Physician authors and advisors

Dr. Jerry Avorn, Senior Clinical Consultant for the Alosa Foundation

Jerry Avorn, M.D. is a graduate of Columbia College and Harvard Medical School; he completed his training in primary care internal medicine within the Harvard medical system. Dr. Avorn pioneered the concept of academic detailing in the 1980s, with the creation, deployment, and evaluation of the first such program. After testing it in a randomized trial in four state Medicaid programs, he went on to study the approach in nursing homes, and demonstrated it significantly reduced overuse of antipsychotic drugs and improved the cognitive function of overmedicated patients. Both papers written on these trials were published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Avorn practiced internal medicine for over 30 years in ambulatory and in-hospital settings, and helped to establish the program in geriatric medicine at Harvard. He is an expert in geriatric medication use, the study of adverse drug effects (particularly in patients with chronic disease), and medication cost-effectiveness analysis, and is the author of chapters on these subjects in the main textbooks in each field, as well being the author or co-author of over 400 papers in the medical literature. Dr. Avorn is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Chief of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, one of the main Harvard teaching hospitals. In 2004 he participated in the founding of the Alosa Health, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing doctors with non-commercial education about medications. He was a co-author of the Institute of Medicine report on the development of trustworthy clinical guidelines, and the author of Powerful Medicines: The Benefits, Risks, and Costs of Prescription Drugs, published by Knopf and now in its 11th printing.

 

Dr. Michael Fischer, Clinical Consultant for the Alosa Foundation

Michael Fischer, M.D., M.S. did his undergraduate work at Harvard College, and attended Yale Medical School. At Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Dr. Fischer completed a residency in primary care medicine and has been practicing primary care since 2000. He received an M.S. degree in Clinical Effectiveness from the Harvard School of Public Health, and is currently an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a widely published health services researcher studying the effects of reimbursement policies and other interventions on influencing physician prescribing and patient outcomes. For several years he headed the physician medication education program at BWH, and has worked closely with Drs. Avorn and Choudhry on the Alosa Health programs of academic detailing since their inception in 2005. In this role, he has helped lead the creation of prescriber education materials and taken a central role in training academic detailers for several public sector programs. He is the Principal Investigator of the AHRQ-supported National Resource Center on Academic Detailing, which supports the creation and improvement of academic detailing programs throughout the country.

 

Dr. Niteesh Choudhry, Clinical Consultant for the Alosa Foundation

Niteesh Choudhry, M.D., Ph.D. trained at McGill University and the University of Toronto and then served as Chief Resident in Medicine at Toronto General Hospital. Dr. Choudhry went on to receive a Ph.D. in Health Policy from Harvard University, where he studied the determinants of physician prescribing practices. He is a practicing hospitalist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a highly productive researcher on medication use, adverse effects, cost-effectiveness, medication adherence, and improving health outcomes. Like Dr. Fischer, Dr. Choudhry has been working with Dr. Avorn for several years on the Alosa Health’s academic detailing program, the Independent Drug Information Service, for which he has been the main author of several clinical modules on cardiovascular disease and other chronic illnesses. He is the main clinician responsible for Alosa’s PEARL series (Prompt Evidence Assessment and Review of the Literature), which provides current alerts to practitioners about developments in medication efficacy and safety. He is the recipient of many teaching awards for his pedagogic skills.