About Us

TDI’s mission is to improve population health, reduce disparities, and create high-performing, sustainable health systems.

TDI's director Amber Barnato gathers with Erika Brown and Duane Compton
Dr. Amber Barnato, Dr. Erika Brown, Dean Duane Compton

The Dartmouth Institute (TDI) convenes researchers, educators, and practitioners from multiple disciplines across Dartmouth to work towards our mission of improving population health, reducing health disparities, and creating high-performing, sustainable health systems. We are a foundational department within the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College with deep scholarly collaborations and practice innovation partnerships with Dartmouth Health. For more than 30 years, we have been dedicated to making health and healthcare better for everyone. Our research has increased the understanding of geographic variations in healthcare delivery, the adaptation and integration of payment reform models, and the factors influencing physician decision-making and patient-clinician communication. Since 2021, we have committed to using an equity lens in our research, education, and engagement work, with the explicit goal of focusing not just on unwarranted variation, but on unjust variation, in order to support clinicians, policy makers, and systems leaders to develop and implement innovative new models of healthcare delivery to advance health equity.

TDI is made up of a diverse group of researchers, educators, clinicians, health system leaders, public health practitioners, advocates, students, and administrators with a wide array of interests and aims. Amber Barnato, MD, MPH, MS, is the department chair and director of TDI since 2021. Dr. Barnato is a physician who is dually trained in general preventive medicine and public health and in hospice and palliative medicine who studies end-of-life decision making.


The Dartmouth Institute was founded by John E. Wennberg, MD, in 1988, under its original name, the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences. In 2002, a Master of Public Health degree program was launched with a focus on health quality measurement and organization to improve human health. The MPH offering joined the existing MS in Healthcare Research and PhD in Health Policy and Clinical Practice programs. The Center was renamed The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice in 2007. Since its founding, TDI has been led by Jim Weinstein, Elliott Fisher, Anna Tosteson, and Amber Barnato.

For more than 30 years, the Dartmouth Institute has been a pioneer in health services research. Faculty established multiple subfields, including the study of variation in health care delivery and the evaluation and implementation of models of shared decision making to decrease unwarranted variation and drive organizations toward high-value care.

TDI’s flagship project, The Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care, which we produced between 1996 and 2021, documented glaring variations in how medical resources are distributed and used in the United States using Medicare fee-for-service data to provide information and analysis about national, regional, and local markets, as well as hospitals and their affiliated physicians. Reports and findings from the Atlas shaped the evolution of healthcare and health policy in the US, particularly the Affordable Care Act of 2010. Currently, TDI is exploring the creation of a Dartmouth Atlas for Health Equity, that will use an equity lens to explore variation in health care delivery in the U.S. to inform policy efforts to advance health equity.

In 2023, the MPH and MS programs moved out of TDI to a centralized Geisel Office of Educational Affairs, in order to augment student services and centralize educational innovation. TDI faculty continue to teach and contribute their expertise to curriculum development.

Strategic plan

In 2023, TDI adopted three primary goals that will guide our work from 2023 to 2026. These goals serve to underscore and advance the Geisel School of Medicine’s strategic plan, as well as TDI’s areas of focus.

Develop a Healthy Community
Creating a healthy workplace community that engages in robust collaboration and mutual growth is central to the success of TDI as an academic organization.

Generate Impactful Research
Through a formal research portfolio strategy and investments in faculty and partnerships, we will translate our research into concrete health policy and healthcare delivery outcomes.

Support Strong Educational Programs
TDI will support Geisel School of Medicine’s educational mission through excellence in teaching, curriculum development, and new program development.