Photo of Richard A. Deyo, M.D., M.P.H.

Richard A. Deyo M.D., M.P.H.

  • (503) 494-1694
    • Professor of Family Medicine School of Medicine
    • Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics School of Medicine
    • Investigator Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences

Richard Deyo is OHSU Professor in the Department of Family Medicine at Oregon Health and Science University. Dr. Deyo is a 1971 graduate of Grinnell college. He completed Medical School at Penn State (Hershey Medical Center), and a residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He then completed a research fellowship and MPH degree at the University of Washington as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar.  

Deyo is a Deputy Editor of Spine and a member of the Editorial Board of the Back Review Group of the Cochrane Collaboration. He is co-editor of the book Evidence-Based Clinical Practice: Concepts and Approaches. In 2004, he received the John M. Eisenberg Award for career achievement in research from the Society of General Internal Medicine. In 2015,  He received the Wiltse Lifetime Achievement Award, International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine. He is a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. 

Dr. Deyo has a long-standing research interest in measuring patient function, involving patients in clinical decisions, and managing low back pain. He has recently been studying inappropriate use of medical technology, and the commercial, political, and media forces that affect it. A resulting book, Hope or Hype: The Obsession with Medical Advances and the High Cost of False Promises, was published in 2005. His most recent book is Watch Your Back! How the back pain industry is costing us more and giving us less – and what you can do to inform and empower yourself in seeking treatment (Cornell University Press, 2014).

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Areas of interest

  • Measuring patient function
  • Involving patients in clinical decisions
  • Managing low back pain
  • Inappropriate use of medical technology, and the commercial, political, and media forces that affect it


  • M.D., Pennsylvania State University -Hershey Medical Center, Hershey Pennsylvania United States 1975
  • M.P.H., University of Washington, Seattle Washington United States 1981
  • Internship:

    • University of Texas Health Science Center, Department of Medicine, San Antonio, Texas (UTHSCSA)
  • Residency:

    • University of Texas Health Science Center, Department of Medicine, San Antonio, Texas
  • Fellowship:

    • Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, University of Washington
  • Certifications:

    • Diplomate, American Board of Internal Medicine

Honors and awards

  • 2002, Elected to Association of American Physicians (AAP)
  • 2004, John M. Eisenberg Award for Career Achievement in Research; Society of General Internal Medicine
  • 2007, Grinnell College Alumni Award
  • 2015, Wiltse Lifetime Achievement Award, International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine

Memberships and associations

  • American College of Physicians; Fellow
  • Society of General Internal Medicine:
  • American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI)
  • Association of American Physicians (AAP)
  • Society of Teachers of Family Medicine


Selected publications

  • Deyo RA. The role of spinal manipulation in the treatment of low back pain. JAMA 2017; 317(14): 1418-1419. (editorial)

  • Deyo RA, Hallvik SE, Hildebran C, Marino M, Dexter E, Irvine JM, O'Kane N, Van Otterloo J, Wright DA, Leichtling G, Millet LM. Association between initial opioid prescribing patterns and subsequent long-term use among opioid-naïve patients: a statewide retrospective cohort study. J Gen Intern Med. 2017; 32 (1): 21-27

  • Deyo RA, Mirza SK. Clinical Practice. Herniated Lumbar Intervertebral Disk. N Engl J Med 2016; 374: 1763-72.

  • Deyo RA, Ramsey K, Buckley DI, Michaels L, Kobus A, Eckstrom E, Forro V, Morris C. Performance of a Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS) Short Form in Older Adults with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain. Pain Med. 2016; 17: 314-324.

  • Deyo RA. Can Parsimonious Practice Please Patients and Practitioners? The Case of Spine Imaging. J Gen Intern Med. 2016; 31; 140-141. (Editorial)

  • Deyo RA, Comstock BA, Turner JA, Heagerty P, Friedly J, Avins AL, Nedeljkovic SS, Nerenz DR, Jarvik JG. Trajectories of symptoms and function in older adults with low back disorders. Spine 2015; 40: 1352-62.

  • Deyo RA, Von Korff M, Durhkoop D. State of the Art Review: Opioids for low back pain. BMJ 2015; 350:g6380

  • Deyo RA. Fusion Surgery for lumbar degenerative disc disease: still more questions than answers. (Commentary) Spine J 2015; 15: 272-4.

  • Deyo RA, Dworkin SF, Amtmann D, Andersson G, Borenstein D, Carragee E, Carrino J, Chou R, Cook K, Delitto A, Goertz C, Khalsa P, Loeser J, Mackey S, Panagis J, Rainville J, Tosteson T, Turk D, Von Korff M, Weiner DK. Report of the NIH Task Force on Research Standards for Chronic Low Back Pain. J Pain 2014; 15: 569-85.

  • Deyo RA, Irvine J, Millet L, Beran T, O’Kane N, Wright D, McCarty D. Measures such as interstate cooperation would improve the efficacy of programs to track controlled drug prescriptions. Health Affairs 2013 Mar; 32(3): 603-613.


  • "A biologic without guidelines" Spine Journal October 2012
  • "Spinal fluid surgery." Spine Journal November 2005
  • "Costs and cost-effectiveness of spinal cord stimulation (SCS) for failed back surgery syndrome" Spine November 15 2011
  • "Correlates of higher-dose opioid medication use for low back pain in primary care" Journal of Pain November 2012
  • "The Effectiveness of Four Interventions for the Prevention of Low Back Pain" JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association  1994
  • "Letters" Spine  1994
  • "Responsiveness and validity in health status measurement" Journal of Clinical Epidemiology  1989
  • "Surgical trials for pain relief" Pain November 2012
  • "Complications and mortality associated with cervical spine surgery for degenerative disease in the United States" Spine February 2007
  • "Validation of case-mix measures derived from self-reports of diagnoses and health" Journal of Clinical Epidemiology  2002
  • "Adapting a clinical comorbidity index for use with ICD-9-CM administrative databases" Journal of Clinical Epidemiology  1992
  • "Rapid MR imaging versus plain radiography in patients with low back pain" Radiology  1997
  • "E-mail discussion group may improve health outcomes for people with back pain" Evidence-Based Healthcare  2002
  • "Five-week outcomes from a dosing trial of therapeutic massage for chronic neck pain" Annals of Family Medicine March 2014
  • "The Maine Lumbar Spine Study, part II" Spine August 1 1996
  • "Correlates of prescription opioid initiation and long-term opioid use in veterans with persistent pain" Clinical Journal of Pain February 2013
  • "An assessment of surgery for spinal stenosis" Journal of the American Geriatrics Society March 1996
  • "Physical examination for lumbar radiculopathy due to disc herniation in patients with low-back pain." The Cochrane database of systematic reviews  2010
  • "Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for low back pain" The Cochrane database of systematic reviews  2008
  • "Validation of a minimum outcome core set in the evaluation of patients with back pain" Spine May 2006
  • "Measuring physical and psychosocial function in patients with low-back pain" Spine  1983
  • "Tens for chronic low back pain (Reply)" New England Journal of Medicine  1990
  • "Estimates of the prevalence of arthritis and selected musculoskeletal disorders in the United States" Arthritis and Rheumatology May 1998
  • "Response to letter from Ms Jane Shipley" Medical Care January 2012
  • "A response to Wasan editorial "Spinal cord stimulation in a workers' compensation population" Pain May 2010
  • "Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for low back pain" Spine July 15 2008
  • "Comparing recruitment strategies in a study of acupuncture for chronic back pain" BMC Medical Research Methodology  2009
  • "Dropouts and broken appointments" Medical Care  1980
  • "An interactive videodisc program for low back pain patients" Health Education Research December 1996
  • "In Reply" JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association February 22 1985

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