Fred Wolf, PhD

Professor, Biomedical Informatics and Medical Education

Adjunct Professor, Health Services, Epidemiology

Fellow, American College of Medical Informatics


Clinical decision-making, evidence-based systematic reviews and meta-analysis of educational and healthcare interventions, comparative effectiveness and clinical/translational research and training


My own research over the past 30 years has focused on the study of 1) clinical reasoning, decision making, and judgment under uncertainty, 2) dissemination and evaluation of new technology, including decision support systems, 3) evidence-based medicine, systematic reviews and meta-analysis of educational and healthcare interventions, including comparative effectiveness research and training, and 4) evaluation of clinical and translational research interventions and training. This work dates back to the mid-1980s with the publication in JAMA of my research on diagnostic reasoning and heuristics and biases, and the publication of Meta-analysis: Quantitative Methods for Research Synthesis in the Sage Series on Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences (Vol. 59).  The JAMA article is cited in Jerome Groopman’s best-selling book on How Doctor’s Think as one of two articles to read “For those interested in the Bayesian approach” to decision making and led to my first NIH R01-supported research program, while my work in meta-analysis has led to my collaboration and co-authorship of many systematic evidence reviews as part of the International Cochrane Collaboration. Formerly, I was professor of postgraduate medicine and health professions education, and director of the Learning Resource Center and the Laboratory for Computing and Cognition (LC3), at the University of Michigan Medical School and a Visiting Scholar at the UK Cochrane Centre and Green College, University of Oxford. I served as Co-Principal Investigator and Program Director for a new NIH Administrative Supplement for Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) Workforce Development: The ITHS Institute for CER Training and Web-based Toolkit.

Representative publications:

  • Park, M., Katon, W.J. & Wolf, F.M. (2013). Depression and risk of mortality in individuals with diabetes: a meta-analysis and systemic review. General Hospital Psychiatry. 2013;35 (3):217-225. PMID: 23415577.
  • Chilana, P. K., Fishman, E., Geraghty, E., Tarczy-Hornoch, P., & Wolf, F. M., Anderson, N. R. (2011). Characterizing data discovery and end-user computing needs in clinical translational science. Journal of Organization and End User Computing (JOEUC), 23 (4): 17-30.
  • LaVallie, D. L., Wolf, F. M., Jacobsen C., D., Sprague, D., & Buchwald, D. S. (2012). Health numeracy and understanding of risk among older American Indians and Alaska Natives. Journal of Health Communication, 17(3):294-302. PMID: 22188207
  • Emerson W, Brand RA, Heckman JD, Warme WJ, Wolf FM, Leopold SS (2010). Testing for the presence of positive-outcome bias in peer review: A randomized controlled trial. Archives of Internal Medicine 170 (21):1934-1939
  • Sprague D, LaVallie DL, Wolf FM, Jacobsen C, Sayson K, Buchwald D (2011). Influence of graphic format on comprehension of risk information among American Indians. Medical Decision Making 31(3):437-43