My passion for health journalism developed when I landed my first editorial staff position, which was at Hearst’s Healthy Living magazine. After spending my days researching the latest advances in medicine, interviewing experts, and helping to educate and engage readers, I was hooked.
I went on to become the associate health and nutrition editor at Family Circle magazine, graduated from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with an M.S. in science journalism, and then was the health editor at Parents magazine, where I covered kids’ and women’s health, pregnancy, and parenting. I was eventually lured to help launch OK! magazine’s US edition, where I created and wrote a weekly health column that covered everything from Jessica Simpson’s workout and diet to Olivia Newton John’s battle with breast cancer. Each week I also wrote the “Ask Rachel” Health Q+A, which enabled me to connect directly with readers to help them lead healthier and happier lives.
Next, I returned to the issues of kids’ and women’s health and parenting, but this time at Parenting magazine as the health director. In addition to overseeing the magazine’s health coverage, I wrote a pregnancy blog at Parenting.com that chronicled my own path to motherhood. After my first daughter was born in 2008, I decided to freelance write and edit because it afforded me the flexibility to be near my daughters (the second of whom was born in 2011) while pursuing all of my passions — journalism, health, and parenting.
Currently, I am a deputy of special projects at Consumer Reports, where I investigate issues affecting the health, safety, and well-being of consumers.
My articles have appeared in magazines, newspapers, and websites such as The Atlantic, American Baby, Better Homes and Gardens, The Boston Globe Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, Consumer Reports, Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, Fitness, Glamour, Health, Healthy Living, Journal of the American Medical Association, Kiwi, Ladies’ Home Journal, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, More, Ms., The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Pacific Standard, Parent & Child, Parenting, Parents, POZ, Prevention, Reader’s Digest, Redbook, Sports Illustrated for Women, Today.com, Vegetarian Times, The Washington Post, Westchester Health & Life, WhatToExpect.com, Woman’s Day, Women’s Health, and USA Today. I’ve also written regular columns on women’s health for Working Mother and OK!, and appeared on TV and radio news programs as a health and parenting expert.
I’m the recipient of the 2016 Kathleen M. Foley Journalist Award given by the American Pain Society (their highest journalistic honor). Also in 2016, I won the min Editorial & Design Award for a single online article for an investigative cover story I reported and wrote for Consumer Reports about physicians on probation. Previously, I won awards from the American Academy of Dermatology and the Skin Cancer Foundation for my in-depth articles on skin cancer. I was a fellow of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, and I am a member of the National Association of Science Writers.
I live in New Jersey with my husband, two daughters, dog, and bunny. I thrive on uncovering valuable, interesting information and sharing it with readers. I’m always open to new ideas and projects, and would love to hear from you.
If you know me by my former last name, “Pechman,” click here for an explanation of my name change.
Or read the full story on my name change at The New York Times.