Steven Woloshin, MD, MS | VA Outcomes

Steven Woloshin, MD, MS


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


Research Interests
Together with his wife, Dr. Schwartz, Dr. Woloshin’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

  • Woloshin S, Schwartz LM. Giving legs to restless legs: A case study of how the media helps make people sick. PLoS Med 2006 3(4) e170: 0452-0455.
  • Woloshin S, Schwartz LM, Welch HG. The effectiveness of a primer to help people understand risk: Two randomized trials in distinct populations. Ann Intern Med 2007 146:256-265.
  • Woloshin S, Schwartz LM, Welch HG. The risk of death by age, sex, and smoking status in the United States: Putting health risks in context. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2008; 100: 845 – 853.
  • Woloshin S, Schwartz LM. Bringing FDA’s information to market. Arch Intern Med 2009;169: 1985-1987.
  • Woloshin S, Schwartz LM. The benefits and harms of mammography screening: Understanding the tradeoffs. JAMA 2010 303: 164-5.
  • Woloshin S, Schwartz LM. Communicating data about the benefits and harms of treatment: A randomized trial. Ann Intern Med 2011:155:87-96.
  • Woloshin S, Schwartz LM. How a charity oversells mammography. BMJ 2012;345:e5132.

Education and Training

Medical School Residency Boston University School of Medicine 1979-1987
Fellowship General Medicine
White River Junction VA, VT
Masters of Science
Center for Clinical Evaluative Sciences
Dartmouth Medical School
1994-1996