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William C. Black, MD

Emeritus Professor of Radiology
Emeritus Professor of Community and Family Medicine
Emeritus Professor of The Dartmouth Institute

Community and Family Medicine
The Dartmouth Institute

Medical College of Virginia, MD 1979
U. Illinois, BS 1975

The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice

Contact Information

Dartmouth Medical School
HB 7780
Hanover NH 03755

Office: Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
Phone: 603-650-5846
Email: William.C.Black@dartmouth.edu

Professional Interests

Dr. Black is a practicing radiologist with expertise in the evaluation of screening and diagnostic testing. He has demonstrated how advances in diagnostic imaging distort the clinician's perception of the prevalence of disease, it's natural history, and its response to medical intervention. He has also studied the public's perception of medical risks and benefits and shown that women 40-49 years of age substantially overestimate their risks of developing and dying from breast cancer. More recently, Dr. Black developed a mathematical method for estimating rates of disease progression from its stage distribution at autopsy and age-specific mortality rates. These estimates are important for making decisions about screening and diagnostic testing and understanding their effects.

Selected Publications


  • Black WC. The increasing incidence of childhood primary malignant brain tumors ? enigma or nobrainer? J Natl Cancer Inst 1998; 90:1249-1251.

  • Black WC, Nease RF, Welch HG. Determining transition probabilities from mortality rates and autopsy findings. Med Decis Making 1997;17:87-93.

  • Black WC. Anatomic extent of disease: a critical variable in reports of diagnostic accuracy. Radiology 2000;217:319-320.