THOMAS H. GALLAGHER,
Office: 4311 11th Ave NE, Suite 230
Phone: (206) 616-7158
Bio | Recent
Publications | Recent Talks | Honors,
Awards, Grants | Curriculum
Dr. Thomas Gallagher
is a general internist whose research and educational interests address
conflicts of interest in the doctor-patient relationship. After receiving
his MD from Harvard University, Dr. Gallagher began his internal
medicine training at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis. Following residency,
Dr. Gallagher received his research training in the Robert Wood Johnson
Clinical Scholars Program at the University of California, San Francisco,
under the mentorship of Dr. Bernard Lo. After fellowship Dr. Gallagher
returned to Washington University in St. Louis as a faculty member
in the Department of Medicine, Division of General Medical Sciences.
While at Washington University Dr. Gallagher pursued research,
educational and administrative activities. Along with his research,
Dr. Gallagher developed and served as coursemaster for The Practice
of Medicine, a required, 3-year long, 300-hour integrated medical
school course. His work in curriculum development led to his selection
as an inaugural recipient of the Samuel L. Goldstein Award for excellence
in medical student education. Dr. Gallagher also chaired the Barnes-Jewish
Hospital Bioethics Committee.
After six years on the faculty at Washington
University, Dr. Gallagher accepted a position at the University of
Washington in both the Departments
of Medicine and the Department of Bioethics & Humanities. In
addition to his research, Dr. Gallagher co-directs the Research Subject
Advocate Program at the General Clinical Research Center, a program
designed to enhance the safety of research participants. Dr. Gallagher
also serves as a physician in the General Medicine Clinic at Roosevelt
and as an inpatient attending physician.
Dr. Gallagher’s research first examined how financial conflicts
of interest affect the managed care doctor-patient relationship. Dr.
Gallagher’s initial research involved inserting unannounced standardized
patients in managed care physicians’ actual patient schedules
to study how physicians respond to requests for unindicated services.
Dr. Gallagher then served as Principal Investigator for a nationwide
survey of 1,000 randomly selected members of the general public regarding
their attitudes towards financial incentives for managed care physicians.
Dr. Gallagher also published an analysis of Federal policies for managed
care financial incentives, as well as a focus-group study of physicians’ experiences
of financial conflicts of interest in managed care plans.
Recently, Dr. Gallagher’s research focus has shifted to a different
conflict of interest in the doctor-patient relationship, namely the
disclosure of medical errors. His current work examines patients’ and
doctors’ attitudes about medical error disclosure. His focus
group study on this topic was recently published in JAMA. At present
he is conducting a large survey to understand physicians’ attitudes
and experiences regarding communicating with patients, colleagues,
and health care institutions about medical errors. His work is supported
by career development awards from the Greenwall Foundation Faculty
Scholars in Bioethics Program and from the Agency for Healthcare Research
- Gallagher TH. "Medical Errors in the
Outpatient Setting: Ethics in Practice." Journal of Clinical Ethics, 2002;13:4
- Gallagher TH, Waterman
A, Ebers A, Fraser V, Levinson W. "Patients’ and
physicians’ attitudes towards the disclosure of medical errors."
- Gallagher TH, St. Peter RF, Chesney M, Lo
B. "Patients’ attitudes
towards cost-control bonuses for managed care physicians." Health
- Gallagher TH, Levinson W. "A prescription for protecting
the doctor-patient relationship." Am J Managed Care.
- Gallagher TH, Levinson W. "Disclosing
harmful medical errors to patients: A call for professional action." Archives
of Internal Medicine, 2005;165:1819-1824.
Gallagher TH, Waterman A,
Garbutt J, Krygiel J, Chan D, Dunagan WC, Fraser V, Levinson
W. "US and Canadian Physicians’ Attitudes
Towards Patient Safety and Error Disclosure." Arch
Intern Med. 2006;166:1605-1611.
- Gallagher TH, Garbutt JM, Waterman AD, Flum DR, Larsen EB, Waterman
BM, Dunagan WC, Fraser VJ, Levinson W. "Choosing your words carefully;
how physicians would disclose harmful errors to patients." Arch
Intern Med. 2006;166:1585-1593.
- Gallagher TH, Studdert DM, Levinson W. "Disclosing harmful medical errors to patients." N Engl J Med 2007;356:2713-9.
- “Disclosing Medical Errors to Patients: Challenges
and Opportunities in Graduate Medical Education.” Plenary
Speaker, Patient Safety in GME meeting, University of New Mexico,
- “Identifying and Safely Overcoming the Barriers to
Disclosure.” Invited presentation, 6th Annual NPSF
Patient Safety Congress, Boston, MA 5/4/04.
- “Teaching Ethics Through Effective Communication,” co-presenter,
American Society of Bioethics and Humanities Annual Meeting, Philadelphia
- “Alternatives to Litigation-Roundtable Discussion,” invited
co-presenter, A Prescription for Patient Safety and Medical Liability:
New Solutions to an Old Dilemma,” conference convened by
the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations,
Alexandria, VA; 11/8/04.
- “Should We Disclose Harmful Medical Errors to Patients,
and If So How?” Invited presentation, ACGME Annual
Meeting, Chicago, IL; 2/13/05
- “Enhancing the Process for Disclosing Harmful Medical
Errors to Patients,” keynote speaker, Baptist Health South
- “Searching for Safer Healthcare: A Leadership Forum,” Keynote
speaker, SUNY Buffalo, 3/30/05.
- “Talking With Your Patients About Medical Mistakes,” Invited
presentation, American College of Physicians Annual Meeting, San
- “Medical Errors in Oncology: Patients’ and Physicians’ Attitudes
and Management Strategies,” Invited presentation, American
Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, Orlando 5/13/05.
- “US and Canadian Surgeons’ Attitudes Towards
Disclosing Harmful Medical Errors to Patients.” Invited Grand
Rounds presentation, Dept. of Surgery, Emory University, 7/27/05.
- “Error Disclosure and Apology Workshop”, Invited
presentation, The Patient Safety Imperative, Harvard Medical School
CME Course, Boston, 10/21/05.
- “Risk Managers’ and Physicians’ Attitudes
Regarding Error Disclosure”, Invited presentation, ASHRM
Annual Meeting, San Antonio, 10/24/05
- “Should Surgeons Disclose Harmful Medical Errors to
Patients?, If So, How?”, Invited presentation, Surgical Caucus
of the AMA, Dallas, 11/5/05.
- “What to Do With the Unanticipated Outcome? Does Apologizing
Make A Difference? How Does Early Resolution Impact Settlement
Outcome?” Invited presentation, Medical Liability and Healthcare
Loss Seminar, Defense Research Institute Annual Meeting, 3/1/06.
- “Should We Disclosure Harmful Medical Errors to Patients?,
If So, How?, Invited presentation, American Association of Physiatry
Annual Meeting, 3/4/06.
- “Surgeons’ Disclosure of Harmful Errors to Patients:
What is the data telling ?” Parviz Kamangar Humanities In
Surgery Lectureship”, American Society of Colon and Rectal
Surgeons Annual Meeting, 6/6/06.
Awards, Honors and Grants Received:
Principal Investigator, "Using
Team Simulation to Improve Error Disclosure to Patients and Safety
Culture", Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 9/30/2006-9/29/2008
Greenwall Foundation Faculty Scholars
in Bioethics Award, 7/1/03-6/30/07
- Principal Investigator, "Enhancing
the Disclosure of Medical Errors to Patients", Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality, 10/1/2003-10/1/2006
- Co-Investigator, "Surveillance, Analysis,
and Interventions to Improve Patient Safety", Agency for
Healthcare Research and Quality, 10/1/2001-10/1/2005
- Marion E. Smith Junior Faculty Research Award
- Best Published Research Paper of the Year, Society
of General Internal Medicine, 2004.