Peter Ubel MD

Peter Ubel

Core Faculty

Peter Ubel, MD


MD, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

I am a physician and behavioral scientist at Duke University. My research and writing explores the quirks in human nature that influence our lives — the mixture of rational and irrational forces that affect our health, our happiness and the way our society functions. (What fun would it be to tackle just the easy problems?)

I am currently exploring controversial issues about the role of values and preferences in health care decision making, from decisions at the bedside to policy decisions. I use the tools of decision psychology and behavioral economics to explore topics like informed consent, shared decision making and health care spending. My books include Pricing Life (MIT Press 2000) and Free Market Madness (Harvard Business Press, 2009). My newest book, Critical Decisions (HarperCollins), came out in September of 2012, and explores the challenges of shared decision making between doctors and patients.

Delaney RK, Sisco-Taylor BL, Wang X, Scherr K, Ubel PA, Haaland B, et al. Two Specialists, Two Recommendations: Discordance Between Urologists' & Radiation Oncologists' Prostate Cancer Treatment Recommendations. Urology. 2022 Nov;169:156–61.

Chettri SR, Pignone MP, Deal AM, Sepucha KR, Blizard LB, Huh R, et al. Patient-Reported Outcomes of Breast Reconstruction: Does the Quality of Decisions Matter? Annals of Surgical Oncology. 2022 Nov;

Barlet MH, Barks MC, Ubel PA, Davis JK, Pollak KI, Kaye EC, et al. Characterizing the Language Used to Discuss Death in Family Meetings for Critically Ill Infants. Jama Netw Open. 2022 Oct 3;5(10):e2233722.