Lisa Schwartz, MD, MS | VA Outcomes

Lisa Schwartz, MD, MS


Professor of Medicine and Community and Family Medicine, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
Director, VA Outcomes Group, White River Junction VA Medical Center
Co-Director, Center for Medicine in the Media, The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice


Research Interests

Together with her husband Dr. Woloshin, Dr. Schwartz’s research addresses the excessive fear and hope created by exaggerations, distortions, and selective reporting in medical journals, advertising, and the health news. They have worked to improve communication of medical evidence to physicians, journalists and the public.

Their areas of expertise include risk communication (screening, medical statistics), prescription drugs (FDA policy, pharmaceutical industry, evidence, advertising), medicine and the media, and overdiagnosis/disease mongering.

In addition to their traditional research, they have worked with FDA to improve the quality of prescription drug information and developed the drug facts box (included as section 3507 in the Affordable Care Act). They run – in collaboration with the NIH – an annual symposium for Health Journalists called Medicine and the Media: Reporting on Medical Research. They are the co-author of 2 books: Know Your Chances and Overdiagnosed; they are columnists for the British Medical Journal, and their essays have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.


Selected Publications

  • Schwartz LM, Woloshin S. Changing disease definitions: Implications on disease prevalence. Eff Clin Pract 1999; 2:76-85.
  • Schwartz LM, Woloshin S, Black WC, Welch HG. The role of numeracy in understanding the benefit of screening mammography. Ann Intern Med 1997; 127: 966-972.
  • Schwartz LM, Woloshin S, Fowler FJ, Welch HG. Enthusiasm for cancer screening in the United States. JAMA 2004; 291:71-8.
  • Schwartz LM, Woloshin S, Welch HG. Communicating drug benefits and harms with the drug facts box: Two randomized trials. Ann Intern Med 2009 150: 516-527.
  • Schwartz LM, Woloshin S. Lost in transmission – FDA drug information that never reaches clinicians. N Engl J Med 2009; 361: 1717-1720.
  • Schwartz LM, Woloshin S, Andrews A, Stukel TA. Influence of medical journal press releases on the quality of associated newspaper coverage: retrospective cohort study. BMJ 2012; 344:d8164.
  • Schwartz LM, Woloshin S. Not So Stories: How the FDA forgot the evidence: the case of donepezil 23 mg. BMJ 2012;344:e1086 doi: 10.1136/bmj.e1086

Education and Training

Medical School NYU School of Medicine, NY, NY 1985-1989
Residency Internal Medicine
NYU/Bellevue, NY, NY
1989-1992
Fellowship General Medicine
White River Junction VA, VTMasters of Science
Center for Clinical Evaluative Sciences,
Dartmouth Medical School
1994-1996