Mary Whooley, MD, FACP, FAHA, FACC


  • Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology & Biostatistics, UCSF
  • Director, Center for Health Care Improvement and Medical Effectiveness, San Francisco VA Health Care System


  • MD, Boston University
  • Internship and residency in internal medicine, UCSF
  • Fellowship in health services research, UCSF

Research focus

Dr. Whooley is a health services investigator focused on improving health behaviors in patients with cardiovascular disease. In 1997, she validated a two-question screening instrument for depression that is now referred to as the "Whooley questions" or “Yes/No PHQ-2” and used worldwide (JGIM, 1997). She currently serves as principal investigator of the Heart and Soul Study, a 15-year longitudinal study, which demonstrated that the adverse cardiovascular outcomes associated with depression are largely explained by poor health behaviors, especially physical inactivity (JAMA, 2008). Dr. Whooley also serves as PI of a PCORI-funded study, entitled "Improving Delivery of Patient-Centered Cardiac Rehabilitation.” She has mentored numerous junior investigators and coauthored more than 200 publications.

Clinical focus

Primary care physician

Teaching focus

Health services research; clinical epidemiology