publication date: Dec. 7, 2018

In Appreciation

Lisa Schwartz, expert in overtreatment and pathbreaking educator, dies at 55

By Barry Kramer

Lisa Schwartz, professor of Medicine and of Community and Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School died on November 29 after a seven-year struggle with cancer—a terrible loss to all who knew her.

Lisa, 55, was a bright beacon leading the way in the field of risk communication as well as evidence-based shared decision-making. She was extraordinary in her rigor of thought, intellectual integrity, warm humanity, humor, and love of life.

She and her husband, Steve Woloshin, have been international thought leaders in research on communication of medical information for the public, health professionals, the media, and policymakers.

Since 2011, they have been co-directors of the Center for Medicine in the Media at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. Lisa and Steve virtually established health-related numeracy as a research discipline. In that context, they co-authored the seminal book Know Your Chances: Understanding Health Statistics and also created a website of interactive risk charts to put cancer in context, which is still used by the National Institutes of Health (

The couple pioneered the concept of the “drug box” to explicitly provide an easy assessment of the balance of benefits and harms of medications. They extended this concept with a fact sheet used by the National Cancer Institute to provide guidance on the benefits and harms of lung cancer screening with low-dose computed tomography (LDCT), based upon the National Lung Screening Trial.

Lisa is also internationally known for advancing the related research area of disease overdiagnosis and its resulting … Continue reading Lisa Schwartz, expert in overtreatment and pathbreaking educator, dies at 55

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