Douglas K. Owens

All FSI People Institute Faculty and Researchers

Douglas K. Owens, MD, MS

  • Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. Professor
  • Professor, Health Policy
  • Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Professor, Management Science & Engineering (by courtesy)
  • Chair, Department of Health Policy, School of Medicine
  • Director, Center for Health Policy, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies

Encina Commons, Room 201,
615 Crothers Way,
Stanford, CA 94305-6006

Administrative Assistant:
Sharon Beckstrand
(650) 736-0815

(650) 723-0933 (voice)
(650) 723-1919 (fax)


Douglas K. Owens is the Henry J. Kaiser, Jr. Professor, Chair of the Department of Health Policy in the Stanford University School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Health Policy (CHP) in the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI). He is a general internist, a Professor of Management Science and Engineering (by courtesy), at Stanford University; and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies.

Owens' research includes the application of decision theory to clinical and health policy problems; clinical decision making; methods for developing clinical guidelines; decision support; comparative effectiveness; modeling substance use and infectious diseases; cardiovascular disease; patient-centered decision making; assessing the value of health care services, including cost-effectiveness analysis; quality of care; and evidence synthesis.

Owens chaired the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians for four years. The guideline committee develops clinical guidelines that are used widely and are published regularly in the Annals of Internal Medicine. He was a member and then Vice-Chair and Chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which develops national guidelines on preventive care, including guidelines for screening for breast, colorectal, prostate, and lung cancer. He has helped lead the development of more than 50 national guidelines on treatment and prevention. He also was a member of the Second Panel on Cost Effectiveness in Health and Medicine, which developed guidelines for the conduct of cost-effectiveness analyses.

Owens also directed the Stanford-UCSF Evidence-based Practice Center. He co-directs the Stanford Health Services Research Program, and previously directed the VA Physician Fellowship in Health Services Research, and the VA Postdoctoral Informatics Fellowship Program.

Owens received a BS and an MS from Stanford University, and an MD from the University of California-San Francisco. He completed a residency in internal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a fellowship in health research and policy at Stanford. Owens is a past-President of the Society for Medical Decision Making. He received the VA Undersecretary’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Health Services Research, and the Eisenberg Award for Leadership in Medical Decision Making from the Society for Medical Decision Making. Owens also received a MERIT award from the National Institutes on Drug Abuse to study HIV, HCV, and the opioid epidemic. He was elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) and the Association of American Physicians (AAP.)