Robert Klitzman, MD

Member, Public Health Policy and Practice Core
Professor, Clinical Psychiatry

Email: rlk2@cumc.columbia.edu
Phone: (646) 774-6912

Robert Klitzman, MD, is a Research Scientist and Investigator with the HIV Center's Public Health Policy and Practice Core. He co-founded and for five years co-directed the Columbia University Center for Bioethics, and is the Director of the Masters of Bioethics Program at Columbia. He is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University, and a member of the Division of Psychiatry, Law and Ethics in the Department of Psychiatry. 

Using inter-disciplinary methods drawing on medical sociology, medical anthropology, and medical ethics, he has studied several areas related to HIV and other disorders. His book, Being Positive: The Lives of Men and Women With HIV, examines the meanings of HIV infection, the ways in which individuals living with HIV find sources of hope in their lives, and the ways the virus alters individuals' identities and social and moral worlds. He has conducted research with Ronald Bayer, Ph.D. on self-disclosure of HIV serostatus to sexual partners and others, examining how individuals - both heterosexual and gay - make decisions about whether, what, when, and to whom to disclose. Mortal Secrets: Truth and Lies in the Age of AIDStheir book based on this work, contextualizes approaching policy issues concerning partner notification and other areas. The Trembling Mountain: a Personal Account of Kuru, Cannibals, and Mad Cow Disease explores cross-cultural responses to epidemics. His books A Year-Long Night: Tales of a Medical Internship, and In a House of Dreams and Glass: Becoming a Psychiatrist examine psychological, social and ethical issues that arise in medicine and psychiatry, respectively. 

His book When Doctors Become Patients explores how physicians, when they become sick due to HIV or other disorders, radically alter their views of medicine, patients, risks and benefits, and other areas. He has written numerous articles investigating issues facing HIV infected health care workers, ways gay men and lesbians communicate about their sexual orientation to their health care providers, gay men's use of MDMA ("ecstasy") and its relationship to unsafe sex and other variables, dilemmas raised by genetic testing, and issues faced by IRBs in decision-making concerning HIV and other research areas, both domestically and internationally. He has been the recipient of a Mentored Clinical Scientist Award (K08) from NIMH, and received several awards for his work, including Fellowships from the Russell Sage Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, and the Rockefeller Foundation.

Dr. Klitzman most recently published Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testingshows how real individuals have confronted these genetic issues in their daily lives. Dr. Klitzman interviewed 64 people who faced Huntington's Disease, breast and ovarian cancer, or Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. The book describes -- often in the person's own words -- how each has wrestled with the vast implications that genetics has for their lives and their families.

EDUCATION

Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
BA - 1980 - History

Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
MD - 1985 - Medicine

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

1979: Medical Aide, Centre de Recherche Medical de Forcilles, Brie-Comte-Robert, France

1985-1986: Intern, New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, New York, NY

1986: New York State License # 168061-1

1986-1989: Psychiatry Resident, Payne Whitney Clinic, The New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, New York, NY

1986-1989: Medical Student Supervisor, Cornell University Medical Center, New York, NY

1988: Assistant Unit Chief, Inpatient Research Unit, Payne Whitney Clinic, The New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, New York, NY

1989: Assistant Unit Chief, Outpatient Department, Payne Whitney Clinic, The New York Hospital-Cornell University Medical Center, New York, NY

1989-1990: Fellow, Public Psychiatry, Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

1989-1995: Peer Reviewer, Milbank Quarterly

1989-present: Peer Reviewer, JAMA, American Journal of Public Health

1990-1993: Fellow, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, Columbia University and New York Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

1991-1993: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

1993-1995: Resident Preceptor, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY

1993-1996: Aaron Diamond Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Columbia University, New York, NY
Co-Investigator, Ethics, Policy, and Legal Core, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

1993-present: Adjunct Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Co-Investigator, Psychosocial/Qualitative Assessment Core, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY

1994-1995: Mentor, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Training Program, Columbia University, New York, NY

1996-2003: Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY

2000-2003: Assistant Professor, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, NY

2000-present: Editorial Board, Journal of Homosexuality

2001-2006: Co-Director, Center for Bioethics, Columbia University, New York, NY

2003-2010: Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, (in Sociomedical Sciences), College of Physicians and Surgeons and Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, NY, NY

2004-present: Director, Ethics and Policy Core, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, NY State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University, NY, NY

2006-present: Member, Division of Psychiatry, Law and Ethics; Dept. of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY

2007-present: Gubernatorial Appointee, Ethics Board of the New York State Stem Cell Commission. 
Member, University Conflict of Interest Policy Committee, Columbia University, New York, NY

2009-present: Professor of Clinical Psychiatry (in Sociomedical Sciences), Columbia University, New York, NY

2010-present: Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, (in Sociomedical Sciences), College of Physicians and Surgeons and Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, NY, NY
Member, Research Ethics Advisory Panel, Department of Defense, US Army Medical Research and Material Command
Ethics Working Group, HIV Prevention Trials Network

HONORS AND AWARDS

1977: Lyndon Baines Johnson Honorary Internship, U.S. House of Representatives

1981: Dupont Fellow, Yale University School of Medicine

1985: The Keese Prize, (Outstanding Medical School Thesis), Yale University Medical School

1986: Diplomate, National Board of Examiners

1987-1989: Burroughs-Wellcome Fellow, American Psychiatric Association

1989: Selected for Who's Who in the East
Selected for Contemporary Authors

1990: Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

1991: MacDowell Colony Fellow

1993: "Best Science Book of the Year," Association of American Publishers , (for textbook in which chapter was included)

1994, 2001: Merck Company Foundation Fellow, Corporation of Yaddo

1994: Award for Best Research Paper by a Fellow, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies, New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University

1996-1999: Picker-Commonwealth Scholar Award

1999-2000: Visiting Scholar, Russell Sage Foundation

2001: Selected for Who's Who in the World

2003: Rockefeller Foundation, Individual Residency, Bellagio

2004: Finalist, Lambda Literary Award
Nominee, Pulitzer Prize

2008: First Visiting Professor, Scattergood Program for the Applied Ethics of Behavioral Health, University of Pennsylvania.

2009: Rao Family Endowed Visiting Professorship, University of Virginia
Koppaka Family Foundation Visiting Professor, University of Virginia