Physician’s Profile


Paul S. Appelbaum, MD

Department of Psychiatry
Division of Law, Ethics, and Psychiatry
Director, Division of Law, Ethics & Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry

Paul S. Appelbaum, M.D., the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine and Law, and Director, Division of Law, Ethics and Psychiatry at Columbia, was previously A.F. Zeleznik Distinguished Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry; and Director, Law and Psychiatry Program, University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Dr. Appelbaum is the author of many articles and books on law and ethics in clinical practice. Dr. Appelbaum is Past President of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, and the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society, and has twice served as Chair of the Council on Psychiatry and Law and of the Committee on Judicial Action for the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Dr. Appelbaum is currently Chair of the DSM Steering Committee for APA, and of the Standing Committee on Ethics of the World Psychiatric Association. He has received the Isaac Ray Award of the American Psychiatric Association for "outstanding contributions to forensic psychiatry and the psychiatric aspects of jurisprudence," was the Fritz Redlich Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Appelbaum performs forensic evaluations in civil and criminal cases, and treats patients with a broad variety of problems, including depression, anxiety, and adjustment problems.

Board Certificates
Forensic Psychiatry
Areas of Expertise:
  • General Psychiatry / Psychology
  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Psychiatry
  • Adjustment Disorder
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Mental Health
  • Mood Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Panic Disorder
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Psychosis
  • Psychotherapy
Honors & Awards:

2013:  Golden Apple Award for significant contributions to forensic psychiatry, American Academy of Psychiatry and Law

2012:  Distinguished Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association

2008:  America’s Top Doctors (and every year since)

2007:  Best Doctors in America (and every year since)

2007:  Isaac Hays, MD and John Bell, MD Award for leadership in medical ethics and professionalism, American Medical Association

2001:  C. Charles Burlingame Award for major contributions to the field of psychiatry, Institute of Living

2000:  Elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences

1997:  Edward J. Strecker, M.D. Award for outstanding contributions in clinical psychiatry, Institute of the Pennsylvania Hospital

1996-1997:  Fritz Redlich Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences

1990:  Isaac Ray Award for outstanding contributions to forensic psychiatry and the psychiatric aspects of jurisprudence, American Psychiatric Association


Appelbaum PS, Gutheil TG: Clinical Handbook of Psychiatry and the Law, 4th ed, Lippincott/Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA, USA, 2007

Berg JW, Appelbaum PS, Lidz CW, Parker L: Informed Consent: Legal Theory and Clinical Practice, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, New York, NY, USA, 2001

Grisso T, Appelbaum PS: Assessing Competence To Consent To Treatment: A Guide for Physicians and Other Health Professionals. 1998

Appelbaum PS: Almost a Revolution: Mental Health Law and the Limits of Change. 1994

Anfang SA, Appelbaum PS : Forensic evaluation of the older patient, in Agronin ME, Maletta GJ (eds.), Principles and Practice of Geriatric Psychiatry, 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Lippincott/Williams & Wilkins., Lippincott/Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia,PA,USA, 2011