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

Summer greetings from the editorial team at the SMDM Newsletter! For many of us, summer brings vacation and professional travel, and a reminder of how diverse our world is in culture, language, beliefs, resources and practices. As those in Europe and Asia become more involved, the Society for Medical Decision Making continues growing and expanding so that it provides an ever clearer reflection of this global diversity. This quarter’s issue features pieces on how the Society is working to continue to grow and thrive in several parts of the world.

This newsletter includes our Letter from the President, Murray Krahn. He describes an eagerly anticipated partnership between SMDM and Health Technology Assessment International.

You will also find an update about the upcoming Officer and Trustee elections, including the newly created International Trustee, as well as a link to cast your vote. And find out how the generous financial support provided by members’ donations has led to the creation of a new distinguished designation for its Lifetime Donors, the Raiffa-Kahneman Circle.

Meetings play important educational and networking roles to our Society, and they provide a good metric for observing the growth and extension of SMDM. Jef Van den Ende reports on the 15th Biennial European SMDM Meeting held in Antwerp, Belgium, June 8-10, that was another enjoyable affair, well-attended by more than 185 members and other professionals from 26 countries. And we have a preview of the North American Meeting in warm and sunny Miami, Florida this October featuring Keynote Speaker Damien Walker, PhD, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Also read about the new Malaysian SDM Group’s efforts to promote SDM in a multi-cultural environment. The group has worked to address multiple important medical decisions using face to face and remote decision support training.

Angel Jose Paternina reports on an effort to help address needs of speakers of first languages other than English as SMDM is offering an intermediate level course in Spanish entitled “Planning A Cost Study for Health Technology Assessments: What to Consider?”

In addition, we have an update from the SMDM Networking Committee which continues to provide junior and less junior members with a vast array of services, including a recent webinar on preparing a Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Application. In this issue you’ll also find an announcement of the winners of the 2014 European Meeting Lee B. Lusted Prizes for Outstanding Presentations.

With a wide array of research interests and methodological approaches represented in the Society, we hope to make our methods and analyses pieces a regular feature. This issue includes a piece on the use of structural equation modeling in culturally comparative medical decision making research. And as always the Newsletter includes updates and important news on the educational and career achievements of your fellow SMDM members and colleagues.

As the Society continues to grow and thrive around the world, I’d like to remind everyone to get connected with SMDM Connect, our own on-line resource and professional networking website. If you have not already created an SMDM Connect account, I invite you to set one up here: In addition to putting professionals with similar interests in touch with each other, Connect provides a great forum for further discussion of topics presented in the SMDM Newsletter. Anyone can start discussions, and even administer simple surveys to members via SMDM Connect and link them to the newsletter. In the SMDM Member Forum, click on either the discussions tab and “add new discussion” or the surveys tab and “add survey.” Once you create the discussion or survey, you can copy the link and hyperlink it wherever you wish. The discussion or survey will stay open on SMDM Connect and will be viewable by all members. As an illustration of these capabilities, you can answer a one question survey about being a part of the Newsletter editorial team by going here and logging in:

But as always, if you would like to write a piece for the Newsletter, or are interested in joining the editorial team, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m looking forward to seeing you all in Miami!

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From the President

by Murray Krahn, MD, MSc, FRCPC, University of Toronto

Midsummer Reflections

It is well and truly summer now, even here in the usually frozen north, from where I write. The academic hubbub of the year has settled to a dull background roar…it’s time for the beach, the cottage, cultivating tomatoes, grant writing, and in my case, conducting the traffic of large and independent offspring as they come and go on their way to more interesting places. It is a time to reflect, also, on the near past and future, i.e. to think about things growing in the “SMDM garden”.

At SMDM, we’re about a month past the European meeting. Having been to a few European meetings, I have to say that I like them a lot. It’s nice to have a conference in a monastery. It’s even nicer to have the conference organizers double as musicians - Jef van der Ende and Myriam Hunink deeply impressed in their alter egos (Van Cliburn and Martha Argerich?) as accomplished pianists, and gave not one, but three concerts in the chapel of the monastery. The more relaxed pace of the European meeting, and the excellent social events make this a really nice way to start the summer. The science was very good too - I learned quite a bit about multicriteria decision analysis…it seems that this area is really taking off in the Netherlands and in the UK. And we had about 200 attend. Our next European conference is in London in 2016. So…many thanks to Jef and Myriam, and Ivar Kristiansen and Peder Halvorsen who organized the 2014 meeting, and thanks to Olga Kostopolou who is helping to organize the London meeting! 

Other SMDM’ish things that are happening. It seems that SMDM Fellowship program is taking off. Several health technology assessment organizations have agreed to participate in the fellowship. Our initial foray into this area was with AHRQ, and we had several joint SMDM/AHRQ fellows who had an excellent experience. Sadly, the AHRQ money has dried up. Uwe Siebert and Beate Jahn resurrected the idea of the SMDM fellowship by engaging DIMDI, the German Institute of Medical Documentation and Information. After a long period of discussion, DIMDI has appointed their first fellow….Elisabeth Giesenhagen. We’ve now taken this idea and extended it to other groups. So far, we have signed agreements with CADTH, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health, and Adelaide Health Technology Assessment, in addition to DIMDI, and are in active discussions with agencies in Singapore, Finland, and the Netherlands. So, I think we can expect an excellent crop of fellows at the annual meeting in Miami. I think this will be a great way of raising our profile in places where SMDM is not well known, and bringing in a new group of scholars and researchers.

We’re also engaged the Advisory Group (former SMDM presidents, and those who have played a large part in the work of SMDM in the past) to help us think about having a broader policy impact. HTAI does this really well, with their Policy Forum. This is a small group of leaders in industry, government, patient and HTA organizations, who have high-level discussions each year prior to the annual meeting. The main selling point is to bring innovators, payers, and regulators in the same room in a neutral setting. We think that creating a similar forum for folks in industry and government to meet scientists interested in patients’ values and preferences, shared decision making, cost effectiveness analysis, and related areas, is potentially an excellent idea, from the perspective of both potential policy influence, as well as revenue generation. Anne Stiggelbout and Sandy Schwartz are taking the lead in this initiative. There will be a planning session in Miami, and hopefully by the St. Louis meeting in 2015, this will be a well worked-out idea.

So, to torture this analogy still further, things do seem to be growing in our garden. And I, for one, am looking forward to seeing new people, and new ideas that have sprouted over the summer in Miami!

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Meeting News

36th Annual North American Meeting, Miami, Florida

October 18-22, 2014

Marilyn Schapira, MD, MPH, and Margaret Byrne, PhD

Registration is now open for the 36th Annual North American Meeting being held October 18-22, 2014, in Miami, Florida. The theme of the 2014 meeting is Medical Decision Making Among Diverse Populations: Advancing Practice, Policy and Science. In addition to oral abstract and poster sessions for the presentation of original research, special thematic sessions will address issues pertaining to decision making in populations diverse in age, race, ethnicity, as well as region of the world.

Special symposia, invited speakers, and debates will address how clinical practice, health policy, and research methods compare across populations, affect health equity, and reveal differences in values and preferences of diverse groups. Attendees will gain an broad perspective on clinical practice, health policy, and decision science as it pertains to diverse populations.

Keynote Speaker

We are pleased to announce that Damian Walker, PhD, will be our Keynote Speaker for this year's North American Meeting. Damian is a Senior Program Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he works on the cost-effectiveness of health interventions and technologies. Don't miss his presentation, The Science and Politics of Making Funding Decisions at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Monday, October 20, 2014. Click here for more information on this presentation and Damien's work.



Four Symposiums are being planned for the North American Meeting. We are pleased to present information on two of these events which will be held on Tuesday, October 21, 2014.

The Art and Science of Preference Assessment: Applying stated-preference methods among diverse patient groups, will be chaired and moderated by Lisa A. Prosser MS, PhD. Confirmed speakers include John F. P. Bridges, PhD, Brett Hauber, PhD, Liana Fraenkel, MD, MPH, and Eve Wittenberg, MPP, PhD.

The joint chairs of the SMDM Medical Informatics Interest Group Brendan Delaney, MD, and David Chartash will lead the second symposia: The Learning Healthcare System (LHCS). Presentations will include: The learning healthcare system in the USA, Charles Friedman, PhD; Electronic health records and shared semantics, Brendan Delaney, MD; Decision support in the LHCS, Stephen M. Downs, MD; and Bringing institutions together in support of a LHCS, Rachel Hess, MD.

Click here for complete abstracts and biographies for all of this year's Symposia.

Complete information on the meeting program, social activities, and hotel information can be found on the SMDM website. We look forward to seeing you all there!
Register Today - Early Bird Deadline September 17th!
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The 15th Biennial SMDM European Meeting:

A challenging intellectual party in a superb old monastery.
June 08-10, 2014, Antwerp, Belgium

by Jeff Van den Ende, MD, PhD, Institute of Tropical Medicine on behalf of the co-chairs M.G. Myriam Hunink, MD, PhD, Erasmus University Medical School, Ivar Sønbø Kristiansen, MD, MPH, PhD, University of Oslo, and Peder Andreas Halvorsen, MD, PhD, University of Tromsø

The Antwerp University Faculty of Medicine, the Brussels Knowledge Center and the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine joined the Society of Medical Decision Making in hosting the 2014 biennial SMDM-Europe Meeting in Antwerp. The central theme of the meeting was clinical decision making in the era of personalized medicine. Research and training on clinical decision making received a strong boost in the 1970s with famous publications by Pauker and Kassirer. After a few decades of silence, interest in this discipline is again rising, especially in personalized medicine, shared decision making and undergraduate training. The threshold concept, proposed by Pauker and Kassirer, has proven to be a cornerstone in clinical practice. It was a great honor to have Jerry Kassirer as our keynote speaker. Jerry’s talk entitled, “Imperatives, Expediency and the New Diagnosis,” generated strong interest and active discussion.

Overall, organizers aimed at a ‘conference for the audience.’ In many conferences the content and the presenters are the target and the audience is overwhelmed by lengthy slides with excessive data. To improve presentation quality and subsequent discussion, session slides were reviewed by the chairs, and a free ‘presenting in public’ short course for less experienced presenters was offered. We are pleased to say that all presenters completed their talks in a timely manner, leaving sufficient room for highly interactive and engaging conversations within each session. Conference attendance was somewhat reduced compared to Oslo, 2012. Nonetheless, due to the high quality of submissions, extra oral presentations were organized, 80 posters were given and 11 short courses were taught. In addition, eight workshops were held with topics ranging from bias, ageing, biomarkers, teaching, preferences, decision aids, and economic evaluations to ‘thresholds in clinical medicine, a forgotten approach,’ chaired by Jerry Kassirer.

The conference venue was a superb old monastery, where posters were set up and coffee and meals were served in a century old ward that previously served patients with infectious diseases. The welcome reception was organized in the convent rooms and gardens. During the reception, participants enjoyed Mozart and Beethoven sonatas, as well as improvisations by the meeting Co-Chairs together with a professional Dutch violinist, Boris Visser, in the chapel, famous for its acoustics.

The social event was held in a historical warehouse on the harbor waterfront next to the eye-catching Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS) museum. The Felix Pakhuis (Felix Warehouse), designed by architect Felix Pauwels, was built in 1858 and was used to store a wide array of goods. During the social event, many participants took the opportunity to visit the roof terrace of the neighboring MAS museum to enjoy the 360 degree view of beautiful and historic Antwerp. The final event was a reception in the magnificent century old city hall, with a memorable speech by the vice-mayor. While we were sad to say goodbye to meeting attendees, we look forward to the 2016 biennial SMDM-Europe Meeting in London, merry Old England!

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European Meeting 2014 Lee B. Lusted Award

by Ursula Rochau, MD, MSc, Jef Van den Ende, MD, PhD, Myriam Hunink, MD, PhD

We are pleased to announce the Society for Medical Decision Making’s (SMDM) European Meeting 2014 Lee B. Lusted Award for Outstanding Presentation.

The First Prize winner is: Christina Kurzthaler for her presentation on "Combining Markov states: A comparison of analytical and heuristic methods for deriving the hazard rates of a collapsed Markov state".

The other winners are Katherine McAllister for her presentation on "Predicting 30-day mortality following percutaneous coronary intervention in England and Wales" and Christina Kreuzmair for her presentation on "Information processing of pictographs in medical decision-making depending on numeracy: An eye-tracking study"

For her outstanding work, our top winner, Christina Kurzthaler, has been invited to present her work at the 2014 North American Meeting in Miami this October.

We congratulate all the winners and thank once again all the Lee Lusted judges for their contributions!
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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.

Malaysia: Translating Shared Decision Making in a Multi-Cultural Environment

by Ng Chirk Jenn, Lee Ping Yein, Lee Yew Kong

The 2013 International Shared Decision Making Conference in Peru focused on shared decision making (SDM) in the developing world. One such developing country is Malaysia. Malaysia has a population of 28 million, divided into a three main ethnic groups (Malay, Chinese and Indian) with many other smaller groups and a variety of religious beliefs and practices. It is a complex socio-cultural context in which adaptation of the SDM concept is necessary.

To help address the challenge of promoting SDM in a multi-cultural environment, we have formed the Malaysian SDM Group. Our members have developed decision aids for insulin initiation and breast cancer treatment in multiple languages. Prostate cancer and spinal cord injury decision aids are in the pipeline. We organize regular decision aid training workshops and have developed an e-learning module for healthcare professionals who are unable to attend workshops. We also host regular meetings to discuss and write papers. In the course of our research, a number of cultural factors have emerged that pose challenges to SDM implementation.

First, cultural paternalism is common in Malaysia. Patients view doctors as the expert or authority and are often passive during medical decisions. On the other hand, doctors often practice a paternalistic consultation style. They stop at informed consent and do not actively engage the patient in decisions. Options are often not discussed and some Malaysian doctors persuade patients by emphasizing benefits relative to risks.

Second, cultural collectivism is more prevalent in Eastern societies. Family harmony is important and decisions are often made collectively. It is common for a patient’s family member or spouse to be the main decision maker rather than the patient. Thus, the usual patient-doctor dyad paradigm in SDM is more effectively viewed as a patient-family-doctor triad.

Third, language barriers are particularly challenging in Malaysia with at least four main languages spoken by different ethnicities in urban areas. As a result, it is very difficult for doctors to cover all of the languages and they cope by having healthcare personnel who are fluent in the required language. In addition, we are working to ensure that decision aids are available in multiple languages.

Last, patient-centered care is still in its infancy in Malaysia. We realize that SDM is only one component of patient-centered care. Thus, it is important for us to collaborate and promote a broad concept of patient-centered care to avoid development of disparate research silos. This collaborative direction has led us to brainstorming and discussions with experts on a unified model that incorporates the various components of SDM, evidence-based medicine and self-care.

SDM in Malaysia continues to see much progress. Patients have indicated a desire for more involvement in medical decisions. A cross-sectional survey of 470 patients in 2012 showed that nearly 75% preferred an active or SDM role in the consultation. In April 2014, an inaugural Shared Decision Making Workshop was organized for 24 healthcare professionals and policy makers from both public and academic settings. Moving forward, we have developed a patient involvement framework that maps key areas for future research, training and policy in Malaysia (BMC Health Serv Res 2013, 13:48).

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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.

Using Multi-Group SEM to Study Culture & Medical Decision Making

by John Friend, Research Associate, University of Hawaii

Within the patient centered care movement, culture is recognized as an important influence on medical decision making (MDM). While there are many quantitative techniques available for studying culture’s influence on MDM, multi-group structural equation modeling (SEM) offers two key advantages that other analytical approaches such as regression and multivariate analysis of variance do not provide. First, by accounting for measurement error rather than assuming no error, SEM increases statistical power to identify significant relationships between latent factors. Second, multi-group SEM allows simultaneous comparisons of direct and indirect effects of several antecedent variables on one or more outcomes within and across cultures.

Consequently, multi-group SEM facilitates the development of nomological networks of underlying direct and indirect processes associated with MDM outcomes while allowing researchers to graphically see how such networks vary within and across cultures. For example, to better understand the influence of cultural differences on patient-provider communications, multi-group SEM might be used to analyze the effects of varying patient values on participation in treatment decision making. In particular, antecedent processes across groups may differ depending on cultural constructs such as collectivist (associated with Asian cultures) versus individualist (associated with Western culture) value systems. Multi-group SEM allows the researcher to visually map out both main (similar across cultures) and culturally moderated (variable across collectivist versus individualist cultures) effects involved in MDM. Other benefits of multi-group SEM include ruling out common method bias and establishment of measurement invariance across cultures.

However, given ecological fallacy concerns, it is very important to ground hypothesized structural pathways in the model in past research and theory to avoid making invalid conclusions. In addition, multi-group SEM is limited in its ability to examine complex interactions across more than two or three cultural groups. In such cases, other general linear model approaches such as multiple regression are likely to be more effective.

In summary, multi-group SEM holds great potential for strengthening analytical methods used in cross-cultural MDM research. While not applicable to every type of study, multi-group SEM can greatly improve our understanding of how individuals from different cultures engage in health care communications centered around MDM. For more information, search for “multi-group SEM AMOS” and a number of helpful videos and websites will come up, e.g., datadecision/multigroup/amos_group.html.

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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.

Latin America: First SMDM Intermediate Course to be Presented in Spanish


by Angel Paternina, MD, MSc

Health care costs are soaring in most countries as a result of several factors including: the growth of aging populations, use of more complex health technologies, drug costs, and the rising frequency of chronic diseases due to the epidemiological transition. Increasing health care costs have led to a scarcity of resources, and government budgets around the world are feeling the strain. The 18% of the United States’ gross domestic product spent on health is a very significant amount given that other developed countries spend up to one-half this amount and have better overall health outcomes. 

These issues have not gone unnoticed. The United States recently implemented significant health care reform (The Affordable Care Act) as an attempt to curb increasing costs. Latin American countries are also experiencing constraints. Emphasizing the importance of addressing these challenges, the constitution in Colombia was recently amended to include health care as a citizen’s right. 

This is where the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) plays an important, if not fundamental, role in providing the framework, the theoretical foundation and the evidence to help decision and policy-makers make evidence-based decisions. 

To provide this evidence, the first step is to obtain measure costs for every disease. This allows us to quantify disease burden and to assess preventive measures that could save or curb costs over the long-term. Despite appearing straightforward, measuring health care costs is not an easy task. From the analyst perspective, several assumptions and methodological choices are necessary for the study of cost information. This is especially important as different jurisdictions have distinct health care systems and reimbursement schemes. 

Despite methodological hurdles in assigning value to health, and how much value for the money is justified in different settings, health economics is lighting the road for those decision and policy-makers who want to emphasize objectivity and evidence over gut-feelings and political subjectivity. Fulfilling an educational role in resource-scarce settings, SMDM is proposing an intermediate level course in Spanish entitled, "Planning a Cost Study for Health Technology Assessments: What to Consider?"

This course will be taught by Nelson Alvis Guzmán MD, PhD, (pictured, left) the leader of the PAHO’s ProVac center of excellence in Universidad de Cartagena (Cartagena, Colombia). The ProVac Initiative is a leading effort by PAHO/AMRO-WHO to gather data on the cost-benefit efficacy of vaccine diffusion in Latin American and Caribbean countries. This course will cover issues such as micro-costing and macro-costing methods, discount rates, and cost items to consider as part of an intermediate to advanced discussion of these issues.

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SMDM Elections Open: Vote Today!

The SMDM Board of Trustees and Officers voting process is open.This year, SMDM members are electing a President-Elect, Vice President-Elect, Secretary-Treasurer Elect, Historian and 3 Trustees.


New Position Established! The International Trustee

New this year, and following a vote of the membership conducted September 9 - October 22, 2013, SMDM is electing an International Trustee. The process for electing the International Trustee is as follows:

Among the nine nominees for the three Trustee positions, the Nominating Committee has selected two candidates who are eligible for the International Trustee position: Marieke de Vries, PhD, and Jef Van den Ende, MD, PhD.

Among the nominees who are eligible for the International Trustee position, the nominee with the most votes will be elected to the position.

Of the remaining eight nominees, the two nominees with the most votes will be elected as Trustees of the Board.   

An important benefit of your membership in SMDM is the privilege to vote for leaders to represent YOUR Society. Your participation helps to build and enhance the Society now and into the future.
SMDM Elections Open! Click Here to Cast Your Vote Now!
Log in with your email address and member ID to review biographies and personal statements from the candidates and cast your vote at: 
Voting closes Saturday, August 30, 2014 at 5:00 PM Eastern Time.

Results will be announced the following week via email.
Thank you for your participation.


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Career Development Opportunities at the 2014 Annual Meeting

by Beate Sander, PhD, University of Toronto

The SMDM Career Development Committee is excited to offer a range of career development activities. Be on the lookout for more announcements in the upcoming months!

One-to-One Mentoring Program Sign-up

On-line registration for One-to-One Mentoring at this year’s Annual Meeting will open this month! It is a great opportunity for students, trainees, junior faculty, and new members of SMDM to meet individually and informally with long-standing members of the Society.

For more information please contact Amy Tawfik ( or David Chartash (


Mentoring Meet-and-Greet

Mentoring Meet-and-Greet provides a unique opportunity for new meeting attendees, trainees, junior faculty, and others to meet with each other and get advice from established members of the Society in an informal group setting. The purpose of the program is to establish new networks of colleagues. Groups will meet informally in rooms divided as per SMDM’s core research specialties: decision psychology and shared decision making, applied health economics, health services and policy research, and quantitative methods and theoretical developments.

For more information please contact Amy Tawfik ( ) or David Chartash (


Call for CVs and Job Announcements!

If you are on the job market or have a job announcement, we welcome your submission to the Annual Meeting’s CV/Job book. The book will be available for prospective job seekers and employers at the meeting and will also be emailed electronically one week before the conference to all conference attendees. The submission deadline is October 4th!

For more information please contact Djora Soeteman ( or Jesse Ortendahl (


Dinners with Experts

Continue your career development over dinner! We invite you to attend informal group dinners hosted by senior members of the Society. Many of the dinners will be topical to career development issues. Dining opportunities are planned for Sunday October 19th and Tuesday October 21th. All meeting attendees are invited to sign up. The dinners are self-pay. Be on the lookout for dinner options and sign-up information prior to the conference.

For more information please contact Ava John-Baptiste ( or Praveen Thokala (


Career Development Panel:
Globetrotting - Exploring International Career Paths

Interested in expanding your international connections? Working or training abroad? In this year’s career panel discussion, SMDM members will share their insights and experiences on career paths in global health, international mobility, identifying good projects, building strong collaborators, and navigating multiple stakeholders. Introductions from panelists will be followed by a question and answer discussion with the audience.

For more information please contact Beate Sander ( or Natasha Stout (
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Networking Committee Update

by Mary Politi, PhD, Washington University School of Medicine

The Networking Committee is pleased to continue to offer career consultation service to SMDM members. Members can request specific career guidance from expert mentors via email or phone during the year, and/or can connect during the annual meeting for ongoing support. For example, services requested can include manuscript review, grant feedback, guidance about career transitions to new positions, promotion and tenure navigation, or other more general questions. Please email Mary Politi ( to sign up for this career consultation service.

The committee also hosted our first webinar on May 1, 2014, entitled, “Maximizing your PCORI grant application.” Thanks to SMDM members Holly Witteman, Dan Matlock, Dominick Frosch, and Bob Volk, all of whom have received PCORI funding and shared their expertise about applying to PCORI. We also thank Jean Slutsky, the chief engagement and dissemination officer from PCORI, for participating in this event. Slides are posted in SMDM connect (resources tab, educational modules link), as well as on the SMDM website ( for those who could not attend the webinar.

We look forward to seeing you in Miami! If you have suggestions for other networking activities you would like, please let us know.
PCORI Funding Webinar Slides Available Here
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Funding Available for Projects on Methods related to Patient and Stakeholder Engagement, Patient-Centered and Reported Outcomes (PCOs/PROs), and Patient Preferences through PCORI’s CER Methods Program

The PCORI Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Methods Program is pleased to announce its most recent funding announcement, which is posted in the PCORI Funding Center with information on submission deadlines and funding amounts.

Members of SMDM may find several of the CER Methods Program’s research areas to be of interest. In particular, PCORI seeks to fund innovative proposals focusing on methods for involving patients and stakeholders (e.g., clinicians, employers, private and public payers, life science industry, hospitals, health systems, and policymakers) in PCOR/CER. This includes research on methods for engaging patients, clinicians, and other stakeholders throughout the research process, on endeavors such as identifying important research questions and outcomes, study governance, data collection, analysis plans, interpretation of results, and dissemination of findings to a wide variety of audiences.

PCORI also seeks to fund projects outlining research on methodology related to PCOs /PROs and patient preferences. This includes developing methods for collecting PROs using open-platform, web-enabled qualitative measures and other innovative methods for identifying concepts relevant to patients and items to measure PROs. It also includes research on PRO score interpretation, strategies for collecting PRO data from multiple sources, minimizing missing data, or methods for integrating PROs into clinical practice. Proposals for studies focused on methods to elicit patient preferences regarding the benefits and harms of alternative interventions, are also welcome. This funding announcement is dedicated to studies of the methods related to the general development and validation of instruments, as opposed to development and validation of new disease-specific instruments.

Proposals should focus on an area of research interest described in the funding announcement and meet PCORI’s five merit review criteria. A detailed description of the five criteria is available in the funding announcement. Summaries of PCORI-funded projects are available on the PCORI website. Questions can be sent to PCORI’s contact us page.
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Member News

Anirban Basu, PhD, was promoted to Professor in the Departments of Health Services, Pharmacy and Economics, University of Washington, Seattle, starting July 1, 2014.

Kirsteen Burton, MBA, MSc, MD, is in the midst of completing her PhD in clinical epidemiology, the projects for which include a decision analytic model on the cost-effectiveness of neuroimaging in the setting of acute ischemic stroke. Her PhD program (within the University of Toronto's Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation) requires the completion of a PhD comprehensives defense. Her comprehensives project was recently published in Stroke, titled, "Systematic review, critical appraisal, and analysis of the quality of economic evaluations in stroke imaging"

Eva DuGoff, PhD, MPP, will be joining the faculty in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as an Assistant Professor. Eva recently graduated from the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her dissertation focused on care coordination in multimorbid older adults with diabetes. In 2014, Eva was a recipient of the Marilyn Berger Award in Health Services Research.

Lori Grover, OD, PhD, a member of the SMDM Policy Committee, has been named Dean of the Pennsylvania college of Optometry at Salus University in Elkins Park, PA. She previously served as the Director of the Center for Translational Health Science at Arizona State University.

Christopher R. Wolfe, PhD, has been awarded the title of Fellow of the American Psychological Society. Wolfe is Professor of Psychology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio USA.

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Student News

Prajakta Adsul,
Expected Graduation: 08/01/2014
Degree: MBBS, MPH, PhD
Dissertation: Assessing the adoption of patient decision aids by urologists to facilitate shared decision making with prostate cancer patients facing treatment
Advisor: Dr. Ricardo Wray
SMDM Interest Group: Decision Psychology, Implementation
SMDM Mentor: Dr. Mary Politi

Nelleke Korteland,
Expected Graduation: 2015
Area: Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Position Seeking: Academic
Presented at the SMDM Annual Meeting:
Optimizing Prosthetic Heart Valve Selection: A Dutch Quality Improvement Project

Sahar Mokhles,
Expected Graduation: 2016
Degree: BsC
Area: Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Position Seeking: Academic
Presented at the SMDM Annual Meeting:
Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treatment Selection: The Role of the Patient in Decision Making, 2014

Catherine Riffin,
Expected Graduation: 05/01/2015
Degree: PhD
Area: Health and Aging
Position Seeking: post-doc or academic
Dissertation: Decision Support and Treatment Planning for Joint Replacement
Advisor: Corinna Loeckenhoff, PhD; Karl Pillemer, PhD; Cary Reid, MD, PhD
SMDM Interest Group: Decision Psychology

Claire Su-Yeon Park,,
Expected Graduation: 08/01/2016
Degree: MSN, RN
Area: Nursing
Position Seeking: post-doc or academic-research intensive university
Advisor: Dr. Cimiotti
Dissertation: Optimizing nurses’ workload, quality of care, and cost in home healthcare nursing
Check out CVs (or post yours) on SMDM Connect
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Member Generosity leads to New Level of Recognition: The Raiffa – Kahneman Circle

Thanks to the generosity of its members, SMDM is pleased to add a new level of recognition for its Lifetime Donors, the Raiffa-Kahneman Circle. Howard Raiffa, PhD, and Daniel Kahneman, PhD, have graciously allowed SMDM to use their names in recognizing donors who have made donations to SMDM totaling $5,000 or more altogether. Raiffa and Kahneman, who turn 90 and 80 this year, respectively, have both received the SMDM Career Achievement Award, which recognizes significant contributions to the field of medical decision making. Raiffa is a pioneer in the field of decision analysis and Kahneman has received a Nobel Prize in Economics.

“Howard taught me more than decision analysis and decision theory; he also taught me how to communicate mathematical material in transparent terms (and in proper English sentences),” said former SMDM President Milt Weinstein. “He taught me that an analyst’s responsibility does not end with a prescription for action; it also includes ensuring that the client or audience intuitively understands – and is able to communicate themselves - why that prescription follows from the structural assumptions, probabilities, and utilities on which it is based. In this way more than any other, he influenced a “family tree” of decision analysts who have profoundly influenced the practice of business, public policy, health and medicine.”

“Daniel Kahneman's past work remains required reading in university courses, including four of my own past courses taken as a postgraduate student,” stated SMDM member Don Redelmeier. “His more recent popular book entitled Thinking: Fast and Slow is now encouraged for many health care providers, patients, and leaders who work in modern medical care. Together, the exemplary contributions to decision science have inspired many members of our society (me too!) toward making medical care in the future better than it is today.”

SMDM is also pleased to welcome the inaugural members of the Raiffa-Kahneman Circle: John Clarke, Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert, Mark Helfand and Joseph King.

Please join us in thanking Drs. Raiffa and Kahneman, Clarke, Goldhaber-Fiebert, Helfand and King for their generosity.

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SMDM Lifetime Contributors

SMDM extends its heartfelt appreciation to members for their charitable contributions over the years. Donations received Oct. 2005 – June 30, 2014. Bold indicates donors since the last e-newsletter.

Raiffa-Kahneman Circle
(Contributions total $5,000 or more)
John Clarke (’13, ’14)
Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert (’13)
Mark Helfand (’05, ’07, ’10, ’11)
Joseph King (’06 -’12, ’14)

Pareto Level
(Contributions total $1,000 - $4,999)
Dana Alden (’12, ’13)
Michael Barry (’06 - ’10)
Dennis Fryback (’05 - ’13)
Michael Kattan (’13)
Murray Krahn (’14)
William Lawrence (’06, ’10, ’11, ’13)
David Rovner & Margaret Holmes-Rovner (’05 - ’13)
Uwe Siebert ('11, ’13)
Frank Sonnenberg (’06, ’09)
Harold and Carol Sox (’10 - ’14)
Sankey Williams (’06, ’07, ’08, ’13)
John Wong (’06 - ’12, ’14)

Edwards Level
(Contributions total $750 - $999)
David Meltzer (’07, ’09)
Stephen Pauker (’06, ’09)
Marilyn Schapira (’07 - ’12)
Seema Sonnad (’06, ’07, ’09, ’12, ’13)
Joel Tsevat (’06, ’09, ’10)

Tversky Level
(Contributions total $500 - $749)
Anirban Basu (’13)
Robert Beck (’07)
Scott Cantor & Lisa Stone (’07 - ’13)
Kate Christensen (’09)
Nananda Col (’05 - ’09)
Neal Dawson (’05 - ’13)
Sara Knight (’05 - ’13)
Kathryn McDonald (’07, ’09, ’10)
Jill Metcalf (’07 - ’13)
David Paltiel (’07, ’09)
Mark Roberts (’08, ’09, ’13)
Bruce Schackman (’06 - ’11, ’14)
David Sugano (’07, ’09 - ’11, ’13)

von Neumann-Morgenstern Level
(Contributions total $250 - $499)
Ahmed Bayoumi (’06, ’09, ’10, ’11, ’12, ’13)
Dena Bravata (’06, ’09, ’10, ’11)
Andy Briggs (’14)
Randall Cebul (’06, ’08, ’10)
Mark Eckman (’06, ’09)
Arthur Elstein (’06, ’07, ’09, ’10)
Peder Halvorsen ('11,’13)
Don Husereau (’14)
Karen Kuntz (’09, ’11)
Steven Kymes (’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’12)
Alan Schwartz (’07, ’10, ’12, ’13)
James Stahl (’06, ’09, ’10, ’12)

Markov Level
(Contributions total $100 - $249)
Amber Barnato (’05, ’07, ’08, ’11, ’12)
Cathy Bradley (’07)
Scott Braithwaite (’09)
Donald Brand (’13)
Linda Canty (’12)
Phaedra Corso (’06, ’07, ’08)
Elena Elkin (’07)
Alan Garber (’10)
Heather Taffet Gold (’08, ’11)
Robert Hamm (’06, ’08)
Myriam Hunink (’05 - ’13)
Esther Kaufmann ('11)
Sun-Young Kim (’07, ’08, ’09, ’13)
Miriam Kuppermann (’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’12)
Curtis Langlotz (’12)
Lisa Maillart (’10)
Richard Orr (’05, ’06)
Brian Rittenhouse (’07)
Allison Rosen (’07)
Joanne Sutherland (’08, ’09)
Thomas Tape (’10, ’11)
John Thornbury (’05)
George Torrance (’05)
Benjavan Upatising (’13)
Jef Van den Ende (’10)
Robert Wigton (’10, ’11)
Brian Zikmund-Fisher (’08 - ’13)

Bayes Level
(Contributions total up to $100)
Hilary Bekker (’12)
Eran Bendavid (’11)
Denise Bijlenga (’08)
Kimberly Blake (’09)
Rowland Chang (’06, ’07)
Carmel Crock (’09)
James Dolan (’09)
Arna Dresser (’10, ’12)
Ted Ganiats (’05)
Lee Green (’07, ’09)
Amit Gupta (’06)
Michael Hagen (’10)
David Howard (’09)
David Katz (’08)
Job Kievit (’09)
Kerry Kilbridge (’05, ’07, ’08)
Sun-Young Kim (’13)
Ivar Sonbo Kristiansen (’10)
Joseph Ladapo (’12, ’13)
Andrew Scott LaJoie (’10)
Andreas Maetzel (’09)
Daniel Masica (’08)
Evan Myers (’12)
Thomas B. Newman (’10)
Jesse D. Ortendahl (’11, ’13)
Jane Pai (’10)
George Papadopoulos (’08)
Lisa Prosser (’08)
Michael Rothberg (’09, ’10, ’11, ’12)
Gillian Sanders (’07)
Jha Saurabh (’09)
Ewout Steyerberg (’06, ’09, ’11, ’13)
Anne Stiggelbout (’06)
Carol Stockman (’05)
Danielle Timmermans (’07)
Hugues Vaillancourt (’11)
Milton Weinstein (’09, ’11)
Robert Werner (’08)

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The Summer issue of our Journal, Medical Decision Making, is available for your review.

Copyright © 2020 Society For Medical Decision Making, All rights reserved.

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