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von Harscher, Heidi, M., PhD.

Title: Associate Professor; Ombudsman; Director of Medical Student Support Services

Office: AHC2-385

Phone: 305-348-1461


Department(s): Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

A native of Canada, Dr. von Harscher holds degrees in Clinical Psychology from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada (Honors) and Carlos Albizu University (Ph.D) in Miami, Florida with a concentration in neuropsychology.  She began her clinical work in 1990 in the SUNY system.  She is a licensed Psychologist in New York and Florida and joined Florida International University in 1994.  

Her pioneering contributions include developing a neuropsychological testing program, an APA accredited pre-doctoral internship program and administering a psychological services center for the students at the Biscayne Bay Campus. She has held faculty appointments with the College of Health, the Psychology Department and the College of Education at various universities. She holds Certifications and Diplomates in pharmacopsychology, severe mental illness and (neuro)biofeedback. 

Her student centered publications and research interests include empathy, burnout, (neuro)psychology, spirituality, mindfulness, resiliency, teambuilding, humor, humility, gifted and personality traits. 

Dr. von Harscher joined the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in 2009 as the founding Director of Counseling and Wellness in the Office of Student Affairs and is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health.  In 2015 she became the Director of Medical Student Support Services in the Division of Student Affairs.  She oversees the Wellness programming for medical students and is also the student Ombudsman and continues to serve as the faculty advisor for AMWA (American Medical Women’s Association) and WHOLE (Wellness, Health, Outreach, Love and Expression).

Education and Training

  • PhD Carlos Albizu University, Miami, Fl  Clinical Psychology, Concentration:  Neuropsychology
  • BA Honors, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, Psychology


Licensed Clinical Psychologist


  • FIU Excellence in Advising and Mentorship Award, Nominee, 2018
  • Gold Humanism Honor Society, National, Inducted, May 2015
  • Student Marshall, Inaugural class, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, April 2013
  • Presidential Excellence Award, Nominee, Florida International University, Sept 2013
  • Aesculapius Award, Faculty Advisor/Mentor of the Year Award, June 2010


von Harscher, H., Desmarais, N., Dollinger, R. Grossman, S. Aldana, The impact of empathy on burnout in medical students:  new findings.  Psychology, Health and Medicine (2018) 23:3, 295-303.  

Gonzalez, J., Dorcius, D., Polcz, V. Desmarais, N., von Harscher, H., Hernandez, RL.  Battling Burnout:  The comprehensive health and wellness program at FIU HWCOM.  Poster presentation. (2017)  AAMC Annual Meeting.  Boston, MA. 

D’Amore, P. Tagliero, A. von Harscher, H., et. al  Behind the White Coat Lecture Series.  The Florida Medical Student Research Journal, proceedings, (2016) 1:1, 42.