Michael B First, MD

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Michael B. First MD, is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University, and is a Research Psychiatrist at the Biometrics Department at the New York State Psychiatric Institute and maintains a schematherapy and psychopharmacology practice in Manhattan, Dr. First is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on psychiatric diagnosis and assessment issues and has conducted expert forensic psychiatric evaluations in both civil and criminal matters, including the 2006 trial of the 9/11 terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui.

Dr. First is the Editorial and Coding Consultant for the DSM-5, the chief technical and editorlal consultant on the World Health Organization's ICD-11 revision project, and is an external consultant to the NIMH Research Domain Criteria project.

Dr. First got his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Princeton University, received a Masters in Computer Science and a Medical Degree from the University of Pittsburgh, did his psychiatry residency at Columbia University, and did a fellowship in Biometrics Research under the direction of his mentor, Dr. Robert Spitzer.

He was the Editor of the DSM-IV-TR, the Editor of Text and Criteria for DSM-IV and the APA's Handbook on Psychiatric Measures. He has co-authored and co-edited a number of books, including A Research Agenda for DSM-V, the DSM-IV-TR Guidebook, the DSM-5 Handbook for Differential Diagnosis, and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 (SCID-5).

Areas of Expertise / Conditions Treated

  • Depression
  • Eating Disorder
  • Eating Disorders
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Stress Management

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Clinical Psychiatry

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center


  • Male

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25 West 81st Street
Suite 1B
New York, NY 10024

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • University of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine
  • Residency: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center
  • Fellowship: New York State Psychiatric Institute

Board Certifications

  • Psychiatry
NY Top Doctor


My research focuses on diagnostic and assessment issues in psychiatry. This includes issues involving psychiatric diagnosis and the DSM, psychiatric nosology, and the development of structured diagnostic assessment tools.

Current projects include investigating Body Integrity Identity Disorder, a rare condition involving a lifelong desire to become disabled, most commonly the desire to become an amputee. Other research includes developing the various versions of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 Disorders, and conducting a qualitative investigator of how clinicians make psychiatric diagnosis.

Research Interests

  • Diagnosis and Assessment

Selected Publications

  • First MB, Pincus HA, Levine JB, Williams JBW, Ustin B, Peele R: Using Clinical Utility as a Criterion for Revising Psychiatric Diagnoses, American Journal of Psychiatry 2004;161: 946-954
  • First MB, Reed, GB, Hyman SE, Saxena S: The development of the ICD-11 Clinical Descriptions and Diagnostic Guidelines for Mental and Behavioral Disorders. World Psychiatry 2015;14: 82-90
  • First MB, Willams, JBW, Karg, RL: Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5 Disorders (Research Version: SCID-5-RV)(Clinician Version: SCID-5-CV) (Clinical Trials Version: SCID-5-CT), American Psychiatric Publishing, Arlington, VA, USA
  • First MN: DSM-5 Handbook of Differential Diagnosis, American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc, Arlington, VA, USA
  • First MB, Fisher CE: Body Integrity Identity Disorder: the persistent desire to acquire a disability. Psychopathology 2012;45: 3-14