physician photo

Mary C. Politi, PhD

Assistant Professor of Surgery

Learn more about Dr. Politi's research

Graduate School

Ph.D., Clinical Psychology (Health Psychology track), George Washington University, 2006 (APA-accredited).

Predoctoral Internship in Clinical Psychology (APA-accredited), Behavioral Medicine Track, Brown Medical School, Clinical Psychology Training Consortium, 2005 – 2006.

Post Doctoral Education

Postdoctoral Fellowship in Behavioral Medicine, Brown Medical School and Rhode Island Hospital, 2006 – 2007.

R25 Transdisciplinary Cancer Control Research Training fellowship, Brown Medical School and The Miriam Hospital, 2007 – 2009.

Teaching Appointments

Faculty, Master of Population Health Sciences (MPHS) Program

Honors and Awards

National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Recipient, 2009 – present

Lead Fellow, Dartmouth Summer Institute for Informed Patient Choice, 2008, 2009.

Fellow, Dartmouth Summer Institute for Informed Patient Choice, 2007-2010.

Research Interests

Dr. Politi is a clinical psychologist and an assistant professor in the Division of Public Health Sciences, Department of Surgery, at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Politi’s research program focuses on using systematic methods to help patients and clinicians work through the uncertainties of health decisions through developing and evaluating decision tools, examining techniques to aid clinical discussions about health decisions, and exploring ways to improve communication about risks. Her research also investigates the influence of numeracy and health literacy on medical decision-making.

Dr. Politi teaches a course in the Master of Population Health Sciences program entitled Principles of Shared Decision Making and Health Literacy in the Clinical Setting. She also co-teaches a class with Dr. Anke Winter in the Master of Population Health Sciences program on Comparative Effectiveness Research. 

Contact Information

660 S. Euclid Ave.

Campus Box 8100

St. Louis, MO 63110

(314) 747-1967

Selected Publications

Politi, M.C., Kaphingst, K.A., Kreuter, M., Shacham, E., Lovell, M.C., McBride, T. (2014). Knowledge of health insurance terminology and details among the uninsured. Medical Care Research and Review, 75(1), 85-98

Politi, M.C., Dizon, D.S., Frosch, D.L., Kuzemchak, M.D., & Stiggelbout, A.S. (2013). Importance of clarifying patients’ desired role in shared decision making to match their level of engagement with their preferences. BMJ, 347: f7066.

Politi, M.C., Lewis, C.L. & Frosch, D. (2013).  Supporting shared decisions when clinical evidence is low.  Medical Care Research & Review, 20(1S), 113 - 128. doi: 10.1177/1077558712458456.

Politi MC, Clayman ML, Fagerlin A, Studts JL, Montori V. (2013) Insights from a Conference on Implementing Comparative Effectiveness Research Through Shared Decision Making. Journal of Comparative Effectiveness Research, 2(1), 23–32. PMCID: PMC3575182.

Politi, MC, Wolin, K & Legare, F (2013). Implementing Clinical Practice Guidelines about Health Promotion and Disease Prevention through Shared Decision Making. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 28(6):838-44. PMCID: PMC3663950

Gaissmaier W, Wegwarth O, Skopec D, Mulle, A-S, Broschinski S, Politi MC. Numbers can be worth a thousand pictures: individual differences in understanding graphical and numerical representations of health-related information. Health Psychology. 2012;31(3):286-96.

Politi, MC, Studts JL, Hayslip J. Shared Decision Making in Oncology Practice:  What Do Oncologists Need to Know? The Oncologist. 2012;17, 91–100.

Légaré F, Politi MC, Drolet R, Desroches S, Stacey D, Bekker H and the CPD-SDM team. Training health professionals in Shared Decision Making: An international environmental scan. Patient Education and Counseling, 2012;88(2), 159-169. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2012.01.002.

Politi MC, Pieterse AH, Truant T, Borkhoff C, Jha V, Kuhl L, Nicolai J, Goss C. Interprofessional education about patient decision support in specialty care. Journal of Interprofessional Care. 2011;25(6):416-422.

Politi MC, Street RL. The importance of communication in collaborative decision-making: Facilitating shared mind and the management of uncertainty. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 2011;17:579–584.

Politi MC, Clark MA, Ombao H, Légaré F. The Impact of physicians’ reactions to uncertainty on patients’ decision satisfaction. Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice. 2011:17:575–578.

Politi MC, Clark MA, Ombao H, Dizon D, Elwyn, G. Communicating uncertainty and its impact on patients’ decision satisfaction: A necessary cost of involving patients in shared decision making? Health Expectations. 2011;14(1):84–91.

Politi MC, Légaré F. Physicians’ reactions to uncertainty in the context of shared decision making. Patient Education and Counseling. 2010;80:155–157.

Pub Med page for Mary C. Politi, Ph.D.

Editorial Positions

Deputy Editor, Journal of General Internal Medicine, 2014 - current
Editorial Board, Medical Decision Making, 2012 - 2014
Reviewer, Medical Decision Making, Health Expectations, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Annals of Behavioral Medicine, Risk Analysis, Supportive Care in Cancer, Behavior Therapy, Psycho-Oncology, American Journal of Epidemiology, Integrative Cancer Therapies, European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, Patient Education and Counseling, 2005 – present