Member Database

Brian Zikmund-Fisher

Public Health

PhD, Carnegie Mellon University

Dr. Zikmund-Fisher uses his interdisciplinary background in decision psychology and behavioral economics to study factors that affect individual decision making about a variety of health and medical issues, with a particular emphasis on health and environmental risk perceptions and the effects of poor numeracy (people’s ability to interpret quantitative information) on health and medical decision making. His research in health communications focuses on making risk statistics, test results, and other types of quantitative health information meaningful and useful for decision making by patients and the public.

Dr. Zikmund-Fisher’s past projects have included a multi-year award from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop and test novel ways of displaying laboratory test results in patient portals of electronic health record systems, a National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) award titled the Community Perceptions of Dioxins (CPOD) Study, the National Survey of Medical Decisions (the DECISIONS study) project, an American Cancer Society award regarding the development and testing of visual displays of risk, and several projects examining how patient testimonials influence risk perceptions and decision making.

Dr. Zikmund-Fisher teaches graduate courses that focus on enabling students to communicate health and science information clearly and memorably. He is also working with several collaborators to explore the use of improvisational theater games as tools for building health and science communication skills. Dr. Zikmund-Fisher is an Associate Director of the UM Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine (CBSSM) and a core faculty member of the UM Health Informatics program. He also serves as an Associate Editor for the journal Medical Decision Making.


Member Faculty Advisory Committee

University Affiliation(s)

CBSSM | Um Health Informatics

Community and Professional Affiliation(s)

Society for Medical Decision Making

Research Area(s)

Public policy and social science