Richard Baer was born in Oak Park, Illinois, on February 12, 1952. He attended grammar school moving increasingly west in several suburbs of Chicago. He chose a curriculum in English/Pre-Medicine at the University of Illinois rather than accept a scholarship as an opera singer.

Dr. Baer then attended the University of Illinois, Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine in Chicago and received his medical degree in 1978. He completed residency training in psychiatry at the University of Illinois Hospitals in 1982. He is board certified in psychiatry by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and is certified by the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

After psychiatric residency, Dr. Baer pursued training at the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago and during the next 12 years treated a wide variety of patients of all ages, including Karen Overhill. After treating Karen, Dr. Baer pursued a master’s degree in creative writing at Northwestern University and graduated in 2006.

Dr. Baer served as Medical Director for the Medicare program for National Government Services. As Medical Director, his activities included the development of national and local medical policy that defined Medicare coverage of services and supplies, support of Medical Review and Fraud and Abuse activities, and representing the Medicare program in local, regional, and national meetings and committees. Dr. Baer now serves as a consultant to the healthcare industry.

Dr. Baer is a member of the American Medical Association, the Illinois State Medical Society and the Chicago Medical Society, the American Psychiatric Association and Illinois Psychiatric Society. As a Medicare Medical Director, Dr. Baer has been especially active in developing medical policies in the area of physician services, home health, hospice, and institutional services.