John E. Wennberg, M.D., M.P.H., is the Peggy Y. Thomson Professor (Chair) in the Evaluative Clinical Sciences and Founder and Director Emeritus of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. He has been a Professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine since 1980 and in the Department of Medicine since 1989.
With colleague Alan Gittelsohn, Dr. Wennberg developed a method of determining population-based rates for the utilization and distribution of health-care services. This method, called small area analysis and first published in 1973, revealed large variations in health care usage among different areas. Work to uncover the reasons behind these variations led Wennberg and his colleagues to develop techniques to document the results of common medical practices, a strategy that came to be called outcomes research.
Dr. Wennberg is the founding editor of The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, which examines the patterns of medical resource intensity and utilization in the United States. The Atlas project has also reported on patterns of end of life care, inequities in the Medicare reimbursement system, and the underuse of preventive care.
Dr. Wennberg and colleague Al Mulley are co-founders of the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, a non-profit corporation providing objective scientific information to patients about their treatment choices using interactive media. His latest work has focused on the use of this technology to inform patients of the results of outcomes research so they can participate in medical decision making.