My goal as a psychiatrist and therapist is to relieve the suffering of mental health problems and help my patients regain their full function, freeing them to lead the rewarding, enjoyable life they choose.
By reading this you have taken the first step in seeking help for coping with stress, trauma, loss, or disappointment, for handling overwhelming emotions of sadness, anger or fear, dealing with feelings of boredom or emptiness, making sense of troubling thoughts or behaviors, or controlling self-destructive impulses. You have a sense that professional advice, support, and expertise may help. As a psychiatrist, I am a physician (M.D.) who specializes in the assessment, diaganosis, and treatment of just these sorts of problems. I will do a full evaluation of the nature and causes of your problem and discuss with you the treatment options that can best help you.
My 33 years of practice experience are backed by my education and training at Princeton (undergraduate), Columbia (medical school), and Cornell (residency) Universities, three decades of teaching and research on the medical faculties of Cornell and Columbia, and the clinical care of patients at New York Presbyterian Hospital. I am Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology since 1984, and have been a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association since 2003. My current appointments include Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Cornell University's Weill Medical College and Attending Psychiatrist at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.
Reliability and communication
You will enjoy quick open lines of communication with me in my practice. Leave a confidential voicemail to make an appointment, report any issues or concerns, or ask any questions, and you will receive a call back within the day.
Above all, each person who suffers needs to feel safe and competent in order to forge his or her desired future. The psychiatrist, especially one who serves as your therapist, must work with you to establish the conditions of safety, help access your resources for competence, and attend closely to your unique vision of the future, encouraging your creative pursuit of that better life you choose to lead.
This philosophy is the distillation of the wisdom of valued teachers, and my clinical, research and teaching experiences.
My clinical experiences include over three decades of outpatient practice treating schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety disorders, stress, trauma and grief syndromes, attention deficit disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, eating disorders, post-partum problems, dual diagnoses (psychiatric problems complicated by alcohol or substance misuse), as well as couples and families in crisis or dysfunction. In addition, I was Unit Chief of New York Presbyterian Hospital's specialized inpatient service for late adolescents and young adults with Borderline and other Personality Disorders, and covered psychiatric emergencies for the hospital's Emergency Department for 25 years. Participating in a medical mission to rural Ghana in 2014 as a primary care doctor powerfully reinforced for me the most fundamental principle of healing: that life is a precious gift, entrusted to each of us to respect, enjoy, find meaning in, and help others to do the same.
Research on the brain -- the body's most complex organ -- has yielded stunning insights into the biology of mental health problems. Yet our need to discover ever better treatments motivated me to pursue basic neuroscience reasearch in mid-career. During ten years in two world-renowned laboratories at Columbia University, I conducted original studies on the earliest developmental origins of infant-mother attachment with Myron Hofer, M.D., and the molecular and genetic underpinnings of psychiatric disorders with Nobel Laureate Eric Kandel, M.D. This experience instilled me with great optimism that the teamwork of scientists and clinicians will constantly improve our treatments, while we strive to grasp all that remains to be learned. It also gave me a clear perspective from which to evaluate the usefulness of new biological treatments for my patients.
Teaching is a core professional value for me, and I've been priviliged to teach Cornell medical students and residents throughout my career. I was honored by the Cornell medical students with their award for the school's best teacher (the Elliott Hochstein Teaching Award), and have received other local and national awards for outstanding teaching. I served as President of the Association of Directors of Medical Student Education in Psychiatry, the only national organization devoted to the advancement of psychiatric teaching and curriculum development for medical students. I have incorporated some of my clinical and research insights into two recent chapters in leading textbooks for professional colleagues. My chapter, "Neurobiological Foundations of Mood Disorders", co-authored with Ronald Duman and Alan Schatzberg, appears in the fourth edition (2015) of Psychiatry, edited by Tasman, et al. (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118845471.html), and my chapter "Psychobiological Origins of Infant Attachment", co-authored with Myron Hofer, appears in the third edition (2016) of the Handbook of Attachment: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications edited by Cassidy and Shaver (http://www.guilford.com/books/Handbook-of-Attachment/Cassidy-Shaver/9781462525294/contributors).
As a doctor, which means teacher in Latin, I must impart the knowledge of my field to my patients and their families in a way that is accurate, understandable, and useful to them. At the same time my patients teach me -- by sharing their life experiences, problems, and prior treatments. As I talk with each new patient, my goal is to reach a meeting of the minds that combines our two perspectives, the doctor's and the patient's, into a practical plan for treatment.