Walton Sumner, MD

Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine
decision making, decision support, tobacco use, simulation, graduate education, decision analysis, evidence-based practice, dissemination & implementation research

Dr. Sumner’s research activities have involved integration of decision support with patient encounter documentation for trainees, and health care insurance reform. He is the co-developer of a virtual patient simulation program used by the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) in the continuing medical education of 70,000 family physicians. He is now developing data mining, preference assessment and decision analytic procedures for this program to identify primary care scenarios and management decisions that lead to sub-optimal outcomes from patients’ perspectives.

An early advocate of harm reduction using inhaled nicotine, Dr. Sumner also works with tobacco control colleagues on the Medical Campus and the Williams aerosol laboratory on the Danforth Campus to discover how electronic cigarettes work. His goal is to develop effective, inexpensive and simple smoking cessation products that are safer than cigarettes or even electronic cigarettes.