Better Health through Better Decisions
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Joshua A. Hemmerich, PhD, Editor-in-chief,
The University of Chicago

Dana Alden, PhD, Deputy Newsletter Editor, University of Hawaii at Manoa,

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From the Editor

by Joshua A. Hemmerich, PhD, Editor-in-chief, The University of Chicago

Happy New Year!  

We are pleased to bring you the first SMDM Newsletter of 2015.  As we start a new year, we look forward to the future as well as backwards to the past. I think you’ll find that doing so brings feelings of accomplishment and optimism about the Society.

SMDM President Ahmed Bayoumi reviews the successful realization of the Society’s 5-year mission defined in 2010 and what the goals should be the next 5 years. Margaret Byrne recaps the 2014 North American Meeting and its numerous innovations.  And, read about what it’s like to attend from past SMDM President Arthur Elstein, as he reflects on the meeting in Miami last October, and the previous 36 that he attended. In addition, Angie Fagerlin reports on the inaugural Women in SMDM: Advancing Careers, Impact, and Happiness event with the title “Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing it”.  

Please make sure to mark your calendar as the abstract submissions will open this March for the 2015 North American Meeting in St. Louis.  

We have some excellent editorials this month with a discussion about targeting and tailoring health communications by Dana Alden, John Friend, Marilyn Schapira, and Anne Stiggelbout. I’d also like to draw your attention to the “Stories of MDM” essay contest, detailed by Brian Zikmund-Fisher. Finally, please check out our Society Updates, Student News, and Job Announcements. You’ll find good news about your colleagues and students.

As always we invite you to contribute an editorial, or any news you’d like to share with your colleagues. Please get in touch!

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From the President

by Ahmed Bayoumi, MD, MSc, University of Toronto

Strategic Planning - The Next 5 Years

The year ahead will be a time for SMDM to think back on what we have accomplished in the last five years, reflect on where we want to grow in the future, and chart a course on how to get there. It’s time to renew our strategic plan. I’m thrilled to announce that Hal Sox, who helped facilitate our last strategic planning exercise, is coming back to the same role once again. Many thanks, Hal.

Our last strategic plan was completed in 2010. That plan has been, I believe, instrumental in helping us grow as a society. Some particularly notable achievements include expanding our international presence such that we now have well-established meetings in North America (annually), Europe (every two years) and Asia (in 2016 we will have our second Asian meeting in Hong Kong following our very successful 2014 meeting in Singapore). We have also made great advances with the SMDM fellowship, in which we partner with agencies interested in Health Technology Assessment to support a research fellow. Initially starting in the United States, we now have SMDM-HTA fellows in Canada, Australia, and Germany with more fellowships to come in the next year. 

Other notable achievements in the last five years include offering scholarships for people from low and middle income countries to attend our meetings, changing the bylaws to ensure a non-North American member is represented on the board, development of the core short courses in medical decision making, development of guidelines for best and increased opportunities for career development at and between meetings. We also have continued to build upon our many strengths, including our outstanding journal and meeting, and built a solid presence with our website and social media accounts (if you haven’t signed up to SMDM Connect , I encourage you to give it a try).

Going forward, I think there are a few things to consider. First, our last strategic plan was very broad and inclusive. Looking back, we included almost everything that we do as a society. I think that process served as very well for where we were 5 years ago. For our next plan, however, we might focus more on making it truly strategic – that is, defining a relatively small number of objectives that we want to do really well and focusing our efforts on building those. We will, of course, continue to do all of the other activities that we do so well and that our members value. One of the values of a strategic plan, however, is giving us some focus as a society.

The second consideration for our strategic plan is money. In implementing the last plan, we took some bold moves – a bit of a change from our mostly careful, somewhat risk-averse history as a society. Particularly notable was that we made a decision to spend some of our reserves on our strategic objectives. I think that was very much the right decision and that our achievements, noted above, can be directly linked to that choice. But we cannot continue to spend our reserves indefinitely. Going forward, we need to think about how to ensure that most of our new initiatives generate revenue, either directly or through increased membership. This is also a good time for me to remind you that you can donate money to SMDM (and in the United States, these donations are tax deductible).

Finally, we should look back – a bit more critically than I have done above – before moving forward. Leading up to the strategic plan, we will have an ad hoc committee to help solicit some input from members about what they see as our strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities. If you would like to help out with the strategic plan or if you want to provide some input, please drop me a line. The strength of our society is the commitment of its members.

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Meeting News

36th Annual North American Meeting

by Margaret M. Byrne, PhD, Co-Chair, 36th Annual North American Meeting 

SMDM Annual MeetingAs many of you know, the 36th Annual North American Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making was held in Miami, Florida on October 18 - October 22, 2014. The theme of the meeting was “Medical Decision Making Among Diverse Populations: Advancing Practice, Policy, and Science”. The meeting was well attended, with a total of 512 individuals attending the conference, the short courses or both. Miami weather mostly did not disappoint, and attendees enjoyed Florida sunshine for most of the conference.

The conference included a number of innovations and a plethora of excellent sessions. Some select innovations included:
  • Patients being included in the meeting in a Symposium
  • The first Women’s Career Night Networking Session
  • The involvement of more social media with a Tweet Wall and active participation in tweeting
  • The integration of a conjoint analysis course/workshop/scientific category
  • More extensive outreach to potential Latin American attendees to continue our expansion internationally  
Continuing in the tradition of excellent meeting sessions, the 2014 meeting also included: a stellar keynote speaker in Damien Walker from the Gates Foundation; innovative and well-attended symposium; active poster sessions; and engaging oral presentation session. During the 2014 meeting, there was also the second Lee Lusted Student Prize Finalist Moderated Session. Finally, this year’s meeting was partially funded by the first year of a 3-year AHRQ grant, a 1 year NCI grant, Amgen, the Moore Foundation, THETA, and the Industry Group.

We thank everyone who attended, and hope to see everyone next year in St. Louis, MO!
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What's it like to Attend?: A First Hand Account

by Arthur Elstein, PhD
Editor's Note: This past October marked the 36th Annual North American Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making.  Although I did not make it to the meeting this year, my career mentor here in Chicago was in attendance and I asked him what the meeting looked like to him at this stage of his career and what it means to have seen three and a half decades of growth. Thankfully, he was happy to provide the following reflections and reminisces. - Josh Hemmerich

The SMDM 36th annual meeting was held in October in Miami, Florida. I was one of the attendees who attended the first meeting in Cincinnati in 1979. As I recall, I have been to 34 or 35 of the first 36 meetings. It has been 15 years since I completed my service as editor-in-chief of our journal, Medical Decision Making. Since then, the journal has grown both in influence and in number of pages published. Alan Schwartz, the current editor-in-chief, came to SMDM when he was recruited to my department at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. So I still feel connected to the journal.

Part of the fun of the meeting for me is reconnecting with old friends and colleagues. This year, Roy Poses told me that when he was in Philadelphia many years ago, he found my book, Medical Problem Solving, on the library shelf prior to being interviewed for a Kaiser Fellowship in general internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He believes that reading parts of the book while waiting (and later, the entire book) helped him in the interview and influenced his subsequent research career. That’s an unexpected outcome! John Clarke told me that my work is discussed in a forthcoming book, Making Medical Knowledge, written by his wife, the philosopher Miriam Solomon. Let’s hope it is reviewed favorably and does well.

Understandably, my role at these meetings has changed over the years. I no longer give papers, but I listen to presentations, look at posters, and chat with authors to try to keep up. It was a particular pleasure to learn about the research of Ellen Engelhardt and her colleagues at the Leiden University Medical Center. We met at the Monday morning poster session and talked about her study of consultations between breast cancer patients and medical oncologists. This project is especially relevant because I consult on a project investigating consultations between lung cancer patients and surgical oncologists. Ellen’s work uses thematic analysis of verbatim transcripts of interviews, which we are also doing. And, seeing this qualitative approach within the predominantly quantitative domain of SMDM was promising.

The unquestioned personal highlight of the meeting was accompanying my granddaughter, Marlena Keisler, to her second SMDM meeting and seeing her response to this scholarly community and its research. Marlena has met some significant players in the SMDM world: John Wong, Steve Pauker, Myriam Hunink, Neal Dawson, Sandy Schwartz, Mark Roberts. She is a high school senior and Sandy told her that wherever she goes to college, she will get a good education so she should select a place where she feels comfortable. Good advice. Perhaps Marlena’s future will turn out to be my most significant contribution to the field. Right now, she is certainly the most gratifying.  

I hope to renew these connections, and make new ones, at the 2015 meeting in St. Louis.
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37th Annual North American Meeting: Implementation

October 18-21, 2015
St. Louis, Missouri

Abstract submissions will open Monday, March 2, 2015, and close on Friday, May 22, 2015. Further information will be posted in the coming weeks.

Oral Abstracts are offered in multiple concurrent sessions with up to 6 presentations per session. On average, 80 – 90 oral abstracts are presented at the meeting. Oral presentations are scheduled in 15 minute blocks and grouped into categories. The top rated oral abstracts will be presented following the Keynote Presentation.

Poster Sessions allow attendees to delve into and discuss the specifics of an abstract with the author in a one-on-one or small group setting. The Annual Meeting offers on average 240 total poster abstracts with approximately 60 posters presented at each session.

All accepted oral and poster abstracts will be published online in Medical Decision Making, SMDM’s peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Meeting Co-Chairs:
Scott LaJoie, PhD, MSPH
James Stahl, MD, MPH
 Tweet #SMDM15

Stay tuned for upcoming announcements about SMDM 2016 meetings in Europe and in the Asia-Pacific Region

The opinions stated in the following commentaries are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of the Society for Medical Decision Making.

Targeting versus Tailoring of Health Communications: What’s the Difference Anyway? 

by Dana L. Alden, PhD, John Friend, PhD Candidate, Marilyn Schapira, MD, and Anne Stiggelbout, PhD

Studies suggest that effective decision aids (DAs) require not only clear presentations of treatment and screening options, but also communications that resonate with patients’ cultural values. There are many useful ways to develop culturally sensitive medical decision support tools, but one of the more promising approaches involves targeting and tailoring.   

Targeting on culture customizes communications to group expectations, for example, cultural group values like individualism/collectivism, peripheral cues like color, and evidential cues like group risk statistics. For example, DAs may target East Asian cultural groups whose values emphasize interdependence. Such DAs could stress ways that costs and benefits affect family obligations rather than the individual alone. In addition, targeted DAs could feature colors, models, evidential information and overall “gestalt” that appeal to general cultural expectations.

However, not all individuals in a given culture “share” cultural values and expectations to the same extent. Indeed, variation within cultures has increased in recent times with globalization of mass media, the internet, formal education and travel. In addition, individuals are impacted by the immediate context in varying ways. Some individuals are relatively consistent across situations while others think and act very differently. Consumer psychologists refer to this as “situational ethnicity” and have demonstrated significant changes in ethnic versus non-ethnic food choice depending on context.     

Because of individual and contextual variation in cultural norm effects, culture-based tailoring argues for going beyond targeting and further customizing content based on how strongly a given individual’s thoughts and feelings are impacted by group values in a given context.  Fortunately, social science has made substantial progress and there are many measurement tools available to determine how strongly an individual is influenced by culture in a given context, most notably Cross et al.’s Relational Interdependence Self Construal (RISC) scale (J Pers Soc Psychol, 2000) and Gabriel and Gardner’s Collective Interdependence Self Construal (CISC) scale (J Pers Soc Psychol, 1999). Cultural value scales can be administered as part of an on-line tool or on paper prior to a consultation with results guiding the choice of high versus low cultural value DAs based on the individual’s score. Including such real time measures within DAs enables tailoring of health care information so that the culturally targeted message remains relevant but not excessively stereotypical for the individual.  

Thus, targeting and tailoring play different, but equally important, roles in improving medical communications between patients and their providers. Increasing cultural relevance through targeting and individual fit through tailoring should encourage patients to process DA information with greater ease and in greater depth. This should, in turn, improve gist information retention and confidence going into a medical consultation. Because many of the DAs currently available were developed in the West, decreased effectiveness among individuals from different cultures is understandable. Nonetheless, given our increasingly multicultural world, it is important to move beyond “one size fits all” to targeted and tailored decision support tools designed to improve patient-provider decision making.

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Commentary: The opinions stated in the following commentaries are solely those of the authors and do not reflect the opinions of the Society for Medical Decision Making

“STORIES OF MDM” ESSAY CONTEST a.k.a., The Narratives of Why MDM Research Matters

by Brian Zikmund-Fisher, PhD

Jarrod E. Dalton, PhDMedical Decision Making, the journal of the Society for Medical Decision Making, is sponsoring a contest for narrative form essays that describe how and why medical decision making research matters. Submitted essays will undergo a peer-review process, and winners will be published by Medical Decision Making as part of a new (web-only) feature in the journal. 

Medical decision making (MDM) research can have huge impacts on the outcomes of health policy, the practice of health care, and the experiences of both clinicians and patients. Yet, the models, analyses, and experiments of MDM research are often opaque to people outside the MDM community. The goal of this contest is to enable the stories of MDM research to be told in a rigorous, yet accessible, format suitable for enjoyment by a broader readership.

Contest Details
Essays should be approximately 1200-1500 words in length. They should identify real-world problems that have been addressed by MDM research and describe in concrete terms how such research has resulted in changes to the practice of medicine, health policy, and/or outcomes for individual or groups of patients. Most importantly, they should be written as a story, describing in an evolving and concrete way the focal problems and how MDM research led to solutions.

Each story should be written for a broader audience than the typical readership of Medical Decision Making. Rather, each story should be clear enough that an interested general clinician, a relatively medically-literate patient, a health journalist, and/or a legislative staff member could understand both the point of the MDM research and why it resulted in important outcomes. To accomplish these goals, stories should be conceptually simple (make one point, not many), include concrete details, evoke the authors’ personal voice (why did this matter to you?), and if possible be surprising or unexpected in either their process or outcomes. They should reflect the credibility of someone “who was there” more so than content expertise.

While all stories that meet the above guidelines will be considered, we especially encourage submissions of the following formats:
  1. Personal stories written by MDM researchers themselves of their research journeys
  2. Key stories of senior MDM researchers as shared with more junior researchers or trainees. (We anticipate these essays would be co-authored.)
As an example of what we are looking for, the initial Stories of MDM entry by Brian Zikmund-Fisher is available here at OnlineFirst.

Submissions for initial round accepted immediately, preferred by January-February 2015
Anticipated publication beginning in Spring 2015, future rounds possible.

Review process: Authors should submit stories to Medical Decision Making as editorials and preface their title with “Stories of MDM:…” Associate Editor Brian Zikmund-Fisher will review all submissions for adherence to guidelines (both topical and in terms of writing style), and promising submissions will be reviewed by 1-2 MDM Editorial Board members. Based on these reviews, the MDM Editors will select the final set of essays to be published as web-only features.

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2014 SMDM Leadership Awards

SMDM Award WinnersAwards Chair, Myriam Hunink, presents the 2014 SMDM Awards

The Awards Committee manages the awards presented at the Annual Meeting. Calls for nominations for all awards are distributed in the fall of each year, a few weeks after the Annual Meeting. Members of SMDM are encouraged to submit nominations.


Leadership Awards

The Career Achievement Award recognizes distinguished senior investigators who have made significant contributions to the field of medical decision making. The 2014 award is presented to Mark Roberts, MD, MPP, University of Pittsburgh. (photo, top left)

The Eugene L. Saenger Award for Distinguished Service recognizes service to SMDM in terms of leadership, role in the operations of the Society, and contributions to the scientific and educational activities of the Society. The 2014 award is presented to Karen Kuntz, ScD, University of Minnesota. (photo, top right)

The John M. Eisenberg Award for Practical Application of Medical Decision Making Research recognizes an individual or organization that has demonstrated sustained leadership in translating medical decision making research into practice, and that has taken exceptional steps to communicate the principles and/or substantive findings of medical decision making research to policy makers, to clinical decision makers, and to the general public. The 2014 award is presented to J. Sanford (Sandy) Schwartz, MD, University of Pennsylvania. (photo, bottom right)


Early Career Awards

The North American 2014 Meeting Award for Outstanding Paper by a Young Investigator is presented for a paper published in the year prior to the award. The definition of a “young investigator” is contained in the call for nominations distributed in the fall of each year. The 2014 award is presented to Glen Taksler, PhD, Cleveland Clinic Foundation for his paper: Glen B. Taksler, PhD; Melanie Keshner, MSN, FNP; Angela Fagerlin, PhD; Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH; and R. Scott Braithwaite, MD, MSc “Personalized Estimates of Benefit from Preventive Care Guidelines.” Ann Intern Med. 2013;159:161-168. (photo, bottom left)

2015 SMDM Awards Call for Nominations

Deadline: February 27th

Now it's time for you to recognize and honor your peers for the 2015 SMDM awards! Nominations must be received no later than 5:00 pm, EST, on February 27, 2015. A letter of support for your candidate and, if available, the nominee’s CV is recommended, but not required. Complete requirements, past recipients, and questions to stimulate your thinking about worthy nominees can be found on the website. 


All nominations should be submitted via email to SMDM Executive Director, Jill Metcalf, at The awards will be presented at the 2015 SMDM Annual Meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

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Lee B. Lusted Student Prizes

by John Wong, MD, Lusted Co-Chair

The Society encourages and recognizes exceptional work by young investigators. Trainee achievement is recognized by the annual presentation of the Lee B. Lusted Student Prizes for outstanding presentations of research at the Annual Meeting. Over my 4 years as Co-chair of the Lee Lusted Student Prize Competition, the format has changed. For example, the Awards Committee has decided to emphasize and promote multidisciplinary scholarship within our society, and as a consequence, we now select a Lusted Award in multiple categories. This year our society awarded prizes in 5 areas: Quantitative Methods and Theoretical Developments; Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making; Applied Health Economics; Health Services and Policy Research; and Preference Assessment.

On behalf of the Society, I’d like to congratulate all of the Lusted nominees and applaud their efforts. Out of 130 abstracts nominated for the Lusted Award, 46 were presented in Miami as finalists for one of the 5 Lusted Award categories. The 11 awardees and their abstract title are listed below. Because any differences in the scores were not statistically significant, the following awardees are presented in random order.

The 2014 Lee Lusted Award for Applied Health Economics was presented to Sze-chuan Suen, MS, for COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF RAPID DIAGNOSTICS AND CARE SYSTEMS IMPROVEMENTS FOR TUBERCULOSIS IN INDIA. 

The 2014 Lee Lusted Award for Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making was presented to Ellen G. Engelhardt, MSc, for PARTNERING OR PERSUADING: DECISION MAKING DURING CONSULTATIONS BETWEEN BREAST CANCER PATIENTS AND MEDICAL ONCOLOGISTS. 

The 2014 Lee Lusted Award for Health Services and Policy Research was presented to Mina Kabiri, MS, for MAKING HEPATITIS C A RARE DISEASE IN THE UNITED STATES: MODEL-BASED PREDICTIONS.

The 2014 Lee Lusted Award for Quantitative Methods and Theoretical Developments was presented to Fernando Alarid-Escudero, MS, for CALIBRATION OF PIECEWISE MARKOV MODELS USING A BAYESIAN CHANGE-POINT ANALYSIS THROUGH AN ITERATIVE CONVEX OPTIMIZATION ALGORITHM.


The 2014 Lee Lusted Award for Applied Health Economics was presented to Alexandra Leeper, JD, for COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS DISEASE-MODIFYING THERAPY: ACCOUNTING FOR PATIENT RISK.

The 2014 Lee Lusted Award for Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making was presented to Ryan Enck, BS, for SOCIAL NORMATIVE BELIEFS ARE CENTRAL TO PATIENT CHOICE TO INTENSIFY THERAPY IN RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.

The 2014 Lee Lusted Award for Health Services and Policy Research was presented to Kine Pedersen, BA, for TRADE-OFFS IN CERVICAL CANCER SCREENING – BALANCING DETECTED CANCER PRECURSORS AND RESOURCE USE.


The 2014 Lee Lusted Award for Preference Assessment was presented to Marcelo Coca Perraillon, MA, for PREDICTING THE EQ-5D PREFERENCE INDEX FROM THE SF-12 HEALTH SURVEY IN A NATIONAL US SAMPLE: A FINITE MIXTURE APPROACH.

The 2014 Lee Lusted Award for Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making was presented to Tanner Caverly, MD, MPH, for TRANSPARENCY ABOUT BENEFITS AND HARMS IS UNCOMMON IN RECOMMENDATIONS ON CANCER SCREENING & PREVENTION.

The Decision Psychology and Shared Decision Making category had 3 awardees because there was a virtual tie. The 11 awardees included 9 predoctoral students and 2 postdoctoral candidates with an MD and a JD. The 6 US institutions included Stanford University, University of Pittsburgh, University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, University of Chicago, and University of Michigan. The 4 international institutions included Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands; University of Manchester, UK; University of Oslo, Norway; and KU Leuven, Belgium. 

Based on several review criteria, including significance, innovation, scientific quality, relevance, and presentation, 26 separate judges evaluated the abstracts of the finalists. I’d like to thank Dane Alden, PhD, Ahmed Bayoumi, MD, MSc, J. Robert Beck, MD, Margaret Byrne, PhD, Scott Cantor, PhD, Jagpreet Chattwal, PhD, Lauren Cipriano, PhD, Neil Dawson, MD, Mark Eckman, MD, Heather Gold, PhD, MA, Jeremy Goldhaber-Feibert, PhD, Brett Hauber, PhD, Elbert Huang, MD, Ava John-Baptist, PhD, F. Reed Johnson, PhD, Steven Kymes, PhD, MHA, Daniel Matlock, MD, David Meltzer, MD, PhD, Kaleb Michaud, PhD, Ankur Pandya, PhD, Marilyn Schapira, MD, Karen Sepucha, PhD, Kenneth Smith, MD, MS, Seema Sonnad, PhD, Holly Witteman, PhD, Eve Wittenberg, PhD for their service. 

Lastly, I’d like to thank Ankur Pandya, PhD and Ursula Rochau, MD, MSc who tallied the judges’ scores, calculated the z-scores adjusting each score for each judge’s mean and standard deviation, and assisted in passing out the awards. Amber Barnato, MD, MPH, MS, FACPM, and I have been entrusted with being co-chair stewards for the Lusted Award Committee since the 2011 meeting. I’d like to acknowledge, recognize and thank my co-chair Amber for her introduction and continued innovative implementation of our current Lusted poster format over the past two years. Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to Myriam Hunink, our able and capable Chair of the Awards committee who is stepping down this year. In closing, congratulations to the award winners, award nominees, their mentors and you who make our society such a special organization! See you in St Louis.
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2015 Call for Officers and Trustees

by Murray Krahn, MD, SMDM Nominations Committee Chair and Past President 

Deadline: February 27, 2015, 5:00 pm, EST

The Nominations Committee of the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) is soliciting nominations for the positions of:

Vice President–Elect, and
3 Trustees (including an International Trustee)

We invite SMDM members to submit the names of members whom you believe would serve the Society well. Self-nominations are encouraged. The Nominations Committee will consider all submitted names. At least 2 nominees will be selected for each position. Upon approval of the slate by the Board of Trustees, the list of nominees will be sent to all SMDM members. Additional nominees then will be accepted by petition, as described by the Society’s regulations.

Submit your nominations to Murray Krahn at or to Jill Metcalf at prior to 5:00 p.m. EST, February 27, 2015. Inclusion of information about the nominee’s past service to SMDM or other professional groups is helpful to the Nominations Committee’s deliberations. All nominations will remain confidential among the Nominations Committee until a slate is chosen.

Please contact me if you have any questions regarding the nomination or election process.

2015 Nominations Committee: 
Scott Braithwaite, Liz Fenwick, Rob Hamm, and Gillian Sanders
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Angie FagerlinWomen in SMDM

by Angie Fagerlin, PhD, University of Toronto

This past October, the Society for Medical Decision Making hosted a new event at the annual North American meeting — Women in SMDM: Advancing Careers, Impact, and Happiness. The event was designed to bring women together to discuss issues that commonly emerge for women in the Society. This year’s focus was on helping women attendees respond well to a question often posed at professional meetings, i.e., “What have you been up to lately?” Women often have difficulty speaking positively about and sharing their accomplishments. Based on the Peggy Klaus book Brag!: The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing it, the event included a presentation by organizer Angie Fagerlin, as well as sample accomplishment “brags” from attendees at different stages in their careers (Aisha Langford, trainee; April Kimmel, early career; Liz Fenwick, mid-career; and Miriam Hunink, late career). This was followed by attendees practicing their own “brags” to receive constructive feedback from society members. The topic for this year was selected from among a number of interest areas identified in a survey distributed to Society members over the summer. Planning for the event came from across the society, with substantial input from Angie Fagerlin, Heather Gold, April Kimmel, Tasha Stout, and Jill Metcalf. We hope this event is the first of an annual event designed to address unique challenges that professional women may face and to support women navigating these challenges across their careers. For more information or to get involved, email Angie Fagerlin ( or April Kimmel ( 
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Member News

Jessica Ancker, MPH, PhD, was promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Healthcare Policy and Research (Division of Health Informatics) at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, NY.

At the Next Generation Patient Experience 2014 in Dallas on December 2, Geri Lynn Baumblatt, MA, Executive Director of Patient Engagement, Emmi Solutions, hosted a workshop on Shared Decision Making: What Is It & How Does It Engage Patients, Providers, And Healthcare Organizations?  At the 2014 Health Literacy Research Conference, Nananda Col, MD, Geri Lynn Baumblatt, MA, Randi Redmond Oster (family caregiver and author), and Michael Wolf hosted a panel on Shared Decision Making: New Challenges for Health Literacy. They examined the health literacy challenges SDM creates and amplifies and looked at how decision aids can help address many of these challenges.

Heather Gold was recently interviewed as part of WABC-TV, New York's half hour special: Breast Cancer: Making Big Strides. She discussed accelerated partial breast radiation and included reference to the case study that appeared in SMDM's Journal, Medical Decision Making. The interview aired October 4th. Heather's appearance begins at 1:52 on the video.

The second edition of the textbook Decision Making in Health and Medicine: Integrating Evidence and Values has been published! Substantial changes have been made compared with the first edition of the book published in 2001: chapters 11 and 13 are totally new, all existing chapters have been thoroughly revised to present current insights, examples throughout the book have been updated to be clinically relevant in today’s practice, figures have been improved (especially in chapter 6), more figures have been added, and the supplementary material (now on a freely accessible website) has been expanded and revised. For lecturers using the book, there is a special password protected website with powerpoints with the figures and extra exercises for exam questions. Authors include: Myriam Hunink, BSc, MD, PhD, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam; Milton C. Weinstein, AB/AM, MPP, PhD, Harvard School of Public Health, Massachusetts; Eve Wittenberg, MPP, PhD, Harvard School of Public Health, Massachusetts; Michael F. Drummond, BSc, MCom, DPhil, University of York, UK; Joseph S. Pliskin, BSc, SM, PhD, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel; John B. Wong, BS, MD, Tufts University, Massachusetts; Paul P. Glasziou, FRACGP, PhD, Bond University, Queensland

Christine Huttin, PhD, became guest editor for the journal Technology and Health Care and invites members to contribute on topics of economics and shared decision making.

Joseph Ladapo, MD, PhD, NYU School of Medicine, recently published "Physician Decision Making and Trends in the Use of Cardiac Stress Testing in the United States: An Analysis of Repeated Cross-sectional Data" in Annals of Internal Medicine. It has been covered by Forbes and other news outlets. The key finding of the study is that cardiac stress testing with imaging has grown briskly over the past two decades in the US, and that about 1 million stress tests with imaging are probably inappropriate (radiological imaging was not necessary based on published criteria by the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology about which patients benefit from the use of imaging and which patients don't). These inappropriate tests cost us half a billion dollars in healthcare costs annually and lead to about 500 people developing cancer in their lifetime because of radiation they received during that cardiac stress test.
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Student News

Iakovos Toumazis,,
Expected Graduation: 6/1/2015
Area: Operations Research, PhD
Advisor: Murat Kurt
Dissertation: Dynamic Programming in Health Care: Applications in Colorectal Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes
Position Seeking: academic; post-doc
SMDM Presentations:
Toumazis I., Osman O., Kurt M., Denton B., "Eliciting Lipid Management Guidelines' Valuation of Future Life", The 36th Annual Meeting of the Society of Medical Decision Making, Miami, FL, October 18 - 22, 2014

Check out CVs (or post yours) at SMDM Connect
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Job Postings

The following positions have been recently posted in the Resource Section of SMDM Connect

Statistical Analyst / Biostatistician II, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York

Tenure Track Faculty Position, Gillings School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Medical Decision Research Lab, University of Missouri

Associate Director, Outcomes Research, Merck, NJ

Senior Scientist, Outcomes Research, Merck, NJ

Associate/Full Professor, Comparative Effectiveness/Patient-centered Outcomes Research/ Pharmacoeconomics, Northeastern University School of Pharmacy

Post Doc at Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine, University of Michigan

Associate/Full Professor, University of Michigan

Director, Pharmaceutical Outcomes Research & Policy Program, University of Washington
Check out all the details and the latest Job Postings Here

SMDM Lifetime Contributors

SMDM extends its heartfelt appreciation to members for their charitable contributions over the years. This year, a donor who wishes to remain anonymous challenged members of the board to increase their giving over 2013 levels and matched that increase 1:1 up to $1,000. The board more than met the match! Thank you to everyone who supported SMDM in 2014!

Donations received Oct. 2005 – December 31, 2014. 
Bolded individuals made contributions in 2014.
Italicized individuals moved up a level of giving in 2014.

Raiffa-Kahneman Circle
(Contributions total $5,000 or more)
Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert ('13, '14)
John Clarke ('13, '14)
Joseph King (‘06 - '14)

Mark Helfand (‘05, ‘07, '10, '11)

Pareto Level
(Contributions total $1,000 - $4,999)
Bruce Schackman (‘06 -'14)
Dana Alden ('12, '13, '14)
David Rovner & Margaret Holmes-Rovner (‘05 - '14)
Dennis Fryback (‘05 -'14)

Frank Sonnenberg (‘06, ‘09)
Harold and Carol Sox ('10 - '13)
John Wong (‘06 - '13)
Marilyn Schapira (‘07 - '12, 14)
Michael Barry (‘06 - '10)
Michael Kattan ('13, '14)
Murray Krahn ('13, '14)
Sankey Williams (‘06 - ‘08, '13, '14)
Uwe Siebert ('11, '13, '14)

William Lawrence (‘06, '10, '11, '13)

Edwards Level
(Contributions total $750 - $999)
Ahmed Bayoumi (‘06, '08 - ‘14)
David Meltzer ('07, '09)
Jill Metcalf (‘07 - '14)
Joel Tsevat (‘06, ‘09, '10)
Neal Dawson (‘05 - '14)
Seema Sonnad (‘06, ‘07, ‘09, '12 - '14)
Stephen Pauker (‘06, ‘09)

Tversky Level
(Contributions total $500 - $749)
Alan Schwartz (‘07, '10, '12 – '14)
Anirban Basu ('13)
David Paltiel ('07, '09)
David Sugano (‘07, ’09 – '11, '13)
Jef van den Ende (’10, '14)
Kate Christensen (‘09)
Kathryn McDonald (‘07, '09, '10, '14)
Mark Roberts (‘08, ‘09, '13)
Myriam Hunink (‘05 - '14)
Nananda Col (‘05 - ‘09)
Peder Halvorsen ('11 - '14)
Robert Beck (‘07) 
Sara Knight (‘05 - '14)
Scott Cantor & Lisa Stone (‘07 - '14) 

von Neumann-Morgenstern Level
(Contributions total $250 - $499)
Amber Barnato (‘05, ‘07, '11, '12, '14)
Andy Briggs ('14)
Angela Fagerlin ('14)

Arthur Elstein (‘06, ‘07, ‘09, ‘10) 
Dena Bravata (‘06, ’09 -  '11)
Don Husereau ('13)
Donald Brand ('13, '14)
Elena Elkin (‘07, '14)
Heather Taffet Gold (‘08, '11, '14)

James Stahl (‘06, ‘09, '10, '12)
Karen Kuntz (‘09, '11)
Mark Eckman (’06, ‘09)
Miriam Kuppermann (‘06 - '10, '12, '14)
Randall Cebul (‘06, ‘08, '10)
Robert Wigton ('10, '11, '14)
Steven Kymes (‘05 - ‘09, '12)
Thomas Tape ('10, '11, '14)

Markov Level
(Contributions total $100 - $249)
Alan Garber ('10)
Allison Rosen (‘07)
Benjavan Upatising ('13)
Brian Rittenhouse (‘07)
Brian Zikmund-Fisher (‘08 - '14)
Cathy Bradley (‘07)
Curtis Langlotz ('12)
Esther Kaufmann ('11)
George Torrance (‘05)
Jesse D. Ortendahl ('11, '12, '13)
Joanne Sutherland (‘08, ‘09)
John Thornbury (‘05)
Joseph Ladapo ('12 - '14)
Linda Canty ('12)
Lisa Maillart ('10)
Magdelena Flatscher-Thöni ('14)
Natasha Stout ('14)
Paal Joranger (‘14)
Peter Neumann ('14)

Phaedra Corso (‘06, ‘07, ‘08)
Richard Orr (‘05, ‘06)
Robert Hamm (‘06, ‘08, '14)
Roy Poses ('14)

Scott Braithwaite (’09)
Sun-Young Kim (‘07, ‘08, ‘10, '13)
Ursula Rochau ('14)
Verena Stühlinger ('14)

Bayes Level
(Contributions total up to $100)
Amit Gupta (‘06)
Andreas Maetzel (‘09)
Andrew Scott LaJoie ('10)
Anne Stiggelbout (‘06)
April Kimmel ('14)
Arna Dresser ('10, 12, '14)
Carmel Crock (‘09)
Carol Stockman (‘05)
Cindy Bryce ('14)
Daniel Masica (‘08)
Danielle Timmermans (‘07)
David Howard (‘09)
David Katz (’08)
Denise Bijlenga (‘08)
Eran Bendavid ('11)
Erika Waters ('14)
Evan Myers ('12)
Eve Wittenberg ('14)
Ewout Steyerberg (‘06, ‘09, '11, '13)
George Papadopoulos (‘08)
Gillian Sanders (‘07)
Hilary Bekker ('12)
Holly Witteman ('14)
Hugues Vaillancourt ('11)
Ivar Sonbo Kristiansen ('10)
James Dolan (‘09)
Jane Pai ('10)
Jessica Ancker ('14)
Jha Saurabh (‘09)
Job Kievit (‘09)
Karen Sepucha ('14)
Kerry Kilbridge (‘05, ‘07, ‘08)
Kimberly Blake (‘09)
Kristin Hendrix ('14)
Lee Green (‘07, ‘09)
Lisa Prosser (‘08)
Liz Fenwick ('14)
Mary Politi ('14)

Michael Hagen ('10)
Michael Rothberg (‘09 - '12)
Milton Weinstein (‘09, '11)
Negin Hajizadeh ('14)
Robert Werner (‘08)
Rowland Chang (‘06, ‘07)
Sarah Hawley ('14)
Sarah Kobrin ('14)
Sarah Lillie ('14)
Tanya Bentley ('14)

Ted Ganiats (‘05)
Thomas B. Newman ('10)
Valeria Reyna ('14)
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The Winter issue of our Journal, Medical Decision Making, is available for your review.

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