A lot of what you read about medicine sounds too good to be true, or sometimes even too bad to be true. Our goal has been to give people a realistic sense of what is known and what is not known—how hopeful or worried they should be.”
The Dartmouth Institute Honors the Legacy of Professor Lisa Schwartz
Her pioneering research helped improve the communication of medical information to physicians, policymakers, media, and the public
Lisa Schwartz, MD, MS, a professor of The Dartmouth Institute and of Community and Family Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth passed away on November 29 after a lengthy illness. Dr. Schwartz’s innovative research in medicine in the media, the science of effective risk communication, overdiagnosis, prescription drugs, and the marketing of medicine—done in conjunction with her husband and research partner Professor Steven Woloshin—is internationally renowned. As the co-director, along with Dr. Woloshin, of the Center for Medicine and Media at The Dartmouth Institute, she worked tirelessly to improve the communication of medical evidence to clinicians, journalists, policymakers, and the public.
“What we are hoping to change in medical communication is for people to get closer to the truth,” she said in an interview published earlier this year by a Finnish journal. “A lot of what you read about medicine sounds too good to be true, or sometimes even too bad to be true. Our goal has been to give people a realistic sense of what is known and what is not known—how hopeful or worried they should be.”
Dr. Schwartz’s seminal work on risk communication and health literacy helped to establish the field of health-related numeracy. She and Dr. Woloshin created the "drug facts box," drug-benefit and harm-data summaries shown in clinical trials to improve consumer decision-making. They also collaborated with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in creating the Know Your Chances website based on their work developing “risk charts." The charts, and the website, help people understand their chance of developing cancer, the magnitude of the chance, and how it compares with the chance of developing other diseases.
POSTED 12/3/2018 AT 01:53 PM IN #legacy