Megan S. Schuler

Megan S. Schuler
Policy Researcher


Ph.D. in psychiatric epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; M.S. in biostatistics, Medical University of South Carolina; B.S. in mathematics, Tulane University


Megan Schuler is an applied statistician at the RAND Corporation. Her research focuses on substance use and mental health disorders and methodologically on causal inference methods which facilitate rigorous analysis of observational health data. As a co-investigator affiliated with the RAND Opioid Policy Tools and Information Center (OPTIC), a primary focus of her current work is opioid policy research. In particular, her work seeks to develop and disseminate state of the art statistical methods for evaluating the effectiveness of state and federal opioid policies.

Another central research interest is heterogeneity in substance use and mental health behaviors, disorders, and treatment, with respect to variation across age and population subgroups. Her current research focuses on substance use disparities among sexual minorities (e.g., gay, lesbian, bisexual individuals). Her ongoing work has characterized notable variation in substance use behaviors across sexual minority subgroups and identified differential risk factors and etiological pathways that contribute to these disparities. In prior work, she has used latent variable modeling to identify distinct subgroups of individuals characterized by similar behavioral health treatment utilization patterns and examined how associations between substance use and risk factors vary dynamically across age using time-varying effect modeling.

Prior to RAND, Schuler was a research fellow at Harvard’s Health Care Policy Department and a postdoc at Penn State’s Methodology Center. She received her Ph.D. in psychiatric epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a M.S. in biostatistics from the Medical University of South Carolina, and a B.S. in mathematics from Tulane University.

Selected Publications

Schuler, Megan S., Elizabeth A. Stuart, Beth Ann Griffin, Rosanna Smart, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, David Powell, Stephen W. Patrick, Shelby M. Hockenberry, and Bradley D. Stein, How Much Can You Trust the Results of This Health Policy Evaluation: A Pragmatic Guide for State Policymakers, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (EP-70018), 2023

Schuler MS, Dick AW, Stein BD, "Growing racial/ethnic disparities in buprenorphine distribution in the United States, 2007-2017," Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 223, 2021

Stein BD, Saloner B, Schuler MS, Gurvey J, Sorbero M, Gordon AJ, "Concentration of patient care among buprenorphine-prescribing clinicians in the US," JAMA, 325(21), 2021

Griffin BA, Schuler MS, Pane J, Grimm G, Patrick SW, Smart R, Stein BD, Stuart EA, "Methodological considerations for estimating policy effects in the context of co-occurring policies," Health Services Outcomes and Research Methodology, 23, 2023

McBain RK, Schuler MS, Qureshi N, Matthews S, Breslau J, Cantor J, "Expansion of Telehealth Availability for Mental Health Care After State-Level Policy Changes From 2019 to 2022," JAMA Network Open, 6(6), 2023

Meadows, Sarah O., Rebecca L. Collins, Megan S. Schuler, Robin L. Beckman, and Matthew Cefalu, The Women's Reproductive Health Survey (WRHS) of Active-Duty Service Members, RAND Corporation (RR-A1031-1), 2022

Schuler MS, Rice CE, Evans-Polce RJ, Collins RL, "Disparities in substance use behaviors and disorders among adult sexual minorities by age, gender, and sexual identity," Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 189, 2018

Schuler MS, Rose S, "Targeted maximum likelihood estimation for causal inference in observational studies," American Journal of Epidemiology, 185(1), 2017