Steven Woloshin is co-director of the Center for Medicine and Media at The Dartmouth Institute and a general internist. He and research partner, Lisa Schwartz, have worked to improve the communication of medical evidence to physicians, journalists, policymakers, and the public to help them see through excessive fear and hope created by exaggerated and selective reporting in medical journals, advertising, and the news.
Their research themes include: medicine in the media, the science of effective risk communication, prescription drugs, overdiagnosis, and the marketing of medicine. Woloshin and Schwartz’s seminal work helped to establish the field of health-related numeracy. He and Schwartz created the "drug facts box", drug-benefit and harm-data summaries shown in clinical trials to improve consumer decision-making. The FDA's Risk Communication Advisory Committee unanimously endorsed the box and Congress directed FDA to consider it (S.3507 Affordable Care Act). While the FDA has not yet implemented boxes, they replicated Woloshin and Schwartz's findings, acknowledged to Congress that boxes influenced their Guidances and created the Trials Snapshots website with drug box content. Based on their work developing “risk charts" the National Cancer Institute created the Know Your Chances website.
Woloshin is a frequent contributor to major media outlets, including The Washington Post and The New York Times and co-authored two books: Know Your Chances and Overdiagnosed. For more than a decade, Woloshin and Schwartz have led the “Medicine in the Media” workshop with the NIH, teaching over 500 health journalists how to interpret and report medical research. In announcing that Woloshin and Schwartz received the 2017 McGovern Award from the American Medical Writers Association, President Lori Alexander said, “These two physicians are my heroes because of their commitment to improving the quality of messages directed at lay audiences.”
Woloshin is a founding member of the Steering Committee for Preventing Overdiagnosis, an annual, international conference, Advisory Board member of AllTrials, and collaborator in Informed Health Choices (improving critical thinking skills in schools).
He earned a BA from Boston University, an MS from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and a MD from the Boston University School of Medicine.
King AC, Schwartz LM, Woloshin S
JAMA Intern Med|2020 Jan 27
Barnett ER, Trepman AZ, Fuson HA, Acquilano SC, McLaren JL, Woloshin S, Leyenaar JK
BMJ Qual Saf|2019 Dec 13
Johansson M, Bero L, Bonfill X, Bruschettini M, Garner S, Glenton C, Harris R, Jørgensen KJ, Levinson W, Lotfi T, Montori V, Meng DM, Schünemann H, Vaz Carneiro A, Woloshin S, Moynihan R
Cochrane Database Syst Rev|2019 Dec 6
Schwartz LM, Woloshin S, Lu Z, Ross KM, Tessema FA, Peter D, Kesselheim AS
Circ Cardiovasc Qual Outcomes|2019 Nov
Kesselheim AS, Woloshin S, Lu Z, Tessema FA, Ross KM, Schwartz LM
JAMA Intern Med|2019 May 1
Survey Methods (elective)
This course introduces the basic skills needed to conduct and present survey research. It will focus on two aspects of such research: designing and administering a survey (primary data collection); and accessing, analyzing and reporting on data from publicly available national survey data (secondary data analysis). Topics covered will include survey design, sampling, validity, reliability, data collection, analysis, interpretation and reporting of results. To reinforce practical skills, the course will include weekly computer labs, research in progress sessions to critique draft survey instruments, and a journal club to critically read articles reporting survey results.