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

  • Best Case/Worst Case for the Trauma ICU: Development and Pilot Testing of a Communication Tool for Older Adults with Traumatic Injury.
    Zimmermann CJ, Zelenski AB, Buffington A, Baggett ND, Tucholka JL, Weis HB, Marka N, Schoultz T, Kalbfell E, Campbell TC, Lin V, Lape D, Brasel KJ, Phelan HA, Schwarze ML
    J Trauma Acute Care Surg 2021 May 25;
    [PubMed ID: 34039930]

  • Frequency of Preoperative Advance Care Planning for Older Adults Undergoing High-risk Surgery: A Secondary Analysis of a Randomized Clinical Trial.
    Kalbfell E, Kata A, Buffington AS, Marka N, Brasel KJ, Mosenthal AC, Cooper Z, Finlayson E, Schwarze ML
    JAMA Surg 2021 May 12; e211521
    [PubMed ID: 33978693]

  • Benefits of Clear Masks in Communication With Patients.
    Schwarze ML, Kalbfell EL
    JAMA Surg 2021 Apr 01; 156(4): 378-379
    [PubMed ID: 33704362]

  • Regulation of Overlapping Surgery: Progress and Gaps.
    Kalbfell EL, Schwarze ML
    J Law Med Ethics 2021; 49(1): 74-76
    [PubMed ID: 33966645]

  • 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]

All Publications on PubMed