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Peter A Ubel

Madge and Dennis T. McLawhorn University Distinguished Professor
Fuqua School of Business
Duke Box 90120, 100 Fuqua Drive, Durham, NC 27708-0120
100 Fuqua Dr, Box 90120, Room W309, Durham, NC 27708-0120


I am a physician and behavioral scientist at Duke University. My research and writing explores the quirks in human nature that influence our lives — the mixture of rational and irrational forces that affect our health, our happiness and the way our society functions. (What fun would it be to tackle just the easy problems?)

I am currently exploring controversial issues about the role of values and preferences in health care decision making, from decisions at the bedside to policy decisions. I use the tools of decision psychology and behavioral economics to explore topics like informed consent, shared decision making and health care spending. My books include Pricing Life (MIT Press 2000) and Free Market Madness (Harvard Business Press, 2009). My newest book, Critical Decisions (HarperCollins), came out in September of 2012, and explores the challenges of shared decision making between doctors and patients.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Madge and Dennis T. McLawhorn University Distinguished Professor · 2012 - Present Fuqua School of Business
Professor of Business Administration · 2010 - Present Fuqua School of Business
Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy · 2010 - Present Sanford School of Public Policy
Professor of Medicine · 2010 - Present Medicine, General Internal Medicine, Medicine
Professor in Population Health Sciences · 2020 - Present Population Health Sciences, Basic Science Departments
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute · 2013 - Present Duke Cancer Institute, Institutes and Centers
Associate of the Duke Initiative for Science & Society · 2017 - Present Duke Science & Society, Initiatives
Core Faculty Member, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy · 2019 - Present Duke-Margolis Institute for Health Policy, Initiatives

Education, Training & Certifications

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities · 1988 M.D.
Carleton College · 1984 B.A.