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

  • Practical Guide to Qualitative Analysis.
    Schwarze ML, Kaji AH, Ghaferi AA
    JAMA Surg 2020 Jan 29;
    [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 May; 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]

  • "Like a Normal Person Again": A Qualitative Analysis of the Impact of Headache Surgery.
    Afifi AM, Schwarze ML, Stilp EK, Orne J, Smith JP, Abd-Elsayed AA, Anderson BM, Salem A, Macdonald CL, Israel JS
    Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 2019 10; 144(4): 956-964
    [PubMed ID: 31568311]

  • Surgery Hurts: Characterizing the Experience of Pain in Surgical Patients as Witnessed by Medical Students.
    Zens TJ, Kopecky KE, Schwarze ML, Suwanabol PA
    J Surg Educ 2019 Nov - Dec; 76(6): 1506-1515
    [PubMed ID: 31060970]

All Publications on PubMed