Heidi von Harscher, M., Ph.D.

Director of Medical Student Support Services; HWCOM Student Ombudsman; Associate Professor; Assistant Dean of Women in Medicine and Science

Psychiatry and Behavioral Health

Office: AHC2 379

Phone: 305-348-1461

Email: vonharsc@fiu.edu

Heidi von Harscher, Ph.D., joined HWCOM as the founding Director of Counseling and Wellness in the Office of Student Affairs. She oversees the wellness programs for medical students and is also the assistant dean for the office of Women in Medicine and Science, student Ombudsman and the director of medical student support services. She serves as the faculty advisor for the American Medical Women’s Association and the Wellness, Health, Outreach, Love, and Expression organization.  

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 Public 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.  


Ph.D., Carlos Albizu University, Miami, Fl - Clinical Psychology, Concentration: Neuropsychology
B.A., Honors, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada - Psychology

Research Areas

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


  • 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

Selected Publications:

  1. Schneider, G., Gilles, M., von Harscher, H. (2019)  Developing Empathy Through Narrative Medicine  Chapter 10 in Empathy and Medicine by Adriana Foster.  Springer, Washington DC 
  2. Shoua-Desmarais, N., von Harscher, H., Rivera, M. et. al  First Year Burnout and Coping in One US Medical School. Acad Psychiatry (2020) 44, 394–398. 
  3. 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.  
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.