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John E. Wennberg, MD

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

The Dartmouth Institute
Community and Family Medicine

Mc Gill University, MD 1961
Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, MPH 1966

The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice


Contact Information

Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
HB 7251
1 Medical Center Drive
WTRB, Level 5
Lebanon NH 03766

Office: WTRB, 5-540
Phone: 603-653-0884
Fax: 603-653-0896
Email: John.Wennberg@dartmouth.edu

Professional Interests

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.

Selected Publications


  • Wennberg, JE, Fisher ES, editors. The Care of Patients with Severe Chronic Illness: A Report on the Medicare Program by the Dartmouth Atlas Project. The Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences, Dartmouth Atlas Project, Hanover, New Hampshire 2006 (online).

  • Wennberg JE, Fisher ES, Baker L, Sharp SM, Bronner KK. The Care of Patients with Severe Chronic Illness: Evaluating the efficiency of California providers in caring for patients with chronic illness. Published November 16, 2005 as Web-Exclusive on Health Affairs website: http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/hlthaff.w5.526/DC1.

  • Wennberg, JE, Fisher ES, Stukel TA, Sharp SM. Use of Medicare claims data to monitor provider-specific performance among patients with severe chronic illness. Published October 7, 2004 as Web-Exclusive on Health Affairs website: http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/hlthaff.var.5/DC1.

  • Wennberg JE, Fisher ES, Stukel TA, Skinner JS, Sharp SM, Bronner KK. Use of hospitals, physician visits, and hospice care during last six months of life among cohorts loyal to highly respected hospitals in the United States. BMJ 2004 328: p. 607-611.

  • Barry MJ, Fowler FJ, Mulley AG, Henderson JV, Wennberg JE. Patient reactions to a program designed to facilitate patient participation in treatment decisions for benign prostatic hyperplasia. Med Care 1995; 33:771-782.