Mary Politi, PhD

Mary Politi, PhD

Primary Academic Title

Professor of Surgery, Division of Public Health Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine

Research Interest

Dr. Politi is a Professor of Surgery in the Division of Public Health Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine. Her primary research interests include health communication and shared decision-making. Her work helps patients and the public understand health information, explore what is important to them when making health decisions, and collaborate to make evidence-informed decisions that meet their needs. She also trains health care professionals, public health advocates, and members of the public interested in shared decision-making and patient engagement. Dr. Politi’s research includes a focus on reducing health disparities by engaging communities with unmet health needs and including them in both research and dissemination efforts. She works extensively with stakeholders to ensure her research is relevant to end users in clinical and community settings.


  • 2004: MPhil, clinical psychology, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
  • 2006: PhD, clinical psychology, George Washington University


  • 2006 - 2007: Postdoctoral fellow, behavioral medicine, Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital, Providence
  • 2007 - 2009: Postdoctoral fellow, transdisciplinary cancer research, Brown University and the Miriam Hospital, Providence

Selected Research Publications

A Qualitative Exploration of Stakeholders' Preferences for Early-Stage Rectal Cancer Treatment.
  • Rubens ME, Mayo TP, Smith RK, Glasgow SC, Politi MC
  • Ann Surg Open 2023
Using the sociotechnical model to conduct a focused usability assessment of a breast reconstruction decision tool.
  • Foraker R, Phommasathit C, Clevenger K, [...] Politi MC
  • BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2023
Developing an Educational and Decision Support Tool for Stage I Lung Cancer Using Decision Science.
  • Housten AJ, Kozower BD, Engelhardt KE, [...] Politi MC
  • Ann Thorac Surg 2023
Discussing Cost and Value in Patient Decision Aids and Shared Decision Making: A Call to Action.
  • Politi MC, Housten AJ, Forcino RC, Jansen J , Elwyn G
  • MDM Policy Pract 2023
Financial burden of men with localized prostate cancer: a process paper.
  • Housten AJ, Rice HE, Chang SH, [...] Politi MC
  • Front Psychol 2023
A case study of adapting a health insurance decision intervention from trial into routine cancer care.
  • Charles ME, Kuroki LM, Baumann AA, [...] Politi MC
  • BMC Res Notes 2022

View All Publications