Susan Pitt headshot

Susan Pitt, MD, MPHS, FACS

Associate Professor of Surgery
Director of Engagement, Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy


Dr. Susan Pitt, MD, MPHS is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Director of Endocrine Surgery Health Services Research at the University of Michigan. Dr. Pitt also serves as the Director of Engagement at the Center for Healthcare Outcomes and Policy. In this role, she leads didactic research and career development related educations programming the Center.

She founded the CHOiCE Collaborative (Comparing Health Outcomes in Cancer Experience) to improve the outcomes and experience of patients with low-risk thyroid cancer through comparative effectiveness research and better understanding patient-surgeon treatment decisions. Dr. Pitt earned her medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin and completed general surgery residency at Washington University in St. Louis where she also earned a Masters in Population Health Science focused on shared decision-making and health literacy. During a 2-year research fellowship at the University of Wisconsin, she was awarded an NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (T32) an American College of Surgeons Resident Research Scholarship. Dr. Pitt completed a clinical research fellowship in Endocrine Surgery at Brigham & Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA.

Dr. Pitt joined the endocrine surgery faculty at the University of Michigan in 2021 after being faculty at the University of Wisconsin for six years. Clinically, she specializes in surgically treating diseases of the thyroid, parathyroid, and adrenal glands. Her research program funded by the National Cancer Institute focuses on reducing overtreatment of low-risk thyroid cancer through behavioral interventions as well as implementation of less-invasive management strategies like active surveillance. Dr. Pitt’s team also investigates the effect of emotion (fear, anxiety, worry) and uncertainty on overutilization in healthcare.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of multiple professional societies including the Association of Academic Surgeons, American Thyroid Association, American Association of Endocrine Surgeons, and the Surgical Outcomes Club.


Impact of Emotions on Treatment Decisions About Low-Risk Thyroid Cancer

K08 CA230204 (Pitt, PI) 7/1/18 - 6/30/23 - This project investigates how emotions experienced by patients influence treatment decisions about small, low-risk thyroid cancer.

Published Articles or Reviews

Pitt SC, Saucke MC. Novel decision support interventions for low-risk thyroid cancer. JAMA Otolaryngol Head & Neck Surg 2020 Sep 24;146(11):1079-81.   PMID: 32970109

Jensen CB, Saucke MC, Francis DO, Voils CI, Pitt SC. From overdiagnosis to overtreatment: Attitudes and beliefs of surgeons, endocrinologists, and patients with thyroid cancer. Thyroid 2020;30(5):696-703.   PMID: 31910092

Jensen CB, Saucke MC, Pitt SC. Active surveillance for thyroid cancer: A qualitative study barriers and facilitators to implementation. BMC Cancer 2021;21(1):471.  PMID: 33910527

Pitt SC, Saucke MC, Roman BR, Voils C. The influence of emotions on treatment decisions about low-risk thyroid cancer: A Qualitative Study. Thyroid 2021 Oct 12. doi: 10.1089/thy.2021.0323. Online ahead of print.  PMID: 34641715

Pitt SC, Yang N, Saucke MC, Marka N, Hanlon B, Long KL, McDow AD, Brito JP, Roman BR. Adoption of active surveillance in the United States: Results of a national survey. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 Dec 29:dgaa942. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa942. Online ahead of print.  PMID: 33373458

Pitt SC, Saucke MC, Wendt EM, Schneider DF, Orne J, Macdonald CL, Connor NP, Sippel RS.  Patients’ reaction to diagnosis with thyroid cancer or an indeterminate thyroid nodule.  Thyroid 2021;31(4):580-588. PMID: 33012267

McDow AD, Roman BR, Saucke MC, Davies L, Brito JP, Pitt SC. Factors associated with physicians’ treatment recommendations for low-risk papillary thyroid cancer. Am J Surg 2021;222(1):111-118.  PMID: 33248684

Roman BR, Brito JP, Saucke MC, Jensen CB, Tuttle RM, Davies L, Pitt SC. National survey of endocrinologists and surgeons regarding active surveillance for low-risk papillary thyroid cancer. Endocrine Practice 2021;27(1):1-7.

McDow AD, Saucke MC, Marka NA, Long KL, Pitt SC. Thyroid lobectomy for low-risk papillary thyroid cancer: A national survey of low and high-volume surgeons. Ann Surg Oncol 2021;28(7):3568-3575.

Pitt SC, Wendt E, Saucke MC, Voils, CI, Orne J, Macdonald C, Connor NP, Sippel RS.  A qualitative analysis of the preoperative needs of patients with papillary thyroid cancer.  J Surg Research 2019;244:324-331.  PMID: 31306889

Jensen CB, Pitt SC. Patient perception of receiving a thyroid cancer diagnosis. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes 2021;28(5):533-539.  PMID: 34468403

 A complete list of published articles can be found here.