Dr. Hirsch retired as Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Adjunct Professor of Statistics at The George Washington University in 2010. He started at GWU in 1987, with the principal task of helping to develop a public health program. That program is now the School of Public Health and Health Services with more than 300 graduate students enrolled. One of Dr. Hirsch’s contributions to this program was the development of courses in public health methodology. These courses continue to be an important part of the curriculum. They include courses in statistics, study design, evaluation of health research literature, questionnaire development, sampling, meta-analysis, and theoretical epidemiology.
Dr. Hirsch’s research interests are in health research methodology. His most recently funded research was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Irene Chatoor, a pediatric psychiatrist at Children’s National Medical Center. The focus of this research was to develop questionnaires that can be used to diagnose and evaluate eating and feeding disorders. Dr. Hirsch’s contribution was in testing, validation, and development of scales. These questionnaires are widely used for patients with suspected eating or feeding disorders.
Dr. Hirsch is probably best known for his textbooks and other publications that are intended to help persons without a mathematics aptitude to understand quantitative issues that are integral to health research and practice. His ability to communicate technical information has been an important asset in his teaching and consulting work. His interest in relating statistics to real life problems prompted him to spend a sabbatical at the Center for Devices and Radiologic Health in the Food and Drug Administration. The purpose of this sabbatical was to understand how health methodology can best contribute to governmental regulatory issues. The result of this experience has also given Dr. Hirsch the ability to serve as an interface between industry and the government as well as train graduate students in real-world applications.
Dr. Hirsch has served as an expert witness for several legal cases. The most frequent of these have concerned patent disputes and interpretation of research data. Others concerned product liability and personal injury. Most involved writing expert reports and critiquing reports submitted by other experts. Many have involved deposition.