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Health Services Research & Development

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National Mentoring Network (MNET) Mentor Profiles

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David F. Penson, M.D., M.P.H., M.M.H.C.
David F. Penson, M.D., M.P.H., M.M.H.C.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, Nashville, TN

Research Interests: Cancer, Clinical Decision, Healthcare Policy, Quality Measurement, Specialty Care, CER(Comparative Effectiveness Research)

Dr. David Penson is a board-certified urologic oncologist who focuses on urological malignancies, particularly bladder and prostate cancer. He is an internationally recognized expert in the care of both of these common cancers and is also a federally funded researcher with a focus on patient-reported outcomes, survivorship and comparative effectiveness in prostate cancer. He serves as the American Urologic Association National Chair for Healthcare Policy and is the organization's representative to the Commission on Cancer. Dr. Penson is Professor of Urologic Surgery and Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, as well as the Director of the Vanderbilt Center for Surgical Quality and Outcomes Research. He is also a staff physician for the Urology/Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the VA Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. Dr. Penson’s primary research interest has been in using population-based cohorts and assessing patient-reported outcomes in conditions treated with surgical procedures, specifically prostate cancer. His additional interests include (but are not limited to) cost-effectiveness analyses, exploring disparities in access and quality of care across numerous surgical conditions. He also maintains a focus on improving clinical decision-making.


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