Mary Ann Cohen

Mary Ann Cohen, MD

  • CLINICAL PROFESSOR | Psychiatry

Dr. Mary Ann Cohen is currently in the full time private practice of psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychosomatic medicine, HIV psychiatry, addiction psychiatry and geriatric psychiatry utilizing individual, couple, and family therapy. She is on the voluntary faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Board certified in adult psychiatry, addiction psychiatry, geriatric psychiatry, and psychosomatic medicine, Dr. Cohen is an award-winning psychiatrist and a leader in the fields of psychosomatic medicine and AIDS psychiatry. She is Chair of the Bioethics Special Interest Group of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry, Chair of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine Bioethics Special Interest Group, and Chair of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine HIV Psychiatry Special Interest Group as well as the World Psychiatric Association Section on HIV Psychiatry. She was Chair of the Ethics Committee of Metropolitan Hospital Center from 1983 to 1995, and Chair of the Ethics Committee at Rivington House Health Care Facility from 1995 to 1998.

Dr. Cohen served on or directed psychosomatic medicine services at two municipal hospitals for 23 years and AIDS psychiatry services at an AIDS nursing home and at the Mount Sinai Medical Center for 12 years. In each of these settings, Dr. Cohen has created health care environments to meet the needs of patients and their communities and innovated programs to identify and diminish disparities and discrimination in health care settings. She has integrated psychoanalytic principles into patient care, medical board governance, and bioethics committees. Dr. Cohen served as Director of AIDS Psychiatry at The Mount Sinai Medical Center from 1998 to 2006 when she went into private practice.
 
Dr. Cohen attended Bryn Mawr College and received her undergraduate degree from Washington Square College of New York University. She received her medical degree from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She interned in medicine and pediatrics at the Hospital of the Medical College of Pennsylvania and completed her residency in psychiatry at Norristown State Hospital and at the Tremont Crisis Center division of Albert Einstein College of Medicine. During her residency at Tremont Crisis Center she designed and implemented a consultation-liaison psychiatry service at Fordham Hospital, where, following her residency, she served for one year as Director of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry until the hospital closed. Dr. Cohen completed her Fellowship in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry at Montefiore Medical Center where she spent the ensuing five years as the consultation-liaison psychiatrist in the medical clinic. In 1981, Dr. Cohen was appointed Director of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry at Metropolitan Hospital where she redesigned and developed innovative, comprehensive clinical, educational, and administrative programs including a C-L fellowship, AIDS psychiatry fellowship, an employee assistance program, and a multidisciplinary AIDS program. She was involved in Medical Board governance as Chair of the Bioethics and Credentials Committees and served as Treasurer, Secretary, and President of the Medical Staff. Dr. Cohen was promoted to Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Clinical Medicine at New York Medical College. She directed the C-L service, employee assistance program, and the AIDS program for 14 years. During that time her multidisciplinary AIDS program, one of the first of its kind, helped to coordinate care, educate patients, families, staff, and communities as well as provide training in AIDS psychiatry. This work was recognized both nationally and internationally and led to training of medical students and physicians from other states and countries. Dr. Cohen chose to devote the remainder of her career to AIDS Psychiatry. In 1995 she left Metropolitan Hospital for Rivington House, a 219-bed AIDS nursing home where she served as AIDS psychiatrist until 1998 when she went to Mount Sinai as Director of AIDS Psychiatry. Her special interests and qualifications in the psychiatric care of the medically ill, elderly, and addicted patients led her to conclude that AIDS was a paradigm of an illness that maximized her clinical, teaching, and administrative skills as well as her passion for the work. Dr. Cohen was one of the founders of the Society for Liaison Psychiatry in 1973 and served as Treasurer, Secretary, President-elect, and President. She has received awards for outstanding leadership of the Medical Staff, EAP, and AIDS programs as well as an educational award from the APA and from Drexel University Medical School. She has lectured extensively in the US and throughout the United States, as well as internationally. She has given presentations in New York City at churches, schools, community organizations, NYS AIDS Institute, Citywide Harm Reduction, National AIDS Treatment Advocacy, and at community programs. She has given grand rounds in the tri-state area and at Harvard University, and Yale University on AIDS psychiatry, C-L psychiatry, and end-of-life issues. In 2003, Dr. Cohen founded what has now become the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine HIV Psychiatry Special Interest Group and the WPA Section on HIV Psychiatry with 324 members. Dr. Cohen has written extensively about AIDS as well as end-stage illness, suicide, pain, sexuality, and psychodynamic psychotherapy. She has written about creating health care environments to meet patients’ needs and most recently about the possible associations between early childhood trauma and PTSD as cofactors in HIV transmission and nonadherence to care. Her article on a biopsychosocial model of AIDS care received the Dorfman Award of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine for the best journal article in 1985-1986. Dr. Cohen has demonstrated her dedication to teaching clinical excellence and compassionate care and her devotion to persons who have been socially deprived, culturally oppressed, and victims of discrimination and stigma. She has devoted her professional life to caring for persons with AIDS and other severe illness and does this empathy, energy, and enthusiasm.