Margaret "Gretchen" Schwarze, MD, MPP, FACS


  • 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
  • MPP, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Cambridge, MA
  • Residency in Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Research Fellowship, Transplantation Biology Research Center, Boston, MA
  • Fellowship in Vascular Surgery, University of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL
  • Fellowship in Clinical Medical Ethics, University of Chicago Hospitals, Chicago, IL

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 Equipoise Ruler:" A National Survey on Surgeon Judgment about the Value of Surgery.
    Zychowski KL, Stalter LN, Erb BM, Hanlon BM, Bushaw KJ, Buffington A, Bradley T, Arnold RM, Clapp J, Kruser JM, Schwarze ML
    Ann Surg 2024 Feb 08;
    [PubMed ID: 38328985]

  • Embedding an Education Intervention about Shared Decision Making into an RCT: Ensuring competency and fidelity.
    Zelenski AB, Haug K, Bushaw KJ, Buffington A, Bradley T, Kwekkeboom KL, Stalter L, Hanlon BM, Wakeen MJ, Jhagroo RA, Maursetter LJ, Johnson SK, Campbell TC, Schwarze ML
    PEC Innov 2024 Dec; 4: 100260
    [PubMed ID: 38347862]

  • Decision-Making in Surgery.
    Angelos P, Taylor LJ, Roggin K, Schwarze ML, Vaughan LM, Wightman SC, Sade RM
    Ann Thorac Surg 2024 Jan 17;
    [PubMed ID: 38242340]

  • Innovations in Surgical Communication 4-Present the Downsides of Surgery, Not Just Risks.
    Zaza SI, Arnold RM, Schwarze ML
    JAMA Surg 2023 Oct 01; 158(10): 998-1000
    [PubMed ID: 37610756]

  • Innovations in Surgical Communication 3-Promote Deliberation, Not Technical Education.
    Schwarze ML, Clapp J, Arnold RM
    JAMA Surg 2023 Oct 01; 158(10): 996-998
    [PubMed ID: 37585186]

All Publications on PubMed