Dr. Schonberg is a general internist, the Director of Research in Shared Decision-Making in the Division of General Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She is an international leader in research in shared decision-making in older persons. Her work has been continually funded since 2004 with 6 NIH R01s (4 as PI), 2 R21s, a NIA K24 Midcareer Investigator award, and a NIA Paul B. Beeson K23 career development award in aging in addition to numerous foundation grants. In her work, Dr. Schonberg brought together the fields of shared decision-making and geriatrics to develop a novel framework that incorporates patient life expectancy, individualized risk, and patients' values and preferences to improve cancer screening decisions for older adults. She further developed the methods to incorporate the key parameters of her framework into practice. To estimate life expectancy, she created a novel 11-item index that predicts up to 14-year mortality in adults >65 with accuracy. She also developed an innovative model for predicting breast cancer that considers older women’s individualized competing mortality risk. In addition, she designed the first patient decision aid to consider 10-year prognosis and rigorously tested this mammography screening decision aid in a randomized trial. Her decision aid led to women >75 making more informed screening decisions and to fewer choosing screening. To help disseminate her work, she co-developed ePrognosis, an internationally used website designed to help clinicians and patients consider overall prognosis in medical decisions. Dr. Schonberg also enjoys mentoring and co-sponsors 3 NIH K awards and 1 NIA GEMSSTAR and co-Directs BIDMC’s general medicine research fellowship and Harvard’s Advanced Aging Research Training Seminar Series. In recognition of her work, Dr. Schonberg has received numerous awards including the 2016 American Geriatrics Society Outstanding Scientific Achievement for Clinical Investigation Award.
Mara Ann Schonberg, MD, MPH