Download Curriculum Vitae

Throughout my life experiences as a Latina growing up in Puerto Rico and as a woman physician caring for underserved populations in the United States, I have witnessed first-hand the unique challenges ethnic minorities face day to day. Structural racism is at the root of intergenerational trauma and poverty, perpetuating the disproportionate chronic disease burden people living in disadvantaged conditions suffer. The racial groups that carry the burden of inequity and disease are underrepresented both in clinical and leadership positions, further complicating the dismantling of barriers and power hierarchies.


Decades of clinical practice and deep reflection have allowed me to recognize the powerful interrelation between health inequities and the onset and progression of cardiometabolic disease, chronic physical, and existential pain. My fellowship training and experience in integrative medicine have opened my awareness to consider the whole patient - mind, body, spirit and community – and how our relationships with one another can help promote healing. 


My academic career spans 10+ years – beginning with my residency training in 1995 and restarting in 2017 after 15 years working in the private sector. Being a practicing physician and a leader at a large, safety net academic hospital has provided me with outstanding collaborative learning and leadership opportunities. Our work advancing integrative health, mind-body medicine, and quality outcomes is bringing new hope to the most marginalized populations in Dallas. 


During the past five years at UT Southwestern and Parkland Health, I designed and implemented curricula on population health for the Internal Medicine residency program, founded the institution’s first clinic for integrated pain healing and directed the employee health care model transformation into a value-based practice. Our interprofessional collaborations have brought forth integrated clinical pharmacy and behavioral health services, mind-body medicine, and improved quality in the treatment of diabetes and chronic pain. One of the highlights in my career is establishing the first multidisciplinary Integrative Medicine in Residency training at UT Southwestern – a multicenter collaboration with Parkland Health and the University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine. We have presented our work at the Society of General Internal Medicine and the Integrative Medicine for the Underserved National Conferences. The multidisciplinary Integrative Medicine in Residency program is advancing the learning and practice of whole person medicine for underserved populations - while supporting the well-being of residents and other healthcare workers.



Medical School
Other (1995), Medicine

Research Interest

  • Integrative Medicine, One Health, Workplace Wellbeing, Mind-Body Medicine


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Integrative Medicine in Residency: Lessons in Whole Person Healing for Everyone
Arlene Betancourt, MD and Mari Ricker, MD SGIM Forum 2023 January

Honors & Awards

  • Alpha Omega Alpha
    Medical Honor Society (1994)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Rosa es Rojo, Inc. (2021-2024)
  • University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine (2017-2024)