An internationally recognized expert on the effects of medical screening and overdiagnosis, H. Gilbert Welch’s work is leading many patients and physicians think carefully about what leads to good health. For Welch, the answer is often “less testing” and “less medicine” with more emphasis on non-medical factors, such as diet, exercise, and finding purpose in life.
Welch’s research examines 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, thyroid, breast, and prostate cancer. He is the author of three books: Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Health Care (2015), Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health (2012), and Should I Be Tested for Cancer? (2006). His op-eds on health care have appeared in numerous national media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal.
Welch is a professor of medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine, an adjunct professor of business administration at the Tuck School of Business, and an adjunct professor of public policy at Dartmouth College. He has initiated and taught courses on health policy, biostatistics, and the science of inference.
For 20 years, Welch served on the medical staff at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont, and served as co-director of the center’s Outcomes Group from 1991 through 2011. He has a range of experience with the U.S. Public Health Service, including as a ship physician for the vessel, the NOAAS Oceanographer, and as a general medical officer for the Indian Health Service in Bethel, Alaska, and in Warm Springs, Oregon.
Welch earned a BA from Harvard College, a MD from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and a MPH from the University of Washington.
Hofmann B, Welch HG
BMJ|2017 Jul 18
Welch HG, Fisher ES
N Engl J Med|2017 Jun 8
JAMA Intern Med|2017 Jul 1
Welch HG, Prorok PC, Kramer BS
N Engl J Med|2017 Jan 5
Welch HG, Prorok PC, O'Malley AJ, Kramer BS
N Engl J Med|2016 Oct 13
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