Family medicine Research Faculty and Staff


Patients & Families 

Our research programs are committed to an ethical and humanitarian approach to improving the quality of primary medical care. Find information about current research projects in Family Medicine, physicians involved, and opportunities for participating. 

Health Professionals 

Our success as an academic leader goes far beyond our success in grant funding. We have worked hard to create a strong and inclusive academic environment. An atmosphere of evidence-based inquiry, rigor, and excellence pervades, and scholarly activities are encouraged and valued.

We have a strong presence in the The National Clinician Scholars Program at the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI) program. Our faculty members hold editorial board and manuscript review positions on literally every major family medicine journal.

Research Areas


Research News

young woman looking at cell phone

February 13, 2018:  New Research: It's not just you – politics is stressing out America's youth

How has the 2016 presidential election affected the health and wellbeing of young Americans? New research from Tammy Chang, M.D., M.P.H., M.S. and Melissa DeJonckheere, Ph.D. provide context. Share their Conversation piece and find the original article now in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health.

Justine P. Wu, M.D., M.P.H.

January 12, 2018:  Dr. Justine Wu recognized for leadership as chair of the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals

As the organization's chair, Dr. Wu promoted reproductive health as an essential part of primary care and developed inclusive, forward-thinking professional trainings to highlight the needs of transgender patients and people with disabilities.

Alicia Julie Cohen, M.D.

December 20, 2017:  New Research: ‘Double Up’ Helps Low-Income Families Shop at Farmers Markets

A new study led by Alicia Cohen, M.D., shows initial success for a healthy food incentive program for low-income Detroiters — as well as ample room to grow.

melissa dejonckheere, Ph.D.

December 19, 2017:  MyVoice explained two ways, in TED talk and a new protocol publication

A fresh approach to longitudinal, mixed methods research design, MyVoice harnesses the power of mobile SMS technology and rapid algorithmic text analysis toward their goal of “strategic science.”

Dr. Michael Fetters

December 12, 2017:  A new way to consume research--video abstracts come to family medicine

Two family medicine faculty have produced short web videos, with support from the department and Michigan Medicine

Golfo Tzilos Wernette, PhD

December 5, 2017:  New Research: This low-cost computer program may reduce rates of STIs among pregnant women

A study finds that a brief, computer-delivered intervention reduced rates of alcohol and drug use during pregnancy. These risky behaviors have been identified as key risk factors for sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

 Zora Djuric, PhD

November 13, 2017: New Research: Obesity may interfere with effective dosing of common cancer-preventive supplement

A new study, led by Zora Djuric, seeks to understand the biochemical impact of obesity on the effectiveness of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in colon cancer prevention.

 Caroline R Richardson, MD

November 9, 2017: New Research: Patients want exercise as integral component of the depression treatment plan

New collaborative research from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan suggests that more mental health providers may want to take a closer look at including exercise in their patients' treatment plans.

 American Public Health Association Annual Meeting 2017 logo

November 4, 2017: Presentations at the American Public Health Association annual meeting

This November, three family medicine physician-researchers head to Atlanta, Georgia, to share their work with the public health community, at the annual meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA).

 UM Family Medicine attends North American Primary Care Research Group Annual Meeting

October 31, 2017: U-M Family Medicine presents at 2017 North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) annual meeting

Several faculty members from our research division will present their work in at the 2017 NAPCRG annual meeting this fall. NAPCRG is the premier gathering of primary care researchers from around the world.

 lede image of tammy chang presenting myvoice at mcubed

October 31, 2017: Family medicine research featured by one of the largest governmental technology services companies

MyVoice is an adolescent health and well-being research project, led by Tammy Chang, M.D., M.P.H., M.S.. In just a year, MyVoice has deployed 90 unique text message-based surveys to a population of over 1,000 adolescents and young adults across the United States. And the project is starting to gain national attention.

 Philip Zazove, M.D.

October 25, 2017:  New Research: Offsetting Hearing Loss’ Long-Term Consequences with Early Diagnoses

Hearing loss affects about 17 percent of Americans, but screening and referral for evaluation is rarely done. How an electronic intervention, developed by Philip Zazove, M.D., and Michael McKee, M.D., M.P.H., may help.

Tammy Chang, M.D., M.P.H., M.S. Assistant Professor 

October 17, 2017: Tammy Chang selected as 2017 National Academy of Medicine Fellow

Dr. Chang is the second U-M family physician ever chosen for the prestigious James C. Puffer MD Fellowship, sponsored by the the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM). Her experience follows Katherine J. Gold's tenure as the 2013-2015 fellow.

 image of people looking over a fence at a health lifestyle, person on left is standing on box and can see over, other person is stuck standing in a hole with mounds of dirt labeled with barriers

October 6, 2017: Why Screening for Social Determinants of Health Helps Doctors Provide Better Care

New research from Alicia Cohen, M.D. in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine examines the questions that community health centers ask to address health disparities.

 image of award ribbon with text New Research Awards

September 27, 2017: New Research Award: Justine Wu will lead an interprofessional research team

Awarded a first round Interprofessional Exchange (IP-X) pilot grant, Dr. Wu will build an interprofessional team to provide specialized contraceptive care for breast cancer survivors.

 Sara L. Warber, M.D.

September 1, 2017:  Study provides new insight into patients’ healing journeys

Qualitative research, co-authored by Sara L. Warber, M.D., professor emeritus, developed a model of how people transcend suffering to find healing

 illustrated image of mother holding shadowed infant

September 1, 2017:  Why Mothers Need Personal and Clinical Support After a Baby’s Death

New analysis from the Michigan Mothers Study led by Katherine J. Gold, M.D., M.S.W., M.S. is the first large scale effort to document how bereaved mothers receive the news of their infant's death and the context of their support immediately after loss.

 image of mri scan

August 22, 2017:  Brain Imaging Study Shows How Acupressure Fights Fatigue in Breast Cancer Survivors

A new study, co-authored by Suzanna Zick, N.D., M.P.H., analyzes how the brain reacts to different types of the acupressure, in the treatment of fatigue.

 logo for Scientific American

August 15, 2017:  Research Mentions: Dr. Katherine Gold's research in Scientific American

A piece in Scientific American tackles the issue of physician suicide, with guidance from Dr. Gold's research on physician mental health.

 Golfo Tzilos, Ph.D.

August 9, 2017:  Addiction and women's health researcher recognized at APA with early career award

Golfo Tzilos Wernette, Ph.D., was recognized in Washington D.C., at the American Psychology Association Convention this month, for her work identifying “Psychosocial Correlates of Marijuana Use Among Pregnant and Non-Pregnant Adolescent Girls."


August 6, 2017:  Study examines use of grounded theory in mixed methods research

A new publication from methodologist and assistant professor Timothy Guetterman offers a grant-writing “checklist” for researchers who employ grounded theory methods

See more news

 image of doctor in a hospital counseling virtual patient on a laptop screen

August 2, 2017:  Virtual human technology tested as a cost-effective tool in medical education

A validation study led by Timothy Guetterman, found promising results for a new tool in medical education

 New York Times

July 24, 2017: Research Mentions: The New York Times and Slate feature work by family medicine researchers

Recent articles in both Slate and the New York Times echo the work of U-M family physicians Drs. Philip Zazove and Michael McKee--envisioning a health system that actively and equitably serves patients (and doctors) with disabilities.

 National Institutes of Health logo

July 18, 2017: U-M family medicine faculty accepted into two highly-competitive NIH training programs

Elham Mahmoudi, Ph.D. will attend the National Institute on Aging (NIA)'s 2017 Butler-Williams Scholars Program this summer. Justine P. Wu, M.D., M.P.H. will attend the year-long Training Institute for Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (TIDIRH) course from the NIH's Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR).

 Elham Mahmoudi, Ph.D.

June 26, 2017:  New Research: Law Reduces Some Racial, Ethnic Disparities in Breast Reconstruction Post-Mastectomy

A study led by Dr. Elham Mahmoudi finds that state law in New York that mandated physician-patient communication helped some cancer patients get a beneficial procedure. It was published in the June 2017 issue of JAMA Surgery. 

 Katherine (Katy) J. Gold, M.D., M.S.W., M.S.

June 16, 2017:  New Research: State Medical Licensing Boards’ Practices May Hurt Physician Mental Health

Building on her work on mental health stigma in the medical profession, Dr. Katherine Gold has published a new study on state medical licensing boards' evaluation of mental health among physicians. 

 Golfo Tzilos, Ph.D.

June 14, 2017:  New ResearchRisky Bingeing: Women in Appalachian Ohio Report Higher Rates of Alcohol Misuse

Assistant professor Golfo Tzilos and professor emeritus Mack T. Ruffin IV examined binge drinking habits and associated risk factors in rural Appalacia in a new study published in the Journal of Rural Mental Health. 

 U-M family medicine residents at work at the Michigan Family Medicine Research Day

June 6, 2017: Highlights from the Resident Research Program 2017

Residents entered the realm of clinical and academic research as part of the family medicine resident research program.


 image of award ribbon with text New Research Awards

May 18, 2017:  New Research Funding: Recent Grants Awarded in May 2017

Recent funding awards from the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) will support two pilot research projects from Drs. Katherine J. Gold and Dr. Suzanna Zick                                                                          



 Justine P. Wu, M.D., M.P.H.

May 17, 2017:  New Research Funding: Dr. Justine Wu’s K23 Research Career Development Award

The five-year career development grant, from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will fund Dr. Wu’s research on the dynamic contraceptive care needs of women with medical conditions.                                                                             



 image of Science magazine logo

May 16, 2017:  Research Mentions: Science magazine discusses work by family medicine researchers

A recent article ScienceInsider, an online publication from Science, discusses the merits and appeal of adaptive clinical trials and cites research from Drs. Michael D. Fetters and Dr. Timothy Guetterman

 Society of Teachers of Family Medicine logo

May 5, 2017:  Residents and faculty present at 50th annual STFM conference

An impressive group of family medicine residents and faculty will head to San Diego this week, to present research at the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) annual conference

 Image of older man in hospital bed holding hand of visitor

May 4, 2017:  New Research: Primary Care Doctors Play Key Role at Life’s End, Research Finds

As palliative care and hospice use grow and cost pressures continue, new studies by Dr. Claire Ankuda probed variation in care and referrals — and found opportunity.

 journal covers

April 29, 2017:  Publications from the Department of Family Medicine: March - April 2017

A bi-monthly digest of research articles published by the faculty in the U-M Department of Family Medicine

 image of virtual reality goggles viewing medical scenes

April 27, 2017:  New Research: Virtual Humans Help Aspiring Doctors Learn Empathy

Delivering bad news in a caring way — and coping with a patient’s reaction — is a key skill for doctors. Intuitive technology developed and researched by Drs. Michael Fetters and Timothy Guetterman is helping medical students learn the best approaches.

image of person sitting outside meditating at sunset 

April 24, 2017:  New Research: Growing Body of Evidence Supports Use of Mind-Body Therapies During Breast Cancer Treatment

A new meta-analysis, co-authored by Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H., finds that meditation and yoga get highest grades for improving quality of life.

2017 March for Science sign that reads Never Stop Questioning 

April 22, 2017:  #ThankAScientist Saturday

Today, scientists, researchers, and supporters of science in over 500 cities will gather in March for Science rallies around the world. See some of our featured clinical researchers promoting evidence-based practice and innovative scientific methods in family medicine research.

image of award ribbon with text New Research Awards

 April 17, 2017:  New Research Funding: Recent Grants Awarded in 2017

Recent NIH awards will support family medicine faculty as they lead two exciting new ventures: Training 100 oncology professionals in integrative medicine and developing a web-based contraceptive decision aid for women with chronic conditions and their health care providers

image of smart phone with health app

April 1, 2017:  New Research: Digital interventions for prediabetics seeking weight loss shown to be effective

A new meta-analysis authored by Drs. Caroline Richardson and Lorraine Buis and published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that significant weight loss can be achieved with digital translations of diabetes prevention programs.

Masahito Jimbo, MD, PhD

March 30, 2017: New Research: What Factors Influence a Patient’s Intent to Get Colorectal Cancer Screening?

March is colorectal cancer awareness month. Read new research from Masahito Jimbo M.D. on what factors influence patients' decision to get screened.

Jean M. Malouin, M.D., M.P.H.

March 20, 2017:  New Research: How care managers fit in a team-based medical home model of primary care

A new study, led by Dr. Jean Malouin, was recently published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. It examines physician and medical team acceptance of care managers as part of the Michigan Primary Care Transformation (MiPCT) Demonstration.

Tammy Chang, MD, MPH, MS

March 17, 2017:  New Research: For Adolescents, Pre-Pregnancy BMI Directly Linked to Excess Pregnancy Weight Gain 

New research by Tammy Chang, M.D., M.P.H., M.S., identified factors associated with unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy for a vulnerable subset of mothers, those aged 15 to 24.

 US News and World Report seal 2018


March 14, 2017: Family Medicine Jumps Up in Latest Rankings

The U.S. News and World Report released their 2018 rankings today. 

Barbara D. Reed, M.D., M.S.P.H., professor of family medicine

March 6, 2017: Emeritus professor celebrated by the department and named AAFP Life Member

Barbara Reed, M.D. M.S.P.H., was recently recognized by the American Academy of Family Physicians for her longstanding support and career as a family physician. Read more on Dr. Reed's legacy in family medicine and women's health.

publication cover pages arranged in a tiled patern

February 28, 2017:  Publications from the Department of Family Medicine: January - February 2017

A bi-monthly digest of research articles published by the faculty in the U-M Department of Family Medicine

image of smart phone with medication reminder message

February 21, 2017:  New Research: Text Message Alerts Help Patients with Hypertension Remember to Take Meds

In a new study from assistant professor Lorraine Buis, mobile reminders boosted medication adherence in high blood pressure patients.

meaning and purpose in family medicine

February 1, 2017:  Finding Meaning and Purpose as a Family Medicine Doctor

What do a student blog post from 2013, Atul Gawande's latest New Yorker essay, and one faculty's latest publication have in common? A common search for the meaning and purpose of family medicine

japanese medical students

January 24, 2017:  Forging Family Medicine in Japan: A longitudinal look at the first cohort of family medicine residents in Shizuoka, Japan

A new publication reports on a four-year longitudinal study of the first family medicine training program in Japan

farmers market stand graphic

January 19, 2017:  New Research: From Farm to Clinic: Addressing community food security with no-cost clinic intervention

New research, led by Alicia Cohen, M.D., M.Sc., tap into a simple way to encourage healthier eating habits among low-income families by promoting a program that increases the value of food stamps when spent on fruits and vegetables.

Katherine (Katy) J. Gold, M.D., M.S.W., M.S.

January 9, 2017: Dr. Katherine Gold's research featured in Washington Post

A moving editorial by Stanford resident Dr. Nathaniel P. Morris leads with Dr. Gold's recent study on mental health disclosure among female physicians.

Fatigue Reduction Diet - food

January 6, 2017: Diet Could Help Breast Cancer Survivors Beat Fatigue Configure

A study by Dr. Zick finds that eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3-rich foods improved fatigue and sleep quality in breast cancer survivors.

Mixed Methods

December 20, 2016: Update from the Michigan Mixed Methods Program: Fall Workshop

In a three-day mini-course this fall, the Michigan Mixed Methods program trained researchers from across academics disciplines in the design of mixed methods research.

Advice to pregnant women about smoking

December 2, 2016: New research examines health advice given by friends and family to pregnant women

A new mixed methods study used text message surveys to tap into community conversations about pregnancy health norms and health literacy.

image of doctors in front of US flag

December 1, 2016: For Refugees Seeking Asylum, Medical Exams Play a Vital Role

According to a new study, co-authored by Timothy C. Guetterman, Ph.D, any asylum cases tied to trauma could be strengthened by medical and psychological evaluations, lawyers say. But not enough doctors provide or are trained to do them.

UM Family Medicine is going to NAPCRG

November 16, 2016: Faculty speak at North American Primary Care Research Group conference

Several faculty members from our research division present at the North American Primary Care Research Group (NAPCRG) annual meeting this week. NAPCRG is the premier event for primary care researchers from around the world. 

Image of Assistant Professor Dr. Timothy Guetterman

November 10, 2016: How to train health professionals in mixed methods research 

A recent publication by Timothy Guetterman, PHD, evaluates the first national mixed methods training program for the health sciences (MMRTP), a project partnership between the University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University, and Harvard University.

Janson and Dr. Justine Wu as children

November 8, 2016: Dr. Wu speaks to national conference audience on transgender health

Dr. Wu's plenary session was, perhaps, the most well-attended at the North American Forum on Family Planning conference. Dr. Wu's brother and GLBTQ rights lawyer, Janson Wu, made a special appearance, along with with Dr. Sarah Pickle, Dr. Michelle Forcier, and transgender health advocate Rafi Daugherty.

 Internet-enabled pedometer

November 6, 2016: Internet-enabled pedometers are most effective for weigh loss in Veterans Walk for Health study

A recent study, led by Dr. Caroline Richardson, compares the effectiveness of three low-cost walking programs. The three-arm, multisite study found that Web-enhanced pedometers were most effective for weight loss, compared with traditional logbook and simple pedometer walking interventions.

Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H.

October 30, 2016: Can Ginger Ale Really Soothe Nausea?

In a recent article in The Atlantic, Dr. Suzanna Zick weighs in on a popular folk remedy. 

person holding iphone using BPTrack app

October 24, 2016: New mobile health app launches with pilot research study

A pilot study, led by Dr. Lorraine Buis, will measure the impact of a new mobile health intervention on hypertension outcomes.

Barbara D. Reed, M.D., M.S.P.H., professor of family medicine

October 17, 2016: Understanding the nuanced pain experiences of women with vulvodynia

A study, led by Dr. Barbara Reed, brings new understanding to a neurologic disorder afflicting as many as 16 percent of women and adolescent girls.

hearing aid

October 10, 2016: Reducing barriers to medical school admission for students with disabilities

In a new article, published in The American Medical Association (AMA) Journal of Ethics, Dr. McKee explains how updates to medical school admissions policies could address the underrepresentation of people with disabilities in the medical profession.

image of smart phone taking photo of ted lecturer

September 29, 2016: Fall 2016: Upcoming presentations from our research faculty

This fall, our research faculty will share their work at conferences, grand rounds, and guest professorships around the world. Here are highlights from their upcoming itineraries.

image of dr. caroline richardson, distinguished mentor award

September 26, 2016: Dr. Richardson receives distinguished research mentor award

Nominated for her outstanding contributions as a research mentor, advocate, and collaborator, Dr. Richardson will be honored at the Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) ceremony on October 14th.

Dr. Michael McKee, MD, MPH

September 23, 2016: Women with Hearing Loss More Likely to Have Preterm or Low Birth Weight Babies

A new study co-authored by Michael M. McKee, M.D., M.S.W., is the first population-based study of birth outcomes among U.S. women with hearing loss.

Depressed/Stressed Physician

September 23, 2016: New Study: Stigma and Sanctions Prevent Doctors From Revealing Mental Health Concerns

A study led by Katherine J. Gold, M.D., M.S.W., M.S., assistant professor finds that physicians need better support and state licensing standards surrounding mental health.

Image of Assistant Professor Dr. Timothy Guetterman

September 7, 2016: New faculty spotlight: Timothy C. Guetterman, Ph.D.

Welcome Timothy Guetterman, Ph.D., our newest research faculty member.

image of smart phone taking photo of ted lecturer

September 7, 2016: Upcoming global speaking events from our research faculty

This fall, our research faculty will share their work at conferences, grand rounds, and guest professorships around the world.

Dr. Lorraine Buis, PhD

September 1, 2016: Lorraine Buis' research published in Conception featured in The Conversation

New research finds that coverage of contraception in national news favors political or social posturing over providing medical information. 

photo of Dr. Michael Fetters

August 29, 2016: Dr. Fetters heads to China for cross-cultural Fulbright work

 An interview with Dr. Michael Fetters on his recent Fulbright achievement and plans for research, teaching, and collaboration at Peking University Health Science Center.

Caroline R. Richardson, M.D.

August 9, 2016: Pedometer Use Wanes at 12 Months

A study in JMIR finds that pedometer use, although efficacious at 4 months, is much lower at 12 months. 

Image of Assistant Professor Dr. Timothy Guetterman

August 4, 2016: University of Michigan Experts Awarded at International Mixed Methods Conference

Family Medicine research faculty share their expertise, Dr. Guetterman awarded at the 2016 Mixed Methods International Research Association (MMIRA) conference.

Tammy Chang, M.D., M.P.H, M.S.

July 15, 2016: Water Intake Overlooked in Obese Individuals

Dr. Chang leads a study that finds a relationship between hydration and body mass index that is featured on NPR, CNN, TIME and more

photo of Dr. Michael Fetters

July 14, 2016: Dr. Fetters' International Collaboration Garners Rare Fulbright Scholarship

Dr. Fetters is headed to China and U-M’s partner medical school later this year after being named a 2016 Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Social Sciences.

Suzanna M. Zick, N.D., M.P.H.

July 7, 2016: Acupressure reduced fatigue in breast cancer survivors in a study led by Dr. Zick

Relaxing acupressure improved sleep, quality of life; could offer low-cost way to manage symptoms

Dr. Mack Ruffin

June 29, 2016: Dr. Ruffin Named Chair at Penn State Hershey Medical Center

Congratulations to Dr. Ruffin on this new and exciting opportunity.

Tammy Chang, M.D., M.P.H, M.S.

June 29, 2016: Weight Loss Myths Perpetuate Obesity Problems

Drs. Tammy Chang and Angie Wang discuss how weight loss myths can affect patients, physicians the overall obesity epidemic. 

June 1, 2016: New Michigan Mixed Methods Research and Scholarship Program

The Department of Family Medicine takes a leading role in this exciting and innovative research paradigm. 

May 16, 2016: Award Honors Future Researchers

The 11th annual William Clippert Gorenflo Research award was presented to Nicolas Johnson, first-year U-M family medicine resident, and Kathryn Brown, a first year U-M medical student, on May 11th.

February 18, 2016: University of Michigan, Rochester Institute of Technology to Partner in $3 Million Grant to Improve Health Care Information Dissemination to People who are Deaf

Led by two of the nation’s leading Deaf scientists, the grant aims to reduce health disparity among the nation’s Deaf population.

February 8, 2016: Dr. Wu Joins NIH Mixed Methods Program

As mixed methods research becomes more popular, Department faculty are continually seeking ways to better utilize this exciting method. Dr. Wu will participate as a Scholar in the NIH Mixed Methods Research Training Program. 

February 3, 2016: Dr. Richardson to Lead Family Medicine Researchers

Dr. Richardson aims to "provide an infrastructure" to support researchers and clinical faculty "so they can contribute their expertise to solving some of the many tough problems we are facing in our health care system today."

October 13, 2015: Improving Gender-Specific Health Care Training in Japan Improves Care

The cultural context of teaching and learning sexual health care examinations in Japan: a mixed-methods case study assessing the use of standardized patient instructors among Japanese family physician trainees of the Shizuoka Family Medicine Program. 


October 7, 2015: Coverage for Long-acting Contraception Needs to Change According to Dr. Chang

Though long-acting reversible birth control (LARC), such as an intrauterine device (IUD), is readily available, it is not always available to the women who want it, at the time they want it. 


October 5, 2015: Dr. Fetters Leads Mixed Methods Meeting in Japan


September 22, 2015: Katie Grode Recognized at Dean’s Awards

Katie Grode receives an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Dean’s Faculty and Staff Awards.


August 5, 2015: Dr. Sen Wins U-M Research Award

Dr. Sen’s statistical support of family medicine faculty and residents earns well-deserved recognition from the University of Michigan.