H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH | VA Outcomes

H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH


Professor of Medicine and Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School; Co-Director of the White River Junction Outcomes Group


Research Interests

Dr. Welch is a general internist whose research focuses on the problems created by medicine’s efforts to detect disease early: physicians test too often, treat too aggressively and tell too many people that they are sick. Most of his work has focused on overdiagnosis in cancer screening: in particular, screening for melanoma, cervical, breast and prostate cancer. His recent book, “Should I be tested for cancer? Maybe not and here’s why” (UC Press 2004) was written while he was a Visiting Scientist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer – the cancer section of the World Health Organization in Lyon, France.


Selected Publications

Welch HG, Woloshin S, Schwartz LM. How Two Studies on Cancer Screening Led to Two Results. The New York Times, Tuesday, March 13, 2007; Page D5, D8.

Welch HG, Schwartz LM, Woloshin S. What’s Making Us Sick Is an Epidemic of Diagnoses. The New York Times, Tuesday, January 2, 2007; Page D5.

Welch HG. Dangers in Early Detection. The Washington Post, Thursday, July 1, 2004; Page A23.

Journal Articles

  1. Black WC, Welch HG. Advances in diagnostic imaging and overestimations of disease prevalence and the benefits of therapy. N Engl J Med 1993;328:1237-1243.
  2. Welch HG, Schwartz LM, Woloshin S. Are increasing 5-year survival rates evidence of success against cancer? JAMA 2000 283:2975-78.
  3. Welch HG, Schwartz LM, Woloshin S. Prostate-specific antigen levels in the United States: implications of various definitions for abnormal. J Natl Cancer Inst 2005;97:1132-7.
  4. Welch HG, Woloshin S, Schwartz LM. Skin biopsy rates and incidence of melanoma: population based ecological study. BMJ 2005;331:481-4.
  5. Davies L, Welch HG. The increasing incidence of thyroid cancer in the United States, 1973-2002. JAMA 2006;295;2164-7.