Better Heath 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

Welcome to the Spring 2014 issue of the Society for Medical Decision Making newsletter! Thawing out from an exceptionally frigid and snowy winter (for places like Chicago anyway) almost always has an energizing effect and we think that this quarter’s newsletter will add to your momentum regardless of your local climate! With so much healthcare change going on in North America, Europe, Asia, and many other parts of the world it is difficult to keep track of everything that impacts both the delivery of clinical care and the many varieties of research that help advance it. But I think that this edition of the Newsletter will be particularly helpful in keeping readers oriented about what’s going on regarding funding, policy making, and scientific endeavors.

In this issue, Society President, Murray Krahn, MD, MSc, FRCPC, urges us to further establish a worldly role in health policy decision making. This process is underway and should advance and expand on SMDM’s inroads into US health policy making, the German health technology assessment agency, the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH), and other agencies from around the globe.

We hear from the Acting Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Center for Outcomes and Evidence, Yen-Pin Chiang, PhD, about the agency’s resources to support shared decision making research and implementation. In addition, Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, PhD, presents a new and publicly available resource for creating risk graphics for clinical use. And our own Health Policy Committee keeps their finger on the pulse of Washington congressional actions, reports on funding initiatives, and presents meeting notes from the Academy Health National Health Policy Conference. Readers are also treated to a review of the inaugural Asian Pacific Conference that was a smashing success, as well as previews of the rapidly approaching Antwerp hosted Bi-annual European and Miami North American meetings.

Please do take the time to read the Society’s updates. They are both helpful and inspiring, as they shed light on the hard work and accomplishments of our members in a variety of arenas. They also provide very useful news and links to important webinars and surveys that can enhance your work and the operations of our SMDM.

Last but not least, make the SMDM Connection by setting up a profile in our social media site “Connect”. Connect will not only let you build networks with colleagues, collaborators, and collaborators to-be, plans are in the works to better integrate Connect with the Newsletter so that editorials and other Newsletter material that inspires member comments and follow up discussions can easily be initiated in Connect directly from the Newsletter.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any comments or suggestions about the Newsletter or if you would like to be more involved. I hope you enjoy this spring’s edition!

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From the President

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

On Being Worldly

“Worldly” is a word whose meaning varies by context. It can mean: “of or relating to the human world and ordinary life, rather than to religious or spiritual matters.” It can also mean: “having a lot of practical experience and knowledge about life and the world.”

At SMDM, I think that we are ambivalent about how “worldly” to be. We are justifiably proud of our academic rigor and the quality of our methods. SMDM’ers care, to an extraordinary extent, about doing good work and finding new ways to do it. Presenting a poster at SMDM will nearly always attract 5 people who know more about your subject than you do, and would like to help you improve!

And yet, it is not only doing good work behind closed doors that moves us. We also really do want to be listened to. We want our work to reach others, to influence discussion, to change decisions and drive policy.

I think that we can, and maybe should be a little more worldly. First, the world is already moving in our direction:

Patients’ preferences and shared decision making are growing parts of evidence based medicine, the clinical practice guideline movement, “comparative effectiveness,” and health technology assessment. Bringing patient preferences into health decisions is a priority for private and publicly funded health systems.

Cost effectiveness may be controversial in the US, but it has been used in many US policy decisions. In Canada, the UK, Australia, and many countries around the world, this is a core attribute of health policy decisions.

We are also already moving toward the world:

We are becoming more global, in membership, and in outlook.

Negin Hajizadeh and Elbert Huang have energized the Policy Committee, which is now much more active in bringing SMDM to the US health policy table.

Beate Jahn and Uwe Siebert have started an initiative to create an SMDM fellowship at the German health technology assessment agency. Negotiations are underway to expand this initiative to the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) and other international agencies.

As a Society we are small (really, medium sized) but mighty - mighty in the quality of our ideas and our people. We can and should be a little more “worldly” - i.e. we can and should be a bigger part of decisions and health policy in health care, government and industry.

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Meeting News

Biennial SMDM-Europe Conference in Antwerp
June 8-10, 2014

by Jeff Van den Ende, MD, PhD, Institute of Tropical Medicine and M.G. Myriam Hunink, MD, PhD, Erasmus University Medical School, Meeting Chairs

Registration is now open for the 15th Biennial European Meeting of the Society for Medical Decision Making. The conference will take place at the Elzenveld Hotel and Congress Centre, Antwerp, Belgium, June 8-10, 2014. The venue is a superb old monastery, where posters will be set up and coffee and meals served in a century old ward of infectious diseases.

The special focus will be: “clinical decision making in the era of personalized medicine’’. Clinical decision making got a great boost in the seventies, with the famous publications by Pauker and Kassirer. After a few decades of relative silence, interest in this discipline is again rising, especially in personalized medicine, shared decision making and undergraduate training. The threshold concept they conceived has been proven a cornerstone in clinical practice.

The chairs are proud to announce that Jerome Kassirer, one of the above mentioned founders of the threshold concept, has accepted to deliver the key note address.

As further conference highlights, we propose a series of highly regarded short courses taught by world-renowned faculty, and plenary panel symposia to discuss ageing, threshold concepts and training in clinical decision making.

As is tradition, the meeting offers a social program to enable participants to socialize and network. On June 9, participants can opt to join the conference dinner at the Felix Pakhuis, which is located in Antwerp's old port area, opposite to the famous new MAS museum.

The MAS is first and foremost a museum, but it is also an extraordinary building in its own right, occupying an extraordinary site in an extraordinary location. Located right on the dock, the Felix Pakhuis is an impressive and picturesque venue for the meeting dinner.

At the conclusion of the meeting on June 10, all participants are invited by the Mayor of the City of Antwerp to a special reception at the City Hall.

The organizers want to continue the trend of increasing quality of European MDM congresses, and hope you will join us in Antwerp.

Jef Van den Ende, MD, PhD
Myriam G.M. Hunink, MD, PhD
Peder A. Halvorsen, MD, PhD
Ivar Sønbø Kristiansen, MD, PhD

Register for the European Meeting Now
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36th Annual North American Meeting, Miami, Florida

October 18-22, 2014

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.

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

Submit an Abstract:

The Society for Medical Decision Making is soliciting proposals for Oral and Poster Abstracts, and Short Courses until May 16, 2014.
Call for Abstracts open until May 16, 2014
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Support SMDM Scholarships for Miami

SMDM’s International Travel Scholarship Program enhances professional capacity for researchers, educators, and policy makers in middle and low income countries. Since 2010, SMDM has provided scholarships for 35 individuals from these countries, including 10 awardees from Latin America listed below, to attend the SMDM Annual Meeting in North America or the SMDM Biennial European Conference. Each awardee receives full or partial support for travel to the meeting, complementary meeting and short course registration, and a 3-year SMDM membership. Awardees also meet one-on-one with a pre-assigned SMDM mentor who has global health research experience relevant to their areas of interest such as economic evaluation, comparative effectiveness, health technology assessment, clinical epidemiology, patient preferences, and decision psychology.

After the meeting, travel scholarship awardees continue contributing to SMDM’s global health agenda through SMDM’s online community SMDM Connect and electronic newsletter. SMDM provides an opportunity for new research and policy collaborations. For example, travel scholarship awardees from Latin America who met at the 2010 North American Annual Meeting (Ulises Garay, IECS, Agentina; Patricia Granja, Public Health Institute, Ecuador) went on to collaborate with a North American research mentor (Dr. Leslie Wilson, University of California San Francisco) successfully apply for a University of California Pacific Rim Research Program grant to examine the affordability of essential medicines in Pacific Latin American countries during economic crises.

We are soliciting funds to support qualified individuals from Latin America and the Caribbean to attend the SMDM North American Annual Meeting, Miami, FL in October 2014. We intend to take advantage of the meeting’s location to expand SMDM’s activities in Latin America, including launching an SMDM Latin America regional community through SMDM Connect. These plans coincide with the meeting’s theme “Medical Decision Making Among Diverse Populations: Advancing Practice, Policy, and Science.” While we encourage funding that is unrestricted, donors may restrict their use of funds to applicants from a specific list of countries. Award decisions are made by an independent committee of SMDM members with expertise in global health.

Previous travel scholarship awardees from Latin America report that SMDM provides a highly valued professional development opportunity that goes beyond scientific meetings they may attend in Latin America, due to SMDM’s strong methodological focus and emphasis on mentoring.

For more information, please contact: Jill Metcalf, MBA, at

SMDM International Scholarship Program Latin American Awardees 2010-2013

Joaquin Caporale, MS, Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy (IECS), Argentina (2013 North American Meeting)

Osvaldo Ulises Garay, MS student, IECS- Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy, Argentina (2010 and 2011 North American Meetings)

Victor Granados Garcia, MsC, Mexican Institute of Social Security (2012 North American Meeting)

Patricia Granja, MD, MPH , Public Health Institute/Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador (2010 North American Meeting)

Juan Martin Moreira, MD, PhD Ministry of Health of Ecuador (2010 North American Meeting)

Angel Paternina Caicedo, MD Universidad de Cartagena, Columbia (2012 European Meeting)

Claudia Pereiera, PhD, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Brazil (2012 European Meeting)

Paula Repetto, PhD, Universidad Catolica de Chile (2012 North American Meeting)

Maria Isabel Roldos, DrPH, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador (2012 North American Meeting)

Stefan Frosi Stella, MD, National Institute for Health Technology Assessment, Brazil (2013 North American Meeting)

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Inaugural Asia Pacific Conference Exceeds Goals, Provides Lessons for Future Planning

By Jeremy D. Goldhaber-Fiebert, PhD

SMDM’s inaugural Asia Pacific Conference held in January 2014 in Singapore exceeded expectations and provided important lessons and information as we expand SMDM’s ongoing engagement with the Asia Pacific region.

First, the numbers.

The meeting had 163 attendees from over 25 countries with over 150 abstracts presented. The 2 full-day and 6 half-day short courses had 100 attendees. The social event held in the graceful space of Chijmes garnered 57 attendees.

Speakers included the president of the National University of Singapore, the former Taiwanese Minister of Health, leader experts in diabetes modeling, leaders in shared decision making from the Asia Pacific region, and experts on the epidemiology, clinical care, and policy for dementia in the Asia Pacific region.

Two immediate results of the meeting were an increase in membership and the launch of the Asia Pacific regional community. There were 15 new regular members and 5 new trainee members who joined SMDM as a result of the Asia Pacific conference. The meeting highlighted individuals from numerous countries who were eager to deepen the role of SMDM in their area – the regional community currently has over 30 affiliates and is growing.

Two presenters won prizes for outstanding abstracts and were invited to attend ESMDM in Antwerp or SMDM Miami to present their work. They are:

Nathorn Chaiyakunapruk, PharmD, PhD, Monash University, Malaysia for presentation of Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of HLA-B*5801 Testing in Preventing Allopurinol-Induced SJS/TEN in Thailand.

Chetna Malhotra, MD, MPH, Duke-National University of Singapore, Singapore for presentation of Concordance in Preferences for End of Life Care between Advanced Cancer Patients and their Caregivers in Singapore: A Discrete Choice Experiment.

Second, the feedback.

Attendees noted that “the size of meeting encouraged interaction and engagement with others from across the region. I thought the workshops that I attended were excellent and I gained some good insights on policy development in region.” Another added: “I am very happy to have got a chance to attend the inaugural conference of SMDM in Asia, where it is a relatively new field … It was a good learning experience; I will certainty recommend it to my colleagues.” Yet another commented: “The high quality of the scientific program and the pre-conference workshops will be a definite drawing card for future attendances!”

Called out for specific mention was the mentoring program which connected senior experienced SMDM members with individuals new to the society or early in their careers. One participant noted: “This is a fabulous idea. There could be even more events during future conferences for early-career professionals.”

Third, the lessons.

The experience from the inaugural meeting has already led to progress and planning for the future. SMDM is targeting early 2016 for the second inaugural meeting. Both Anirban Basu and I have agreed to assist the meeting co-chairs and organizing committee for this meeting. A number of individuals came forward to express interest in hosting the event in their countries, and they have involved themselves in the Asia Pacific SMDM Regional Community as well. The board is actively focused on keeping the momentum from the meeting going in the interim to the next Asia Pacific conference. Come and join us; we expect SMDM’s second Asia Pacific conference to be even more exciting than the first..


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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.

SMDM and AHRQ: Partners in Improving Health through Shared Decision Making

by Yen-Pin Chiang, PhD, Acting Director, Center for Outcomes and Evidence, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

More than 100 plain-language publications that summarize the evidence on benefits and risks of treatment options for numerous common health conditions are now available from the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). These materials are designed to support patients and providers in shared decision making.

The publications, available online and in printed formats, summarize treatment choices for conditions ranging from diabetes to hypertension to depression. AHRQ is pleased to highlight these resources for members of the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM), a valued partner in support of improving health care quality through the dissemination and use of patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR).

AHRQ confirmed its commitment to PCOR earlier this year when it revised Agency priorities. Under the leadership of new director Richard Kronick, PhD, AHRQ lists four priority goals:
1) improve health care quality by accelerating implementation of PCOR;
2) make health care safer;
3) increase accessibility by evaluating health insurance coverage expansions; and
4) improve health care affordability, efficiency, and cost transparency.

AHRQ joins forces with SMDM and other partners to achieve objectives in these priority areas in many ways. For example, the tools referenced above from AHRQ’s Effective Health Care (EHC) Program encourage people living with health conditions and their caregivers to explore treatment options for their condition, compare the benefits and risks of each, and prepare to discuss them with their health care provider. Resources for consumers can help experienced and newly enrolled patients prepare for their medical appointments and navigate the health care decision making process. The Agency’s clinician research summaries, meanwhile, provide the “clinical bottom line” on the benefits and risks of treatment options while rating the strength of evidence behind each finding.

As a member of AHRQ’s national partnership network, SMDM members have access to a wide variety of free PCOR resources and tools to aid in health care decision making. In addition to patient tools, research has been translated into plain-language clinician summaries on a wide range of topics including heart health, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Continuing education credits and slide libraries on a variety of health topics are also available for health professionals, while the EHC Program initiative Treatment Options: Explore. Compare. Prepare. provides resources and outreach tools specifically for patients and caregivers.

Please visit the Get the Clinical Bottom Line and Treatment Options: Explore. Compare. Prepare. Web pages to access resources designed to encourage and support shared decision making. Free copies of the clinician and patient treatment summaries can also be ordered by calling 800.358.9295 and using code C-01. To keep apprised of funding opportunities, please visit AHRQ online or sign up for email announcements, or check the Recent News section at

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A New Way to Make Risk Graphics for Clinical Consultations

by Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, PhD, University of Michigan Public Health

"Will this make a difference, doc?"

"How do these risks compare?"

"How is my risk different from someone else's?"

It's hard to answer these questions using only words, isn't it? We can recite the numbers, but it's really hard for anyone, let alone a patient in a clinic visit, to wrap their mind around risk data and make sense of them.

At moments like this, have you ever wanted to say, "Here, let me show you"?

Now you can.

I'm very pleased to announce that, the University of Michigan's free, online generator of icon array risk graphics has been expanded to allow creation of side-by-side displays for use with patients.

The new site,, is designed to be FAST.

We conducted a series of user experience design sessions with clinicians to learn about their needs, and what we heard over and over was a need for SPEED. Clinic visit time is precious, and you don't often know in advance when you might want a risk graphic handout to provide to a patient.

As a result, the site is designed to allow a busy clinician to generate a new graphic in less than a minute. The entry page quickly allows you to pick between a handout with 1, 2, or 3 side-by-side icon arrays. Then just enter the numbers, type a few labels, and you're done.

There's even a side text box for notes if you want to write something specific for your patient before you print it or show it to them.

The site has fewer options than the main site. If you want arrays with more than one color, different sizes, etc., you'll still need to use the original site.

But, if your goal is to quickly help someone compare 2 or 3 risks using the evidence-based icon array format, the site might provide exactly what you need.

Please consider trying it out and share with us any feedback that you have. Please also contact us if you would like to consider its use in any implementation trials.

Check out these screen shots from

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Pulse on Policy

Brought to you by the SMDM Health Policy Committee
For more information, click here to access the full Pulse on Policy report.
To join the committee please email us at: and

Report on Government Policy:

Washington is Less Crazy: Progress is Made, But Funding Remains Tight

by Mark Liebow, MD, MPH, Mayo Clinic

Perhaps chastened by the very negative reaction of the American public to the Government shutdown last October, the U.S. Congress has made some things happen over the past five months enabling the government to continue functioning, though the money spent on research remains almost flat.
In December, the House and Senate Budget Committees reached agreements on budgets for Fiscal Year 2014 and Fiscal Year 2015 (i.e. through September 30, 2015). The total amount to be spent this year was roughly halfway between the House's target and the Senate's target and about $62 billion more than would have been spent under sequester rules. More of the increase went to domestic programs than to defense programs. The House and Senate both adopted the budget resolution before the December holiday break.
In January, just before the continuing resolution that ended the shutdown was about to expire, Congress passed an appropriations bill with sufficient funding to keep the Federal Government operating until September 30, 2014. For most health-related agencies, sequestration cuts meant that the amount appropriated was more than in Fiscal Year 2013, but less than in Fiscal Year 2012. However, the increases did not keep up with inflation or the growing number of investigators applying for grants. As a result, grants will be harder to get and possibly smaller than usual. PCORI, whose funding is not dependent on annual appropriations but is specified in the Affordable Care Act, is comparatively flush with money.
In February, Congress raised the debt limit to a level that will cover Federal expenses for more than 12 months, removing the financial uncertainty hanging over the government for the past year until after the next election. Pundits are predicting that the approach of this fall's election and huge gaps between the Senate and the House, primarily because they are controlled by different parties, will lead to deferral of all but the least controversial issues until after the November vote.. However, appropriations for most agencies will have to be determined five weeks before that. Perhaps the existence of a budget agreement and the willingness to compromise that we saw in January will lead to passage of appropriations bills on time this year. But I suspect we will again have funding by continuing resolution, at least until after a “lame duck” post-election session. The budget agreement will likely prevent substantial increases in agency funding this year.
Some people are changing roles. Arnold Epstein, MD, MA, will move from chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management (which includes the school's MDM programs) at the Harvard School of Public Health to Deputy Assistant Secretary and head of the Office of Health Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation in the Department of Health and Human Services. Anne Beal, MD, MPH, will leave her position as Deputy Executive Director of PCORI to join Sanofi, S.A.


Report on Health Policy Relevant Initiatives and Calls for Research from PCORI and AHRQ Website

by Lori Grover, PhD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine


The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) launched the Eugene Washington PCORI Engagement Awards program, a $15.5 million initiative to forge opportunities for patients and other stakeholder communities to become more involved in patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR).
PCORI will support engagement projects in three categories:
  1. Knowledge Awards
  2. Training and Development Awards
  3. Dissemination Awards


What’s New For Policymakers
Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act (CHIPRA)
Research Tools
Funding Related Announcements
Other Calls of Interest and ‘FYI’



Report from Academy Health National Health Policy Conference

by Negin Hajizadeh, MD, NYU Langone Medical Center

Notes from the Academy Health National Health Policy Conference (Washington DC, Feb 3-4 2014). Academy Health explores the intersections between Policy, Politics, Advocacy and Research. The conference focused on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its’ implementation.
Major themes of the conference were:
  • The ACA, implementation and barriers with presentations from state representatives;
  • Population based approaches to increase focus on prevention of disease and the environmental and social determinants of health and successful implementation of healthcare.
  • Partnership with public health experts, local providers and community stakeholders
  • Educating local providers, legislative officials, and the public, regarding the implications of health policy initiatives (“buy-in”)
  • A call for researchers to present innovative health delivery ideas and analysis of new methods to in turn inform government level cost effectiveness analyses;
  • A call for a more prominent response from the research community to distorted public/media perceptions of health policy proposal – citing as an example the lack for response to the “Death Panel” discussion;
  • Support for the reimbursement of outcomes rather than the provision of service
  • Using “Big Data” to inform research

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Welcome SMDM Volunteers

SMDM is pleased to welcome members who have taken on leadership roles in SMDM over the last few months.

Pictured above (from left to right):
Dana Alden, PhD, Deputy Newsletter Editor
Dominick Frosch, PhD, Publications Committee Chair
Sorapop Kiatpongsan, MD, and Chirk Jenn (CJ) Ng, MD, Co-chairs of the Asia-Pacific Regional Community
Olga Kostopoulou, PhD, Regional Communities Chair
Steven Kymes, PhD, Membership Committee Chair
Beate Sander, PhD, Career Development Committee Chair
Janel Hanmer, MD, and Ken Smith, MD, 2017 North American Meeting Chairs

SMDM is always looking for members who want to get more involved. If you are interested, please review the committees, interest groups and regional communities listed in SMDM Connect and sign-up!

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Upcoming SMDM Webinar on PCORI Funding

by Victoria Shaffer, PhD, University of Missouri

The SMDM Networking committee is pleased to announce an SMDM sponsored webinar entitled, ‘
Maximizing your PCORI grant application’, which will be held on Thursday, May 1st from 1-2 pm Eastern Time. SMDM members Holly Witteman, PhD, Dan Matlock, MD, Dominick Frosch, PhD, and Bob Volk, PhD, all of who have received PCORI funding, will share their expertise and provide pointers on applying to PCORI.  We will also have a PCORI representative participating in this webinar, and Mary Politi, PhD, (SMDM Networking Committee Chair) will serve as the moderator. 

To participate in the webinar, please register by clicking here (or type the following into your browser: 

Registration is limited and must be submitted no later than April 21st. For questions please contact Ellen Lipstein ( or Victoria Shaffer (


Register for the PCORI Funding Webinar
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Publication Survey:
Win a Free Meeting Registration

by Dominick Frosch, PhD, Publications Committee Chair

The Society for Medical Decision Making needs your input! We are updating our publishing strategies and would appreciate learning about how you are using journals and other publications serving the field.

Please take about 5 minutes to complete the survey:

As a special incentive for you to participate, respondents who provide contact information and who submit their survey response by 11:59 p.m. ET on April 25, 2014, will be entered in a drawing for one complimentary general session registration to either the 2014 Antwerp Conference or the 2014 Miami meeting. The drawing will take place on April 28, 2014, and the winner will be notified immediately. More information is available at

Your responses will be kept anonymous, as we will only be looking at aggregated data.

Thanks for your input.

Complete the Publication Survey
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Emeritus Member: Stephen Eraker

by Harold Sox, MD, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth

Stephen A. Eraker, MD, MPH, FACP, is SMDM's newest emeritus member. In 1981, he and Hal Sox published an article about framing effects in the first issue of Medical Decision Making. “Assessment of Patient’s Preferences for Therapeutic Outcomes” was, to the authors’ knowledge, the first to demonstrate framing effects in medical decisions. Amos Tversky tutored the authors, who were complete novices in cognitive psychology research, but graciously declined co-authorship. Study participants chose between an intervention leading to a certain outcome and an intervention leading to an uncertain outcome of equal expected value in scenarios depicting favorable outcomes (gains) and scenarios depicting unfavorable outcomes (losses). With gains, 67.1% of the 5,145 responses preferred the certain outcome. With losses the results reversed: only 40.7% of the 4,666 responses preferred the certain outcome. People were risk-averse for gains and risk-seeking for losses.

Steve’s later career took him to general internal medicine practice at the Ann Arbor VA, the Salt Lake City VA, Kaiser-Permanente, and now at the VA Medical Center in Seattle, where he heads a national pain management initiative. His interest in medical decision making research continued, and he published articles and book chapters on varied topics.

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Member News

Achieving STEEEP Health Care, published by CRC Press, is a 2014 recipient of the Shingo Research and Professional Publication Award for contributing new knowledge to the understanding of operational excellence. Edited by David J. Ballard, MD, MSPH, PhD, FACP, Chief Quality Officer for Baylor Scott & White Health, the book details Baylor Health Care System’s (BHCS) continuing journey to deliver care that is safe, timely, effective, efficient, equitable, and patient centered (STEEEP). It offers practical strategies and lessons for health care organizations in the areas of people, culture, and processes that have contributed to dramatic improvements in patient and operational outcomes at BHCS.


Kirsteen Burton, MBA MSc MD, University of Toronto, just published "Systematic Review, Critical Appraisal, and Analysis of the Quality of Economic Evaluations in Stroke Imaging," with Murray Krahn BA, MD, MSc. This study reviews the quality of economic evaluations of imaging after acute stroke and identifies areas for improvement.

Claudio Diaz Ledezma, MD, The Rothman Institute of Orthopaedics at Thomas Jefferson University, was recently published in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. His work focuses on multicriteria decision analysis to evaluate the best strategy to diagnose periprosthetic joint infections.

Dr. Patricia Hershberger’s research in assisting women and families with their reproductive choices, especially those choices that involve assisted reproductive technologies, was recognized by the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). Dr. Hershberger, PhD, RN, APN, FNP-BC received the 2013 Award of Excellence in Research in June from AWHONN, an organization of 24,000 members worldwide, for her exemplary work and dedication to helping nurses better counsel and support women in their decision-making process.


Lynda McGahan has recently founded L. McGahan Consulting to facilitate the appropriate use of health technologies by providing evidence-based assessments to inform health policy and clinical management. The consulting group conducts health technology assessments, systematic reviews, rapid reviews, and surveys in a variety of clinical areas to support decision making. A diversity of interventions, including drugs, devices, procedures and health systems technologies are within their assessment portfolio. Having served as a Research Officer with the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health, Lynda McGahan has over 15 years of experience in conducting reviews and works directly with decision makers to fulfill their needs from refining a topic to implementing results.

SMDM members Alan Schwartz, PhD, and Saul Weiner, MD, were named Distinguished Researchers of the Year (Clinical Sciences) for the University of Illinois at Chicago for 2013. The award recognizes their work assessing physicians' performance at patient-centered decision making and contextualization of care through the use of both covert standardized patients and real patients wearing hidden audiorecorders. The work, funded by the US Department of Veteran Affairs and the National Board of Medical Examiners, has been reported in Medical Decision Making, Annals of Internal Medicine, JAMA, BMJ Quality and Safety, the Joint Commission Journal, and elsewhere.

A new animated, web-based, multimedia Hospice Care Emmi decision aid program is now available. This program will be used at hospitals across the United States. It was developed with patients, family members, hospice experts and behavioral scientist Peter A. Ubel, MD, Duke University. If anyone is interested in viewing the program or using it in research (we're usually open to making programs freely available for research purposes) please contact Geri Lynn Baumblatt, MA, Editorial Director, Emmi Solutions, LLC, at


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Student News

Ilya Ivlev,,
Expected Graduation: 04/01/2014
Area: Biomedical and Clinical Technology (PhD)
Dissertation: The System for Selection of Equipment for Biomedical Application
Advisor: Prof. Ing. Peter Kneppo, DrSc.
Position Seeking: any
Presented at SMDM:
The Concept of the System of Rational Choice of Medical Equipment by an Example of MRIs / SMDM 2012

Greggory Schell,
Expected Graduation: 05/01/2015 (PhD)
Area: Industrial and Operations Engineering
Position Seeking: Academic
Dissertation: Identifying and Exploiting Heterogeneity in Resource-Constrained Environments
Advisor: Mariel Lavieri
Presented at the SMDM Annual Meeting:
Comparison of Control Algorithms for Scheduling Testing Visits (2013) *Winner of Lee Lusted Award
Logistic Regression with Filtered Data to Improve Progression Identification (2013) *Finalist for Lee Lusted Award
SMDM Mentor: Ravi Jayadevappa (2013)

Check out CVs (or post yours) on SMDM Connect
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Have you Made the SMDM Connection?

SMDM Connect (our new customized social networking platform) enables members to experience a whole new way of connecting with colleagues. Create your own professional profile and build a network of connections with other SMDM members. You can post resources, syllabi, CVs and other relevant materials, and participate in topical discussions in the SMDM Member Forum.

Committee and Interest Group conversations can continue outside of meetings, as SMDM Connect features a virtual workspace designated for each group to post resources, discussions, events, and announcements. The committee groups feature has privacy settings to allow members to securely conduct business.

SMDM Connect is FREE to all SMDM members and meeting attendees. If you’re not a member of SMDM, why not join? There’s never been a better time to be a part of this exciting society and get to know a diverse group of experts from around the world. Log in by clicking the SMDM Connect button on the SMDM homepage.

Username: your primary email address
Password: same as the Online Store
Forgot your password? Click here

View the SMDM Connect demo now
Please contact with any questions or comments. Enjoy!
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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 – March 3, 2014. Bold indicates donors since the last e-newsletter.

Pareto Level
(Contributions total $1,000 or more)
Dana Alden (’12, ’13)
Michael Barry (’06 - ’10)
John Clarke (’13, ’14)
Dennis Fryback (’05 - ’13)
Jeremy Goldhaber-Fiebert (’13)
Mark Helfand (’05, ’07, ’10, ’11)
Michael Kattan (’13)
Joseph King (’06 -’12, ’14)

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

Copyright © 2014 Society For Medical Decision Making, All rights reserved.

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