John Greist

Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry
Professor of Psychiatry - Emeritus, University of Wisconsin, School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI
Affiliate Professor, Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Montana State University
Chief Medical Officer, MERET Solutions, Madison, WI

John Greist, MD, is a world leader in clinical research on anxiety and mood disorders, psychopharmacology and behavior therapy with specific expertise in the clinical applications of computing. Dr. Greist has conducted more than 200 NIH- and industry-funded clinical trials to improve treatments for individuals with mental disorders. Beginning in 1971, Dr. Greist directed computerized research efforts to provide psychiatric information to care providers and patients at the University of Wisconsin Department of Psychiatry: Psychiatric Computer Laboratory (1971-1992), Lithium Information Center (1974-2013), Bipolar Disorders Treatment Information Center (1999-2013), and the Obsessive-Compulsive Information Center (1999-2013). Notably, his efforts in computerized medicine led him to co-found Epic Systems, the most widely-used electronic health record system in the US. Additionally, Dr. Greist co-founded Healthcare Technology Systems, PRN Systems, and MERET Solutions.

Dr. Greist has published more than 300 articles in professional journals, books such as the Lithium Encyclopedia for Clinical Practice, Depression and Its Treatment, a variety of patient booklets in the Madison Institute of Medicine's Guide Series, and book chapters. Finally, Dr. Greist has trained a generation of psychiatry residents and clinical researchers.

Research Interests: 

Dr. Greist is dedicated to improving mental health treatments and reducing suicide across the US. His research efforts focus on testing innovative, computer-based therapies and assessment tools for mental disorders. Currently, he is involved in a pragmatic, controlled trial of Thrive, a leading computerized cognitive behavior therapy (cCBT) for depression and suicide prevention in Montana and a related RCT of Thrive within the Kaiser Permanente system in Washington and California. He plans to collaborate with Drs. Byerly and Lindow (University of Arizona/SAVAHC) to adapt Thrive for military veterans in an effort to reduce the high rate of suicide among veterans.

Selected Publications: 

Schure MB, Howard M, Bailey SJ, Bryan B, Greist J.  Exploring Perceptions of a Computerized Cognitive Behavior Therapy Program in a U.S. Rural Western State.  Rural Ment Health. 2018 Jul-Oct;42(3-4):174-183.

Schure MB, Lindow JC, Greist JH, Nakonezny PA, Bailey SJ, Bryan B, and MJ Byerly. A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Fully Automated Internet-Based Cognitive Behavior Therapy Intervention in a Community Population of Adults with Depression Symptoms. J Med Internet Res. 2019 Nov 18;21(11):e14754. doi: 10.2196/14754. PMID: 31738173

Gwaltney C, Mundt JC, Greist JH, Paty J, Tiplady B. Interactive Voice Response and Text-based Self-report Versions of the Electronic Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale Are Equivalent. Innov Clin Neurosci. 2017 Apr 1;14(3-4):17-23. PMID: 28584693

Kobak KA, Greist R, Jacobi DM, Levy-Mack H, Greist JH. Computer-assisted cognitive behavior therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder: a randomized trial on the impact of lay vs. professional coaching. Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2015 Feb 22;14:10. doi: 10.1186/s12991-015-0048-0. PMID: 2572273

Greist JH, Mundt JC, Gwaltney CJ, Jefferson JW and Posner K:  Predictive Value of Baseline Electronic Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale (eC-SSRS) Assessments for Identifying Risk of Prospective Reports of Suicidal Behavior During Research Participation.  Innov Clin Neurosci 11(9-10):23-31, 2014.

Mundt JC, Greist JH, Jefferson JW, Federico M, Mann JJ and Posner K:  Prediction of Suicidal Behavior in Clinical Research by Lifetime Suicidal Ideation and Behavior Ascertained by the Electronic Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale.  Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 74(9):887-893, 2013. 

Oakes TM, Katona C, Liu P, Robinson M, Raskin J and Greist JH:  Safety and Tolerability of Duloxetine in Elderly Patients with Major Depressive Disorder:  A Pooled Analysis of Two Placebo-Controlled Studies.  International Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology Nov 7, 2012. 

Martinez JM, Katon W, Greist JH, Kroenke K, Thase ME, Meyers AL, Edwards SE, Marangell LB, Shoemaker S and Swindle R:  A Pragmatic 12-Week, Randomized Trial of Duloxetine Versus Generic Selective Serotonin-Reuptake Inhibitors in the Treatment of Adult Outpatients in a Moderate-to-Severe Depressive Episode.  International Clinical Psychopharmacology 27(1):17-26, 2012.

Greist JH, Liu-Dumaw M, Schweizer E and Feltner D:  Efficacy of Pregabalin in Preventing Relapse in Patients with Generalized Social Anxiety Disorder:  Results of a Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled 26-Week Study.  International Clinical Psychopharmacology 26(5):243-251, 2011.  (PubMed PMID: 21734588)

McCrone P, Marks IM, Greist JH, Baer L, Kobak KA, Wenzel KW and Hirsch MJ:  Cost-Effectiveness of Computer-Aided Behaviour Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.  Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 76(4):249-250, 2007.

Moore HK, Hughes CW, Mundt JC, Rush AJ, Macleod L, Emslie GJ, Jain S, Geralts DS, Bernstein IH, Horrigan JP, Trivedi MH and Greist JH:  A Pilot Study of an Electronic, Adolescent Version of the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology.  Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 68(9):1436-1440, 2007.  

Baer L, Greist J, Marks IM:  Computer-Aided Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.  Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 76(4):193-195, 2007. 

Mundt JC, DeBrota DJ and Greist JH:  Anchoring Perceptions of Clinical Change on Accurate Recollection of the Past:  Memory Enhanced Retrospective Evaluation of Treatment (MERET®).  Psychiatry 4(3):39-45, 2007. 

Moore HK, Wohlreich MM, Wilson MG, Mundt JC, Fava M, Mallinckrodt CH and Greist JH:  Using Daily interactive voice response assessments.  Psychiatry 2007 4(3):30-38, 2007.

Moore HK, Mundt JC, Modell JG, Rodrigues HE, DeBrota DJ, Jefferson JW and Greist JH:  An Examination of 26,168 Hamilton Depression Rating Scale Scores Administered via Interactive Voice Response Across 17 Randomized Clinical Trials.  Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology 26(3):321-324, 2006. 

Greist JH, Marks IM, Baer L, Kobak KA, Wenzel KW, Hirsch MJ, Mantle JM and Clary CM:  Behavior Therapy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Guided by a Computer or by a Clinician Compared with Relaxation as a Control.  Journal of Clinical Psychiatry 63(2):138-145, 2002.

Agel J, Rockwood T, Mundt JC, Greist JH and Swiontkowski M:  Comparison of Interactive Voice Response and Written Self-Administered Patient Surveys for Clinical Research.  Orthopedics 24(12):1155-1157, 2001. 

Greist JH, Osgood-Hynes DJ, Baer L and Marks IM:  Technology-Based Advances in the Management of Depression.  Focus on the COPE™ Program.  Disease Management & Health Outcomes 7(4):193-200, 2000. 

Kobak KA, Mundt JC, Greist JH, Katzelnick DJ and Jefferson JW:  Computer Assessment of Depression: Automating the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale.  Drug Information Journal 34(1):145-156, 2000. 

Nakagawa A, Marks IM, P JM, Bachofen M, Baer L, Dottl SL and Greist JH: Self-Treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Guided by Manual and Computer-Conducted Telephone Interview.  Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare 6:22-26, 2000. 

Kobak KA, Greist JH, Jefferson JW, Mundt JC and Katzelnick DJ: Computerized Assessment of Depression and Anxiety Over the Telephone Using Interactive Voice Response.  MD Computing 16(3):64-68, 1999.

Selmi PM, Klein MH, Greist JH, Sorrell SP and Erdman HP:  Computer-administered cognitive-behavioral therapy for depression.  American Journal of Psychiatry 147:51-56, 1990.

Greist JH, Gustafson DH, Stauss FF, Rowse GL, Laughren TP and Chiles JA:  A computer interview for suicide-risk prediction.  Am J Psychiatry 130:1327-1332, 1973.

Slack WV, Van Cura LJ and Greist JH:  Computers and doctors:  Use and consequences.  Comp Biomed Res 3:521-527, 1970.

Greist JH:  William Osler's Education.  Wisconsin Medical Journal 67:219‑222, 1968 and 67:256‑259, 1968

  • AB: Princeton University, 1961
  • MD: Indiana University, 1965
Honors and Awards
  • Distinguished Teaching Award, University of Wisconsin Medical School, 1967
  • Visiting Colleague and Honorary Consultant Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley and Bethlem Royal Hospitals, 1977
  • Co-founder Human Services Computing (Epic Systems), 1979
  • Distinguished Professor Award, Florida Hospital Center for Psychiatry and Monarch Psychiatric Services, Orlando, FL, 1992
  • Distinguished Senior Scientist, Dean Foundation for Health, Research and Education, 1992-1998
  • Psychiatric Perspectives Award, University of Florida, 1993
  • The Best Mental Health Experts in the U.S., Good Housekeeping magazine, 19
  • Exemplary Psychiatrist Award, National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 1995
  • Co-founder Healthcare Technology Systems, 1998
  • Contributing Editor, Psychiatric Services, A Journal of the American Psychiatric Association, 1995-2000
  • The Best Doctors in America, 1998-2000
  • Peer Review Circle of Honor, The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 2008, 2009
  • International Society for CNS Drug Development (ISCDD) Award, Recognition of Leadership, 2014
  • Patricia Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award, International Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Foundation (IOCDF) Conference, 2015
  • Medicine Intern, University of Wisconsin, 1965 66
  • Resident, Internal Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1966 67
  • Resident, Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin, 1967 69
  • Chief Resident, Internal Medicine, University of Wisconsin, 1969 70
  • University of Wisconsin, Child Psychiatry, 1970-71