Michael T. Compton, MD, MPH

  • Professor of Psychiatry at CUMC
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Michael T. Compton, MD, MPH is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, in the Division of Behavioral Health Services and Policy Research. He is also a Research Psychiatrist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute.

After completing medical school at the University of Virginia, Dr. Compton trained in general psychiatry, preventive medicine, public health, and community psychiatry, all at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. He served on faculty as an Assistant Professor, and then tenured Associate Professor, at Emory from 2003 to 2010. He then served as Professor and Director of Research Initiatives in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at The George Washington University School of Medicine, from 2011 to 2013. Upon relocating to New York, he was Chairman of Psychiatry at Lenox Hill Hospital in the Upper East Side—and Professor of Psychiatry at Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine—from 2013 until the fall of 2016 when he joined Columbia and New York State.

Dr. Compton serves on a number of institutional, regional, and national committees. He is a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also board certified in lifestyle medicine and is interested in promoting a whole-foods, plant-predominant eating pattern, in addition to the other pillars of lifestyle medicine.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Psychiatry at CUMC


  • Male

Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • Religion, Biology, Mary Washington College, Fredericksburg, Virginia
  • Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • Internship: Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Residency: Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Fellowship: Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia


Dr. Compton has maintained continuous NIMH research funding for over 20 years, conducting research on first-episode psychosis, the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) model of collaboration between law enforcement and mental health, linguistic abnormalities in persons with schizophrenia, a linkage system between police officers and the local mental health system, and the effectiveness of a new form of recovery-oriented community navigation for persons with serious mental illnesses and repeated hospitalizations. His research has led to more than 250 publications. He is also very interested in incorporating public health and prevention into psychiatry, one means of which is by addressing the social determinants of health. His books include a manual for police officers responding to persons with mental illnesses, a guide for patients with first-episode psychosis and their family members, a textbook on the complex connection between marijuana and schizophrenia, and five American Psychiatric Association books: The Clinical Manual of Prevention in Mental Health (2009); The Social Determinants of Mental Health (2015), Marijuana and Mental Health (2016), The American Opioid Epidemic: From Patient Care to Public Health (2019), and Struggle and Solidarity: Seven Stories of How Americans Fought for Their Mental Health (2023).