The Department of Family Medicine is committed to producing high-quality scholarship that improves patient care, medical education, and health policy. Benefiting from the renowned academic environment of the University of Chicago, our Family Medicine researchers apply rigorous qualitative and quantitative methods to practical problems.

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Research Topics

Our current research projects have diverse funding sources, including National Institutes of Health, private foundations, and the University of Chicago's Urban Health Initiative.

We study topics relevant to Family Medicine practitioners, patients and students, including:

  • Community-based medical education
  • Reproductive health outcomes and disparities
  • Screening for diabetic retinopathy
  • Clinical ethics and narrative medicine

Community Involvement

In addition to producing primary research, members of the Department of Family Medicine participate in systematic dissemination of new research from the medical literature into medical practice. We nominate and review papers as part of the PURLs surveillance system and write Help Desk Answers for Evidence-Based Practice, a publication of the Family Physician Inquiry Network.

Faculty, fellows and residents all participate in research activities, and we welcome students to get involved. Research takes place on both our south side Chicago campus, through Pritzker School of Medicine and the University of Chicago Medical Center, and at our north suburban sites through the NorthShore University HealthSystem.

Areas of Research

Religious hospitals and the doctor-patient relationship

Debra Stulberg, MD, MAPP

In collaboration with the University of Chicago's Program on Medicine & Religion, these studies survey and interview family physicians, general internists, and obstetrician-gynecologists to explore their experiences working at religiously-affiliated hospitals or practices. These are among the first empiric studies of physician ethical and professional conflicts around religious patient-care policies.
Funding: Greenwall Foundation.


Reproductive health outcomes and disparities

Debra Stulberg, MD, MAPP

Using hospital discharge and insurance data, this group of studies evaluates the association between race, socioeconomic status and health system factors on the incidence and outcomes of pregnancy complications. Special focus is on the effect of insurance status on processes and outcomes of care in ectopic pregnancy. Funding: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; Chicago Center of Excellence for Health Promotions Economics.


Saigal, Pooja. Diving for PURLs: Alkaline water and plant-based Mediterranean diet for laryngopharyngeal reflux. Evidence-Based Practice. 2019; 22(11).

Oyola, Sonia. Diving for PURLs: Increasing colorectal cancer screening rates. Evidence-Based Practice. 2019; 22(8).

Wake DT, Ilbawi N, Dunnenberger HM, Hulick PJ. Pharmacogenomics: Prescribing Precisely. Med Clin North Am. 2019 Nov;103(6):977-990. doi: 10.1016/j.mcna.2019.07.002. Epub 2019 Aug 24. Review. PMID: 31582008

Panagiotou OA, Schuit E, Munafò MR, Bennett DA, Bergen AW, David SP. Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapy Based on Genetically-Informed Biomarkers: What is the Evidence? Nicotine Tob Res. 2019 Aug 19;21(9):1289-1293. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntz009. PMID: 30690475

Nussbaum SE, Oyola S, Egan M, Baron A, Wackman S, Williams S, Benson J, Limaye S, Levine S. Incorporating Older Adults as "Trained Patients" to Teach Advance Care Planning to Third-Year Medical Students. Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2019 Jul;36(7):608-615. doi: 10.1177/1049909119836394. Epub 2019 Mar 25. PMID: 30909719

Weidner A, Ewigman B, Peterson LE, Mainous AG 3rd. Response to "The Importance of Support Staff to Research Capacity". Fam Med. 2019 Jul;51(7):619. doi: 10.22454/FamMed.2019.332787. No abstract available. PMID: 31287911

Fazio, Lindsay. Diving for PURLs: Which is best for chronic low back pain: Yoga, physical therapy, or education? Evidence-Based Practice. 2019; 22(7).

Bergen AW, Do EK, Chen LS, David SP. Tobacco Genomics: Complexity and Translational Challenges. Nicotine Tob Res. 2019 May 21;21(6):705-706. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntz033. No abstract available.  PMID: 31111930

White VanGompel E, Perez S, Datta A, Wang C, Cape V, Main E. Cesarean overuse and the culture of care. Health Serv Res. 2019 Apr;54(2):417-424. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13123. Epub 2019 Feb 20. PMID: 30790273

Fudala, Monica. Diving for PURLs: Gastric acid suppression and recurrent Clostridium difficile infection. Evidence-Based Practice. 2019; 22(3).

Zhuri, Henri and Miller, Deborah. HelpDesk Answers: In adults who are overweight or obese, does treatment of depression improve weight loss? Evidence-Based Practice. 2019; 22(3).

Ward, William and Miller, Debra. HelpDesk Answers: In athletes, does cold therapy promote better exercise performance recovery? Evidence-Based Practice. 2019; 22(2).

Weidner A, Peterson LE, Mainous AG 3rd, Datta A, Ewigman B. The Current State of Research Capacity in US Family Medicine Departments. Fam Med. 2019 Feb;51(2):112-119. doi: 10.22454/FamMed.2019.180310. PMID: 30736036

Liaw W, Petterson S, Jiang V, Bazemore A, Pecsok J, McCorry D, Ewigman B. The Scholarly Output of Faculty in Family Medicine Departments. Fam Med. 2019 Feb;51(2):103-111. doi: 10.22454/FamMed.2019.536135. PMID: 30736035

Liu M, Jiang Y, Wedow R, Li Y, Brazel DM, Chen F, Datta G, Davila-Velderrain J, McGuire D, Tian C, Zhan X; 23andMe Research Team; HUNT All-In Psychiatry, Choquet H, Docherty AR, Faul JD, Foerster JR, Fritsche LG, Gabrielsen ME, Gordon SD, Haessler J, Hottenga JJ, Huang H, Jang SK, Jansen PR, Ling Y, Mägi R, Matoba N, McMahon G, Mulas A, Orrù V, Palviainen T, Pandit A, Reginsson GW, Skogholt AH, Smith JA, Taylor AE, Turman C, Willemsen G, Young H, Young KA, Zajac GJM, Zhao W, Zhou W, Bjornsdottir G, Boardman JD, Boehnke M, Boomsma DI, Chen C, Cucca F, Davies GE, Eaton CB, Ehringer MA, Esko T, Fiorillo E, Gillespie NA, Gudbjartsson DF, Haller T, Harris KM, Heath AC, Hewitt JK, Hickie IB, Hokanson JE, Hopfer CJ, Hunter DJ, Iacono WG, Johnson EO, Kamatani Y, Kardia SLR, Keller MC, Kellis M, Kooperberg C, Kraft P, Krauter KS, Laakso M, Lind PA, Loukola A, Lutz SM, Madden PAF, Martin NG, McGue M, McQueen MB, Medland SE, Metspalu A, Mohlke KL, Nielsen JB, Okada Y, Peters U, Polderman TJC, Posthuma D, Reiner AP, Rice JP, Rimm E, Rose RJ, Runarsdottir V, Stallings MC, Stančáková A, Stefansson H, Thai KK, Tindle HA, Tyrfingsson T, Wall TL, Weir DR, Weisner C, Whitfield JB, Winsvold BS, Yin J, Zuccolo L, Bierut LJ, Hveem K, Lee JJ, Munafò MR, Saccone NL, Willer CJ, Cornelis MC, David SP, Hinds DA, Jorgenson E, Kaprio J, Stitzel JA, Stefansson K, Thorgeirsson TE, Abecasis G, Liu DJ, Vrieze S. Association studies of up to 1.2 million individuals yield new insights into the genetic etiology of tobacco and alcohol use. Nat Genet. 2019 Feb;51(2):237-244. doi: 10.1038/s41588-018-0307-5. Epub 2019 Jan 14. PMID: 30643251

Erzurumluoglu AM, Liu M, Jackson VE, Barnes DR, Datta G, Melbourne CA, Young R, Batini C, Surendran P, Jiang T, Adnan SD, Afaq S, Agrawal A, Altmaier E, Antoniou AC, Asselbergs FW, Baumbach C, Bierut L, Bertelsen S, Boehnke M, Bots ML, Brazel DM, Chambers JC, Chang-Claude J, Chen C, Corley J, Chou YL, David SP, de Boer RA, de Leeuw CA, Dennis JG, Dominiczak AF, Dunning AM, Easton DF, Eaton C, Elliott P, Evangelou E, Faul JD, Foroud T, Goate A, Gong J, Grabe HJ, Haessler J, Haiman C, Hallmans G, Hammerschlag AR, Harris SE, Hattersley A, Heath A, Hsu C, Iacono WG, Kanoni S, Kapoor M, Kaprio J, Kardia SL, Karpe F, Kontto J, Kooner JS, Kooperberg C, Kuulasmaa K, Laakso M, Lai D, Langenberg C, Le N, Lettre G, Loukola A, Luan J, Madden PAF, Mangino M, Marioni RE, Marouli E, Marten J, Martin NG, McGue M, Michailidou K, Mihailov E, Moayyeri A, Moitry M, Müller-Nurasyid M, Naheed A, Nauck M, Neville MJ, Nielsen SF, North K, Perola M, Pharoah PDP, Pistis G, Polderman TJ, Posthuma D, Poulter N, Qaiser B, Rasheed A, Reiner A, Renström F, Rice J, Rohde R, Rolandsson O, Samani NJ, Samuel M, Schlessinger D, Scholte SH, Scott RA, Sever P, Shao Y, Shrine N, Smith JA, Starr JM, Stirrups K, Stram D, Stringham HM, Tachmazidou I, Tardif JC, Thompson DJ, Tindle HA, Tragante V, Trompet S, Turcot V, Tyrrell J, Vaartjes I, van der Leij AR, van der Meer P, Varga TV, Verweij N, Völzke H, Wareham NJ, Warren HR, Weir DR, Weiss S, Wetherill L, Yaghootkar H, Yavas E, Jiang Y, Chen F, Zhan X, Zhang W, Zhao W, Zhao W, Zhou K, Amouyel P, Blankenberg S, Caulfield MJ, Chowdhury R, Cucca F, Deary IJ, Deloukas P, Di Angelantonio E, Ferrario M, Ferrières J, Franks PW, Frayling TM, Frossard P, Hall IP, Hayward C, Jansson JH, Jukema JW, Kee F, Männistö S, Metspalu A, Munroe PB, Nordestgaard BG, Palmer CNA, Salomaa V, Sattar N, Spector T, Strachan DP; Understanding Society Scientific Group, EPIC-CVD, GSCAN, Consortium for Genetics of Smoking Behaviour, CHD Exome+ consortium, van der Harst P, Zeggini E, Saleheen D, Butterworth AS, Wain LV, Abecasis GR, Danesh J, Tobin MD, Vrieze S, Liu DJ, Howson JMM. Mol Psychiatry. 2019 Jan 7. doi: 10.1038/s41380-018-0313-0. [Epub ahead of print] Meta-analysis of up to 622,409 individuals identifies 40 novel smoking behaviour associated genetic loci. PMID: 30617275

Saigal, Pooja and Sharman, Meera, Debra. HelpDesk Answers: Which treatment is most effective for individuals with anorexia nervosa? Evidence-Based Practice. 2019; 22(1).

Stulberg, Debra. Diving for PURLs: Acupuncture for pain; Give it a try. Evidence-Based Practice. 2019; 22(1).



Brazel DM, Jiang Y, Hughey JM, Turcot V, Zhan X, Gong J, Batini C, Weissenkampen JD, Liu M; CHD Exome+ Consortium; Consortium for Genetics of Smoking Behaviour, Barnes DR, Bertelsen S, Chou YL, Erzurumluoglu AM, Faul JD, Haessler J, Hammerschlag AR, Hsu C, Kapoor M, Lai D, Le N, de Leeuw CA, Loukola A, Mangino M, Melbourne CA, Pistis G, Qaiser B, Rohde R, Shao Y, Stringham H, Wetherill L, Zhao W, Agrawal A, Bierut L, Chen C, Eaton CB, Goate A, Haiman C, Heath A, Iacono WG, Martin NG, Polderman TJ, Reiner A, Rice J, Schlessinger D, Scholte HS, Smith JA, Tardif JC, Tindle HA, van der Leij AR, Boehnke M, Chang-Claude J, Cucca F, David SP, Foroud T, Howson JMM, Kardia SLR, Kooperberg C, Laakso M, Lettre G, Madden P, McGue M, North K, Posthuma D, Spector T, Stram D, Tobin MD, Weir DR, Kaprio J, Abecasis GR, Liu DJ, Vrieze S. Exome Chip Meta-analysis Fine Maps Causal Variants and Elucidates the Genetic Architecture of Rare Coding Variants in Smoking and Alcohol Use. Biol Psychiatry. 2019 Jun 1;85(11):946-955. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2018.11.024. Epub 2018 Dec 6. PMID: 30679032

White VanGompel E, Perez S, Wang C, Datta A, Cape V, Main E. Measuring labor and delivery unit culture and clinicians' attitudes toward birth: Revision and validation of the Labor Culture Survey. Birth. 2019 Jun;46(2):300-310. doi: 10.1111/birt.12406. Epub 2018 Nov 8. PMID: 30407646

Oshman, Lauren. Diving for PURLs: How many mammograms? Let breast density and risk factors guide screening intervals. Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(9).

Benson, Janice and VanGompel, Emily White. Diving for PURLs: A risk score to guide anticoagulant choice in patients with Afib. Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(9).

Roberson, Kortnee. Diving for PURLs: Bariatric surgery for treatment of diabetes. Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(9).

Temple LM, Lampert SL, Ewigman B. Barriers to Achieving Optimal Success with Medical Cannabis: Opportunities for Quality Improvement. J Altern Complement Med. 2019 Jan;25(1):5-7. doi: 10.1089/acm.2018.0250. Epub 2018 Sep 6. PMID: 30188174

Gibes, Joseph P. Diving for PURLs: Diving for Chocolate PURLs. Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(8).

Viollt, Anne and Oshman, Lauren. HelpDesk Answers: For adults with chronic low back pain, is a prescribed walking program as effective as formal physical therapy? Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(8).

Moore, Lisa Marie and Whiteley, Miriam. HelpDesk Answers: In pregnant women with a positive BUN screen or quad screen, does secondary screening with cell-free DNA reduce the incidence of invasive testing for fetal aneuploidy? Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(7).

Whiteley, Miriam. Diving for PURLs: Metformin versus insulin for GDM. Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(7).

Tetreault, Stephanie and Oshman, Lauren. HelpDesk Answers: In women desiring postpartum contraception with an IUD, does immediate IUD insertion after delivery increased continued IUD use at 6 months compared with delayed IUD insertion? Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(6).

Longo, Katie and Gibes, Joseph. HelpDesk Answers: In women with dense breast tissue,does the addition of automated whole-breast ultrasound to mammography lead to increased invasive testing? Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(5).

Roberson, Kortnee and White VanGompel, Emily. Diving for PURLs: Dietary changes to improve depression. Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(4).

Stombaugh, Sarah and Whiteley, Miriam. HelpDesk Answers: In adolescent girls using contraceptives, do long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARC) have a higher rate of continuation than other forms of contraception? Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(4).

Oyola, Sonia. Diving for PURLs: Consider acupuncture for chronic constipation. Evidence-Based Practice. 2018; 21(1).



Braund, Victoria and Soliz, May. HelpDesk Answers: In geriatric patients, does regular exercise delay onset of dementia compared with no exercise? Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(12).

Patel, Miral and Miller, Deborah. HelpDesk Answers: In overweight or obese adults, does increased daily fiber intake result in more weight reduction compared to routine fiber intake? Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(12).

Saigal, Pooja and Sanfilippo-Cohn, Benjamin. HelpDesk Answers: Do overweight or obese high school athletes have more athletic injuries than normal weight athletes? Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(10).

Singh, Simren and Oshman, Lauren. HelpDesk Answers: In adult patients with depression, does a diet low in refined sugars improve mood? Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(10).

Stulberg, Debra. Diving for PURLs: Vitamin D supplementation and asthma exacerbations? Don't hold your breath yet Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(9).

Martin, Alfred. Diving for PURLs: Topical timolol maleate for the treatment of infantile hemangiomas works, but referral is still the standard of care Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(9).

Wheat, Santina; Beaver, Eric and Fudala, Monica. HelpDesk Answers: Does OTC remedies relieve cough in acute URIs? Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(9).

Miller, Deborah and Oshman, Lauren. Diving for PURLs: Are calcium channel blockers effective for treating primary Raynaud's phenomenon? Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(8).

Benson, Janice. Diving for PURLs: Depressed patients with heart failure may not improve with escitalopram. Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(7).

Whiteley, Miriam. Diving for PURLs: Low-dose vitamin K reduces INR excursions, but may not improve outcomes. Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(7).

Saigal, Pooja. Diving for PURLs: Postdischarge thromboprophylaxis after bariatric surgery Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(3).

Cipolla, Anthoney and Gibes, Joseph. HelpDesk Answers (HDA): In adult men with diabetes and erectile dysfunction, does a PDE-5 inhibitor improve sexual function? Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(3).

Oshman, Lauren. Diving for PURLs: BMI: A weighty risk for complex endometrial hyperplasia Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(2).

Garg, Richa and Saigal, Pooja. HelpDesk Answers (HDA): In adults using antibiotics, do high-dose probiotics result in greater reduction of gastrointestinal symptoms than low-dose probiotics? Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(2).

Miller, Deborah. Diving for PURLs: Cold turkey or gradual approach for smoking cessation? Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(1).

Triantafillou, Tom. Diving for PURLs: BMI: A weak predictor of mortality in frail older women. Evidence-Based Practice. 2017; 20(1).


Roberson, Kortnee. Diving for PURLs: Nicotinamide for skin cancer prevention. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(12).

Martin, Alfred. Diving for PURLs: Isosorbide worsens activity tolerance in patients with diastolic heart failure. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(12).

Bello, Jennifer. Diving for PURLs: Duration of DAPT with N-DES. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(11).

Oyola, Sonia. Diving for PURLs: Just an NSAID for acute low back pain. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(11).

Miller, Deborah and Lee, Woo Woo (Chris). HelpDesk Answers (HDA): Do adults with vitamin D deficiency have increased incidence of dementia? Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(11).

Gibes, Joseph. Diving for PURLs: It's never too late; Steroids for late preterm delivery. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(10).

Benson, Janice. Diving for PURLs: Management of PROM. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(8).

Saigal, Pooja. Diving for PURLs: Tylenol #3 as good as Percocet. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(6).

Stulberg, Debra. Diving for PURLs: HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis works: Daily dosing is standard, but timing doses with sex may be an option for some. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(6).

Miller, Deborah and Lee, Woo Woo (Chris). HelpDesk Answers (HDA): Does bracing in adolescents with idiopathic scoliosis reduce scoliosis progression or surgical intervention? Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(5).

Combs, Gene. Diving for PURLs: Light therapy helps depression regardless of season. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(3).

Ewigman, Bernard; Davis, Ardis; Vansagbi, Tom; Cole, Allison; deGruy, Frank; Green, Lee; King, Dana; Kuzel, Tony; Lindbloom, Erik; Meadows, Lynn; Miser, Fred; Nease, Donald and Ruffin, Mack. Building Research & Scholarship Capacity in Departments of Family Medicine: A New Joint ADFM-NAPCRG Initiative. Annals of Family Medicine. 2016; 14(1).

Benson, Janice. Diving for PURLs: Rule out MI faster with high-sensitivity troponin. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(2).

Wolfe RM, Pomerantz J, Miller DE, Weiss-Coleman R, Solomonides T. Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Preoperative Screening and Postoperative Care. J Am Board Fam Med. 2016;29(2):263-275.

Nguyen, Liz. Diving for PURLs: Fracture risk increases with subclinical hyperthyroidism. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(1).

Miller, Deborah. Diving for PURLs: Epidural steroid injection or gabapentin for lumbosacral radicular pain. Evidence-Based Practice. 2016; 19(1).



Benson, Janice. Diving for PURLs: Treat typical CAP with typical antibiotics for most adults. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(12).

Roberson, Kortnee. Diving for PURLs: Patellofemoral osteoarthritis: To brace or not to brace. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(10).

Oshman, Lauren. Diving for PURLs: In women who have experienced one or more miscarriages, does the addition of oral progesterone improve pregnancy outcomes? Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(10).

Benson, Janice and Kirley, Kate. Diving for PURLs: "Any diet will do ya!"...For weight loss, that is. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(9).

Bello Kottenstette, Jennifer. Diving for PURLs: Earlier peanut exposure reduces risk of peanut allergy in high-risk children. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(9).

Nguyen, Elizabeth. Diving for PURLs: Ditch morning testosterone draws. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(8).

Miller, Deborah. HelpDesk Answers (HDA): Does prehypertension in adults increase risk of cardiovascular events or all-cause mortality. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(8).

Oyola, Sonia. Diving for PURLs: Low-dose aspirin for women at risk for preeclampsia. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(7).

Oshman, Lauren. Diving for PURLs: Skip the drip when prescribing PPIs for high-risk bleeding ulcers. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(6).

Benson, Janice. Diving for PURLs: The best way to discontinue PPIs is still in (re)flux. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(6).

Saigal, Pooja. Diving for PURLs: Shoe advice for chronic foot pain. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(5).

Oyola, Sonia. Diving for PURLs: Don't delay: Start statins before you stent. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(3).

Roberson, Kortnee. Diving for PURLs: Statin plus standard care for venous ulcers. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(3).

Kirley, Kate. Diving for PURLs: Aspirin for all? Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(3).

Oshman, Lauren. Diving for PURLs: Vitamin C for pregnant smokers. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(1).

Stulberg, Debra. Diving for PURLs: Prognostic value of fasting cholesterol is no better than nonfasting. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(1).

Roberson, Kortnee. Diving for PURLs: Dose may matter: Higher risk of suicide for young people at certain doses of SSRIs. Evidence-Based Practice. 2015; 18(1).

The University of Chicago has long been known for research that crosses traditional boundaries of disciplines. In studying health and health care, Family Medicine researchers collaborate with physicians and scholars from a wide array of departments, schools and programs.

Opportunities for interdisciplinary work are facilitated at the University of Chicago by centers that bring scholars together to share ideas and generate new knowledge.

The Center for Health and the Social Sciences

The mission of The Center for Health and the Social Sciences (CHeSS) is to support and encourage interdisciplinary health and social science research at The University of Chicago. The Center provides infrastructure including: administrative assistance for collaborations; pre- and post-award grants management; computer, data, and methodological support; and shared space.

Program on Medicine and Religion

The Program on Medicine and Religion at the University of Chicago seeks to promote rigorous study of and robust dialogue about the moral and spiritual dimensions of the practice of medicine. The Program reflects a collaboration between the Department of Medicine--and its MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics, and the Divinity School--and its Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion.

The MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics

Clinical medical ethics examines ethical issues that arise in encounters between patients, families, and physicians, and aims to improve the process and outcome of patient care. After twenty years, the MacLean Center is the leading program in the country devoted to the study and teaching of clinical ethics. The program has gained national and international prominence for its groundbreaking research and training in medical ethics.

Medical Education Research, Innovation, Teaching and Scholarship

MERITS is a University of Chicago-sponsored initiative to support and promote research, innovation, teaching, and scholarship in medical education with the goal of advancing patient care and the health of the public by improving the education of physicians.

Every month, thousands of primary research articles are published that may be relevant to the practicing family physician. PURLs (Priority Updates from the Research Literature) are those that should change practice and can be implemented immediately by family physicians. The PURLs surveillance system, to identify and disseminate these practicing-changing research studies, was developed as an objective of the University of Chicago Institute for Translational Medicine, in partnership with the Family Physician Inquiry Network and the Journal of Family Practice.

In order to be a PURL, a research article must first be nominated by a group of family physicians who actively survey the primary clinical research literature; the article must then be reviewed and determined to be relevant to family medicine, scientifically valid, applicable in a medical care setting, immediately implementable, and to lead to a change in current practice.

Department of Family Medicine physicians are active participants as PURL nominators, reviewers, authors, and editors.

Link: PURLs website at the Journal of Family Practice

NorthShore University HealthSystem is recognized as one of the nation's top Comprehensive Independent Research Hospitals. With extensive funding from the National Institutes of Health, the NorthShore Research Institute houses approximately 1,000 clinical trials, and provides training and infrastructure support for diverse clinical and translational research projects.

Research and scholarship are core elements of the academic affiliation between the University of Chicago and NorthShore University HealthSystem. The Family Medicine residency takes full advantage of this affiliation by offering residents mentorship and learning opportunities on both campuses. Residents each complete a core rotation in evidence-based medicine as part of a curriculum that emphasizes skills in synthesizing and applying the research literature.


Primary Care and Population Health Investigators Group

The Primary Care and Population Health (PCPH) Investigators Group (formerly called the "Ambulatory Primary Care Innovation Group" (APCIG)) is a team of investigators associated with the Northshore Outcomes Research Network and the Univeristy of Chicago Institute for Translational Medicine who are committed to research in areas of germane to primary care and population health (e.g., family planning, reproductive health, quality and care transformation, "personalized" or "precision medicine" in primary care, population-based surveys, etc.). PCPH has a monthly meeting and represents numerous active studies, grand-funded projects, development of new research opportunities, promotion of team science, and mentoring of junior scientists.


Outcomes Research Network

The NorthShore University HealthSystem Outcomes Research Network (ORN) was launched in December 2018 as the result of a system-wide planning process which identified research with immediate benefit to patients as a strategic goal. ORN is a networked structure with key academic leadership, providing support to propel research productivity across NorthShore (e.g., literature reviews, project management assistance, grant review). ORN houses two core research groups - PCPH, led by Dr. Sean P. David, and Child and Family Health Studies, led by Dr. Madeleine Shalowitz. ORN core faculty include Dr. Bernard Ewigman (Director), Drs. Sean P. David (Program Director for Translationsal Science), Madeleine Shalowitz (Program Director for Pediatrics), and Anthony Solomonides (Program Director for Bioformatics), and numerous affiliated ORN Program Directors (e.g., Drs. Amy Lemke, Personalized Medicine and Dr. Nirav Shah, Care Transformation).

Outcomes research at NorthShore is a collaborative, transdisciplinary science that uses a range of techniques and tools: quality improvement, health services research, cost effectiveness, comparative effectiveness, implementation science, actuarial science, practice-based research and community-based participatory research. At the community level, outcomes research emphasized actionable information leading to uniform access to care that is effective, efficient and equitable. For providers, it can provide insight that will enrich the experience of practicing medicine. Outcomes research yields valid, reliable, and impactful knowledge that can be used to support key strategic clinical, quality, and operational decision-making. 

Contacts for Research programs at NorthShore University HealthSystem:

Bernard Ewigman, MD, MSPH, FAAFP
Owen L Coon Endowed Chair of Family Medicine & Director of Outcomes Research
NorthShore University HealthSystem
Clinical Professor of Family Medicine
University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine

Sean P. David, MD, SM, DPhil, FAAFP
Program Director for Translational Science, Outcomes Research
NorthShore University HealthSystem
Clinical Professor and Vice Chair for Research
Department of Family Medicine
University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine

Research Resources