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Julie Bynum, M.D.

Associate Professor, Internal Medicine
Dartmouth Medical School
2006-2009 Cohort
Project Title: "Decision Quality among the Frail Elderly-How Do Local Health Care Systems Perform?"

About the Project:

There is growing concern that the U.S. health care system fails to meet the needs of the most rapidly growing segment of the U.S. population -- the oldest old. Addressing the gap between the services we provide and what really matters to patients is a major challenge in health care as the population ages. The process of providing high quality decision support involves clarifying the patient values as they relate to the options, and giving guidance to choose what best aligns with the patients individual values. The strength of this approach for elderly people, in whom multiple competing conditions are common, is the emphasis on including how the individuals goals and values will be promoted or impeded by the decision at hand. Dr. Bynum conducted a qualitative study of people 80 and older, recruited in rural New Hampshire and in urban Memphis, Tennessee, to determine how they experienced the health care decision-making in the clinic setting and assessed the factors that either facilitate or act as barriers to receiving adequate decision support.


Julie Bynum, M.D. is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice at Dartmouth Medical School and is Associate Director of the Center for Health Policy Research. Her primary research interest is in how effectively current systems of care address the needs of the high risk elderly, especially those over the age of 80 and the cognitively impaired.

Dr. Bynum received both her medical degree and Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She completed her residency in primary care internal medicine at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Following a chief residency year at DHMC, she returned to Johns Hopkins for a research fellowship in Geriatrics. She was appointed to the DMS faculty in 2003 and obtained an early career development award from the American Geriatric Society Foundation for Health in Aging Junior Faculty Scholars Program for Research on Health Outcomes in Geriatrics. She is currently funded under the National Institute of Aging’s Beeson Career Development Award in Aging. In 2008, she was named one of two inaugural Thompson Faculty Fellows at The Dartmouth Institute in recognition of her work and potential for future growth.

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