Mary C. Politi, PhD

Mary C. Politi, PhD

Professor of Surgery



PhD, Clinical Psychology, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., 2006

BA: Psychology (magna cum laude, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY, 2001

Teaching Appointments

Professor of Surgery, Division of Public Health Sciences
Researcher, Siteman Cancer Center
Faculty Scholar, Institute of Public Health

Professional Memberships

Society of Behavioral Medicine (Fellow, member, and active member of the Health Decision Making Special Interest Group)
Society for Medical Decision Making (member and co-chair, Patient Advisory Council to the Board)
Associate Editor, Medical Decision Making


Areas of Research Interest

Dr. Politi’s primary research interests include health communication and shared decision-making. Her work helps patients and the public understand health information, explore what is important to them when making health decisions, and collaborate to make evidence-informed decisions that meet their needs. She also trains health care professionals, public health advocates, and members of the public interested in shared decision-making and patient engagement. Dr. Politi’s research includes a focus on reducing health disparities by engaging communities with unmet health needs and including them in both research and dissemination efforts. She has expanded her work to study the financial toxicity (burden of care costs) of health care and ways to offset the high costs of care through insurance decisions and discussions about cost-saving strategies. She works extensively with stakeholders to ensure her research is relevant to end users in clinical and community settings.


Samson, P., Waters, E.A., Meyers, B. & Politi, M.C. (2016). Shared Decision Making and Effective Risk Communication in the High-Risk Patient With Operable Stage I Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer. Annals of Thoracic Surgery, 101(6):2049-52.

Tipirneni, R., Politi, M.C., Kullgren, J.T., Kieffer, E., Goold, S.D. & Scherer, A.M. (2018). Association of health insurance literacy and avoidance of health care services due to cost. JAMA Network Open, 1(7):e184796. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.4796 PMCID: PMC6324372

Politi, M.C., Lee, C.N., Philpott-Streiff, S.E., Foraker, R. Olsen, M.A., Merrill, C., Tao, Y. & Myckatyn, T.M. (2020). A randomized controlled trial evaluating the BREASTChoice tool for personalized decision support about breast reconstruction after mastectomy. Annals of Surgery, 271(2):230-237. DOI: 10.1097/SLA.0000000000003444.

Politi, MC, Grant, RL, George, NP, Barker, AR, James, AS, Kuroki, LM, McBride, TD, Liu, J, & Goodwin, CM (2020). Improving Cancer Patients’ Insurance Choices (I Can PIC): A randomized trial of a personalized health insurance decision aid. The Oncologist; 25:609–619. PMCID: PMC7356712

Aronson, P.L., Politi, M.C., Schaeffer, P., Fleischer, E., Shapiro, E.D., Niccolai, L.M., Alpern, E.R., Bernstein, S.L., Fraenkel, F. (2021). Development of an App to Facilitate Communication and Shared Decision-Making with Parents of Febrile Infants ≤60 Days Old. Acad Emerg Med, 28 (1), 46-59. DOI: 10.1111/acem.14082. PMCID: PMC7794092.


660 S. Euclid Ave.
Campus Box 8100
St. Louis, MO 63110

To contact Dr. Politi, call (314) 747-1967 or email