCAM, 3400 Civic Center Blvd, 14th floor, Innovation Suite
Philadelphia, PA 19104
BA (Psychobiology)
Yale University, 1998.
University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, 2003.
MS (Master of Science in Health Policy Research)
University of Pennsylvania, 2009.
Post-Graduate Training
Resident in Emergency Medicine , University of Chicago , 2003-2007.
Philips Resuscitation Fellowship, University of Chicago, 2006-2007.
Chief Resident, Emergency Medicine, University of Chicago, 2006-2007.
Fellow, Center for Resuscitation Science, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine , 2007-2010.
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, 2007-2010.
Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine , 2007-present.
Board certified, American Board of Emergency Medicine, 2009.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Merchant is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and has a secondary appointment in the Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Anesthesia and Critical Care. She is a Co-Director of the RWJF Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania and the Director of the Penn Social Media and Health Innovation Lab ( Her research interest is in diffusion of innovation, social media, public health, and resuscitation science. Her work involves development and testing of health related mobile apps and she has conducted several projects evaluating health communication on social/mobile media sites like Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Gigwalk, and others. She additionally runs a Twitter lab which analyzes tweets related to resuscitation, critical care, and public health/policy. Much of her work bridges new technologies in the field of cardiovascular health. In this context, she is the Director of the MyHeartMap Challenge, ( a social media and crowdsourcing project aimed at improving AED access and awareness by engaging the public to serve as citizen scientist. Dr. Merchant was recently recognized by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as one of 10 young investigators likely to have a significant impact on the future of health and healthcare in the US.

Selected Publications

Agarwal A, Merchant RM: Told, the most used word in negative online hospital reviews. Journal of General Internal Medicine 2019 Notes: (in press).

Sinnenberg L, Mancheno C, Barg F, Asch D, DeSilvestro C, Horst-Martz E, Buttenheim A, Ungar L, Merchant RM: Content Analysis of Metaphors About Hypertension and Diabetes on Twitter: Exploratory Mixed-Methods Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research Diabetes 3(4): e11177, Dec 2018 Notes: (in press).

Asch DA, Merchant RM: Social media has broken politics. Is science next? Philly Inquirer Dec 2018 Notes:

Tufts C, Polsky D, Volpp K, Groeneveld PG, Ungar L, Schwartz HA, Merchant RM: Characterizing tweet volume and content about common health conditions across Pennsylvania Journal of Medical Internet Research 6(4): e10834, Dec 2018.

Agarwal AA, Mahoney K, Lanza AL, Klinger EV, Asch DA, Fausti N, Ungar L, Merchant RM. : Online ratings of the patient experience: emergency departments versus urgent care centers. Annals of Emergency Medicine 18: 31322-2, Nov 2018 Notes: (epub).

Beckers: How emergency departments match up to urgent care centers in yelp reviews. Nov 2018.

Yang Qinghua, Tufts C, Ungar L, Merchant RM: To Retweet or Not to Retweet: Understanding What Features of Cardiovascular Tweets Influence their Retransmission Journal of Health Communication Nov 2018 Notes: (epub).

Merchant, RM, Asch DA: Protecting the Value of Medical Science in the Age of Social Media and "Fake News" JAMA 320(23): 2415-2416, Nov 2018.

Harrison J, Merchant RM: Leveraging the Health Care Workforce to Improve Outcomes for Survivors of Cardiac Arrest. Circulation 138(16): 1651-1653, Oct 2018 Notes: in press.

Eichstaedt, JC, Smith RJ, Merchant RM, Ungar LH, Crutchley P, Preotiuc-Pietro D, Asch A, Scharwtz HA: Facebook Language Predicts Depression in Medical Records. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 115(44): 11203-11208, Oct 2018 Notes: epub.

back to top
Last updated: 01/15/2019
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania