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.

Lemmon ME, Barks MC, Bernstein S, Davis JK, Jiao MG, Kaye EC, et al. Prognostic Discussion for Infants with Neurologic Conditions: Qualitative Analysis of Family Conferences. Ann Neurol. 2022 Oct;92(4):699–709.

Madanay F, McDevitt RC, Ubel PA. Hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19: Variation in Regional Political Preferences Predicted New Prescriptions after President Trump's Endorsement. Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. 2022 Aug;47(4):429–51.

Sloan CE, Gutterman S, Davis JK, Campagna A, Pollak KI, Barks MC, et al. How can healthcare organizations improve cost-of-care conversations? A qualitative exploration of clinicians' perspectives. Patient Educ Couns. 2022 Aug;105(8):2708–14.