Lisa Schwartz (physician)

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Lisa Schwartz
Lisa M. Schwartz

New York City, U.S.
Died(2018-11-29)November 29, 2018
Alma materState University of New York
New York University
Geisel School of Medicine
Scientific career
InstitutionsGeisel School of Medicine

Lisa M. Schwartz (June 30, 1963 – November 29, 2018)[1] was a Professor of Medicine and Community and Family Medicine at The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. She was the co-Director of the Center for Medicine and the Media, and ran courses for health journalists on how to report medical research. She created the Drug Facts Box to discuss the benefits and harms of prescription drugs and the National Cancer Institute Know Your Chances site to communicate cancer risks.

Early life and education[edit]

Schwartz was born in the Bronx borough of New York City.[1] She graduated from State University of New York in 1985.[2] She was part of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.[citation needed] She earned her MD at the New York University in 1989.[2] She studied medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine and graduated in 1996.[2] She completed her residency at the Bellevue Hospital and was an internal medicine fellow at the Geisel School of Medicine.[2]


Schwartz collaborated extensively with her husband, Steven Woloshin. They worked to improve dialogue between physicians, the public and journalists, by improving transparency and understanding of medical evidence. They investigated the advertisements of prescription drugs in America.[3] In 2006 Woloshin and Schwartz systematically evaluated media coverage of medical meetings in The Medical Journal of Australia.[4] They considered 187 studies, finding that 34% did not mention the size of the study and 40% did not quantify the main result.[4] The study emphasised that articles presented at scientific meetings are not ready for the general public.[5] She published a monograph on health statistic communication with the Association for Psychological Science.[6] She was made the Director of the Center for Medicine in the Media in 2011. She investigated the advertisement of Alzheimer's disease drug donepezil, and demonstrated that the Food and Drug Administration permitted the advertisement without any evidence.[7] With Woloshin, she identified ways to overcome the overuse of medication.[8]

Schwartz studied how numeracy impacted a woman's ability to understand the benefit of cancer screening.[9] She launched the Know Your Chances with the National Cancer Institute to communicate cancer risks. It used data from SEET (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program) and the National Center for Health Statistics and included interactive charts that revealed the chances of dying.[10] They looked at whether women would accept more infrequent cervical smears. In 2013 she created Drugs Fact Box[11] with the Food and Drug Administration, a toolbox which could be used to communicate the benefits and cons of using prescription drugs.[12] The Drugs Fact Box was accompanied by a booklet that helped the public understand health statistics.[13] It was included in Section 3507 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[14]

She led the National Institutes of Health Medicine in the Media workshop and taught over five hundred health journalists how to understand medical research.[15] She co-authored Know Your Chances with Steven Woloshin in 2009 and Overdiagnosed in 2011.[16][17] She was awarded the McGovern Award from the American Medical Writers Association in 2017.[18] She has written for The New York Times, The Boston Globe The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times.[19][20][21]


Schwartz died of cancer[1] on November 29, 2018.[22]


  1. ^ a b c Marcus, Adam (2019). "Lisa M Schwartz". The Lancet. 393 (10170): 400. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(19)30150-3.
  2. ^ a b c d "Faculty Expertise Database – Lisa Schwartz, MD – Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth". Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  3. ^ Woloshin, Steven; Schwartz, Lisa M; Tremmel, Jennifer; Welch, H Gilbert (October 2001). "Direct-to-consumer advertisements for prescription drugs: what are Americans being sold?". The Lancet. 358 (9288): 1141–1146. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(01)06254-7. ISSN 0140-6736. PMID 11597668. S2CID 23868940.
  4. ^ a b Woloshin, Steven; Schwartz, Lisa M. (June 5, 2006). "Media reporting on research presented at scientific meetings: more caution needed". The Medical Journal of Australia. 184 (11): 576–580. doi:10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006.tb00384.x. ISSN 0025-729X. PMID 16768666. S2CID 277988.
  5. ^ Kotwani, Namrata (2007). "The Media Miss Key Points in Scientific Reporting". AMA Journal of Ethics. 9 (1): 188–192. doi:10.1001/virtualmentor.2007.9.3.jdsc1-0703. ISSN 2376-6980. PMID 23217929.
  6. ^ Gigerenzer, Gerd; Gaissmaier, Wolfgang; Kurz-Milcke, Elke; Schwartz, Lisa M.; Woloshin, Steven (2007). "Helping Doctors and Patients Make Sense of Health Statistics". Psychological Science in the Public Interest. 8 (2): 53–96. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6053.2008.00033.x. ISSN 1529-1006. PMID 26161749.
  7. ^ "Re: How the FDA forgot the evidence: the case of donepezil 23 mg". The BMJ. December 3, 2018.
  8. ^ Woloshin, Steven; Schwartz, Lisa M. (May 22, 2018). "Overcoming overuse: the way forward is not standing still—an essay by Steven Woloshin and Lisa M Schwartz". BMJ. 361: k2035. doi:10.1136/bmj.k2035. ISSN 0959-8138. PMID 29789307. S2CID 206918134.
  9. ^ Schwartz, Lisa M. (December 1, 1997). "The Role of Numeracy in Understanding the Benefit of Screening Mammography". Annals of Internal Medicine. 127 (11): 966–72. CiteSeerX doi:10.7326/0003-4819-127-11-199712010-00003. ISSN 0003-4819. PMID 9412301. S2CID 19412405.
  10. ^ "About Us – Know Your Chances | SRP/DCCPS/NCI/NIH". Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  11. ^ Drugs Fact Box
  12. ^ Schwartz, Lisa M.; Woloshin, Steven (August 20, 2013). "The Drug Facts Box: Improving the communication of prescription drug information". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 110 (Suppl 3): 14069–14074. doi:10.1073/pnas.1214646110. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 3752172. PMID 23942130.
  13. ^ "Dartmouth Medicine Magazine :: Inside the Drug Facts Box". Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  14. ^ "Implementation of Section 3507 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010" (PDF). FDA. Retrieved December 4, 2018.
  15. ^ "Lisa Schwartz – Too Much Medicine Symposium 2018 Helsinki". Too Much Medicine Symposium 2018 Helsinki. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  16. ^ Steve., Woloshin (2009). Know your chances : understanding health statistics. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-25222-6. OCLC 297222261.
  17. ^ Gilbert., Welch, H. (2012). Overdiagnosed : making people sick in the pursuit of health. Random House, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8070-2199-6. OCLC 778042872.
  18. ^ "Fellowship & Award Recipients – American Medical Writers Association". Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  19. ^ "Sell a disease to sell a drug". Washington Post. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  20. ^ Woloshin, Steven; Schwartz, Lisa M. (February 16, 2014). "'Low T' and the peril of medicating grumpy old men". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  21. ^ Welch, Steven Woloshin, Lisa Schwartz and H. Gilbert. "Warned, but Worse Off". Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  22. ^ "Lisa M. Schwartz Obituary". Valley news. December 2018.