University of Wisconsin–Madison

Dennis Fryback


Professor Emeritus, Population Health Sciences and Industrial & Systems Engineering

Professor Fryback joined the faculty at UW in 1975 and retired from active teaching and mentoring in 2008. He specialized in methodological issues underpinning medical decision making, cost-effectiveness analysis of health care interventions, and health policy. Evaluation of imaging technologies, computer simulation applied to understanding natural history of breast cancer, evaluation of preventive interventions, and application of Bayesian analysis to cost-effectiveness computations, and application of health-related quality of life measures to populations are among the projects he headed. He continues to conduct research using the data set he helped to create, the National Health Measurement Study, which is now publicly available.

Dr. Fryback was a member of the US Preventive Services Task Force and also of the US Panel on Cost-Effectiveness in Health and Medicine, two working groups which have been influential for US policy about comparative effectiveness research methods in health care. Among many honors he received are the career achievement award of the Society for Medical Decision Making, which he helped to found over 30 years ago, and election to the Institute of Medicine of the US National Academies.

An occasional visitor to Population Health Sciences, Dr. Fryback now resides in Huntington Beach, California.

Professor Fryback developed PHS 875: Assessing Medical Technologies, and taught it from 1989 to 2003. He also redeveloped the course PHS 876: Measuring Health Outcomes, and taught it from 2004-2007. He co-developed and organized the PHS undergraduate introduction to population health sciences course.