Margaret Plews-Ogan, MD MS

Bernard B. and Anne L. Brodie Teaching Associate Professor of Medicine 
University of Virginia School of Medicine 
Charlottesville, VA 22903 

Phone: 434-924-1931 

Dr. Plews-Ogan’s research and teaching has focused on fostering humanism, professionalism and wisdom in medicine, and on the use of positive approaches to change in academic medicine, including patient safety and quality.  She founded the Center for Appreciative Practice, which uses appreciative inquiry to improve processes of care and training in healthcare, and which promotes appreciative practices (compassion, reflective practice, narrative, positivity, mindfulness) in a variety of ways, including Schwartz Center rounds and CME workshops on applying appreciative practices in teaching, care delivery and leadership.  The Center has helped over 40 microsystems to facilitate the improvement of care and education. The Center consults on leadership, strategic planning and innovation for health systems and academic centers interested in using an appreciative inquiry approach to positive change.  Dr. Plews-Ogan was Principle Investigator on the Wisdom in Medicine Project, a 3 year long study on how people, including doctors and patients, develop wisdom out of difficult circumstances.  One part of this project studied how physicians learn and grow in the wake of a medical error which resulted in a Public Television documentary, a book and training DVDs for physicians on coping with mistakes. Dr. Plews-Ogan has created a disclosure training and peer support program for health systems , and curricula for medical students and residents in coping with mistakes. Her work has also resulted in training DVDs for physicians who work with patients suffering from chronic pain.  This DVD has positive stories of patients who have moved through that experience in a positive way, helping physicians understand patients with pain in an empowering, positive frame.  Dr. Plews-Ogan is now involved, through the Phronesis Project at the University of Virginia (, in helping young health professions student develop the capacity for wisdom development throughout their lives as caregivers, fostering capacities for forgiveness, humility, curiosity, gratitude. 

Books published: 

Founding director, Center for Appreciative Practice: 

Wisdom through adversity: 

Big Questions Online blog entry: