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Photo of Schwartz, Alan

Alan Schwartz, PhD, JD


The Michael Reese Endowed Professor of Medical Education

Department of Medical Education

Pronouns: he/him/his


Building & Room:

986 CMET


MC 591

Office Phone:



Dr. Schwartz joined DME in 1997 after receiving his PhD in Cognitive Psychology and MS in Organizational Behavior and Industrial Relations from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his JD from UIC School of Law in 2024.

His research interests include the psychology of decision making in both patients and physicians. In patients, his work has focused on risk perception, patient-physician fit, and the impact of non-medical goals on the evaluation of health states. In physicians, his work has focused on contextual errors in decision making and updating of beliefs when exposed to new evidence.

He has received the John M. Eisenberg Award for Practical Application of Medical Decision Making Research, the Ray E. Helfer Award for Innovation in Pediatric Education, the UIC Distinguished Researcher of the Year award, the UIC Honors College Fellow of the Year award, and three UIC teaching awards, including the Excellence in Teaching award, UIC’s highest recognition for teaching. He serves as Editor-in-Chief of the journals Medical Decision Making and Medical Decision Making Policy & Practice, and Director of the Association of Pediatric Program Directors Longitudinal Educational Assessment Research Network (APPD LEARN).  His most recent books are Listening for What Matters: Avoiding Contextual Errors in Health Care (with Saul Weiner, Oxford University Press 2015, 2nd edition 2023) and Medical Decision Making: A Physician’s Guide (with George Bergus, Cambridge University Press 2008).

He is course faculty for Scholarship in Health Professions Education, Survey Research Design, and Grant Writing. He is also Research Professor in the  Department of Pediatrics, where he teaches and studies evidence-based medicine and is Director of the Pediatrics Research Education Core.

Research and Teaching Interests

ORCID 0000-0003-3809-6637

Medical decision making, contextual error in health care, competency-based assessment (especially in Pediatrics GME), research methods in medical education, medical education research networks, quantitative data analysis.


University of California, Berkeley
UIC School of Law