Joann G. Elmore

Dr. Joann G. Elmore is a professor of health policy and management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and of medicine in the Division of General Internal Medicine, in the Department of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She also serves as Director of the UCLA National Clinician Scholars Program. She is a national leader in academic general internal medicine and has a distinguished career as an investigator, mentor, administrator and educator.  

Dr. Elmore’s research has consistently addressed questions that push the boundaries of our scientific knowledge in areas that include cancer screening, diagnostic accuracy, medical technology, statistical methods, medical education, computer image analyses and machine learning, health IT and OpenNotes, patient engagement and health care delivery. Her pivotal research in cancer screening, with notable publications in NEJM and JAMA, has been practice changing. Her continuous NIH funding for over 25 years underscores Dr. Elmore’s long tradition of research success. She is currently Principal Investigator for three multi-center R01s, and she also has a long history of gaining support from major foundations. In addition to over 200 publications, Dr. Elmore has co-authored a textbook on epidemiology, biostatistics, preventive medicine and public health that has been translated into several languages and is used by graduate students internationally. 

In prior years, Dr. Elmore served as faculty at Yale University and was an Associate Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program at Yale and the University of Washington. She was previously a professor of medicine and adjunct professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington, as well as an affiliate investigator with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Group Health Research Institute. In addition, Dr. Elmore served as head of general internal medicine at Harborview Medical Center from 2000 to 2010. 

Dr. Elmore received her medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine and completed residency training in internal medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital, with advanced training in epidemiology from the Yale School of Epidemiology and Public Health and the RWJF Clinical Scholars Program. Dr. Elmore is board certified in internal medicine and serves on many national and international committees. She is Editor in Chief for Primary Care at UpToDate and enjoys seeing patients as a primary care internist and teaching clinical medicine to students and residents. 


  • Fellowship, Infectious Diseases, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • Fellowship, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • MPH, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • MD, Honors in Research and Teaching, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA
  • BS, Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

Areas of Interest

  • Diagnostic accuracy
  • Physician variability
  • Cancer screening (e.g., skin and breast)
  • Pathology
  • Melanoma
  • Breast cancer
  • Patient engagement (OpenNotes)
  • AI/machine learning (diagnostic aid tools for skin and breast pathology)
  • Post graduate medical education
  • Interprofessional and multidisciplinary training

Selected Publications


  • Elmore JG, Eguchi MM, Barnhill RL, et al. Effect of Prior Diagnoses on Dermatopathologists’ Interpretations of Melanocytic Lesions: A Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA. 2022;158(9):1040–1047. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2022.2932
  • Elmore JG, Longton G, Carney PA, Geller B, Onega T, Tosteson ANA, Nelson HD, Pepe MS, Allison KH, Schnitt SJ, O'malley FP, Weaver DL. Diagnostic Concordance Among Pathologists Interpreting Breast Biopsy Specimens. JAMA. 2015;313(11):1122-1132.
  • Elmore, JG, Barnhill, RL, Elder, DE, Longton, GM, Pepe, MS, Resich, LM, Carney, PA, Titus, LJ, Nelson, HD, Onega, T, Tosteson, ANA, Weinstock, MA, Knezevich, SR, Piepkorn, MW. The Reproducibility and Accuracy of Pathologists’ Diagnosis of Invasive Melanoma and Melanocytic Proliferations. BMJ. 2017;357:j2813 


  • Elmore JG, Wells CK, Lee CH, Howard DH, Feinstein AR. Variability in Radiologists' Interpretations of Mammograms. N Engl J Med. 1994 Dec 1;331(22):1493-1499.
  • Elmore JG, Wells CK, Howard DH, Feinstein AR. The Impact of Clinical History on Mammographic Interpretations. JAMA. 1997 Jan 1;277(1):49-52.
  • Elmore JG, Barton MB, Moceri VM, Polk S, Arena PJ, Fletcher SW. Ten-Year Risk of False Positive Screening Mammograms and Clinical Breast Examinations. N Engl J Med. 1998 Apr 16;338(16):1089-1096.
  • Elmore JG, Armstrong K, Lehman CD, Fletcher SW. Screening for Breast Cancer. JAMA. 2005 Mar 9;293(10):1245-1256.

Computer and Machine Imaging Analysis/CAD

  • Fenton JJ, Taplin SH, Carney PA, Abraham L, Sickles EA, D’Orsi C, Berns EA, Cutter G, Hendrick RE, Barlow WE, Elmore JG. Influence of Computer-Aided Detection on Performance of Screening Mammography. N Engl J Med. 2007 Apr 5;356(14):1399-1409.
  • Ghezloo F, Wang PC, Kerr KF, Brunyé TT, Drew T, Chang OH, Reisch LM, Shapiro LG, Elmore JG. An analysis of pathologists' viewing processes as they diagnose whole slide digital images. J Pathol Inform. 2022 May 21;13:100104. doi: 10.1016/j.jpi.2022.100104. PMID: 36268085; PMCID: PMC9576972.
  • Mercan E, Shapiro LG, Brunye TT, Weaver DL, Elmore JG. Characterizing Diagnostic Search Patterns in Digital Breast Pathology: Scanners and Drillers. Journal of Digital Imaging. 2017 Jul 5. doi: 10.1007/s10278-017-9990-5.
  • Mercan E, Mehta S, Bartlett J, Shapiro LG, Weaver DL, Elmore JG. Assessment of Machine Learning of Breast Pathology Structures for Automated Differentiation of Breast Cancer and High-Risk Proliferative Lesions. JAMA Netw Open. 2019 Aug 2;2(8):e198777. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.8777. PubMed PMID: 31397859.
  • Nofallah S, Mokhtari M, Wu W, Mehta S, Knezevich S, May CJ, Chang OH, Lee AC, Elmore JG, Shapiro LG. Segmenting Skin Biopsy Images with Coarse and Sparse Annotations using U-Net. J Digit Imaging. 2022 May 2:1–12. doi: 10.1007/s10278-022-00641-8. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35501416; PMCID: PMC9060411. 
  • Nofallah S, Li B, Mokhtari M, Wu W, Knezevich S, May CJ, Chang OH, Elmore JG, Shapiro LG. Improving the Diagnosis of Skin Biopsies Using Tissue Segmentation. Diagnostics (Basel). 2022;12(7):1713. doi: 10.3390/diagnostics12071713. PMID: 35885617; PMCID: PMC9316584. 
  • Nofallah S, Wu W, Liu K, Ghezloo FElmore JG, Shapiro LG. Automated analysis of whole slide digital skin biopsy images. Front Artif Intell. 2022 Sep 20;5:1005086. doi: 10.3389/frai.2022.1005086. PMID: 36204597; PMCID: PMC9531680.

OpenNotes/Communication with Patients

  • Elmore JG, Ganschow PS, Geller BM. Communication Between Patients and Providers and Informed Decision Making. J Natl Cancer Inst Monogr. 2010;2010(41):204-209.
  • Walker J, Darer JD, Elmore JG, Delbanco T. The Road toward Fully Transparent Medical Records. NEJM. 2014 Jan 2; 370(1): 6-8.
  • Lee BS, Walker J, Delbanco T, Elmore JG. Transparent Electronic Medical Records and Lagging Laws. Ann Intern Med. 2016 Aug 2;165(3):219-20.