Margaret "Gretchen" Schwarze, MD, MPP, FACS

Associate Professor

  • Division of Vascular Surgery
  • Morgridge Professor in Vascular Surgery
(608) 265-4420

600 Highland Ave

Madison, WI 53792-3284


  • MD, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, 1995
  • MPP, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA, 1995
  • Residency in Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 1996-2002
  • Research Fellowship, Transplantation Biology Research Center, Boston, MA, 1998-2000
  • Fellowship in Vascular Surgery, University of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL, 2002-2004
  • Fellowship in Clinical Medical Ethics, University of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL, 2003-2004

Clinical Specialties

Dr. Schwarze specializes in vascular and endovascular surgery. She is board certified in both general surgery and vascular surgery.

Research Interests

Dr. Schwarze is a board-certified vascular surgeon and medical ethicist. She is a nationally recognized expert in surgical decision making, informed consent, advance directives and end-of-life care.

Her research focuses on improving communication between older patients and their surgeons so that patients can avoid unwanted treatment and make decisions that align with their values, preferences and goals.

The Patient Preferences Project

Recent Publications

  • The association between factors promoting non-beneficial surgery and moral distress: A national survey of surgeons.
    Zimmermann CJ, Taylor LJ, Tucholka JL, Buffington A, Brasel K, Arnold R, Cooper Z, Schwarze ML
    Ann Surg 2020 Nov 17;
    [PubMed ID: 33214444]

  • Best Case/Worst Case: ICU (COVID-19)-A Tool to Communicate with Families of Critically Ill Patients with COVID-19.
    Schwarze ML, Zelenski A, Baggett ND, Kalbfell E, Ljumani F, Silverman E, Campbell TC
    Palliat Med Rep 2020; 1(1): 3-4
    [PubMed ID: 32856022]

  • Practical Guide to Qualitative Analysis.
    Schwarze ML, Kaji AH, Ghaferi AA
    JAMA Surg 2020 03 01; 155(3): 252-253
    [PubMed ID: 31995144]

  • Opportunities to Improve Shared Decision Making in Dialysis Decisions for Older Adults with Life-Limiting Kidney Disease: A Pilot Study.
    Zimmermann CJ, Jhagroo RA, Wakeen M, Schueller K, Zelenski A, Tucholka JL, Fox DA, Baggett ND, Buffington A, Campbell TC, Johnson SK, Schwarze ML
    J Palliat Med 2020 05; 23(5): 627-634
    [PubMed ID: 31930929]

  • Effectiveness of a Question Prompt List Intervention for Older Patients Considering Major Surgery: A Multisite Randomized Clinical Trial.
    Schwarze ML, Buffington A, Tucholka JL, Hanlon B, Rathouz PJ, Marka N, Taylor LJ, Zimmermann CJ, Kata A, Baggett ND, Fox DA, Schmick AE, Berlin A, Glass NE, Mosenthal AC, Finlayson E, Cooper Z, Brasel KJ
    JAMA Surg 2019 Oct 30;
    [PubMed ID: 31664452]

All Publications on PubMed