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

  • Better Conversations for Better Informed Consent: Talking with Surgical Patients.
    Schwarze ML, Arnold RM, Clapp JT, Kruser JM
    Hastings Cent Rep 2024 May; 54(3): 11-14
    [PubMed ID: 38842906]

  • Language in Bioethics: Beyond the Representational View.
    Clapp JT, Kruser JM, Schwarze ML, Hadler RA
    Am J Bioeth 2024 Apr 16; 1-13
    [PubMed ID: 38626326]

  • "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 Jun; 117(6): 1087-1094
    [PubMed ID: 38242340]

All Publications on PubMed