Michael B. First M.D., is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Columbia University, is a Research Psychiatrist at the Biometrics Department at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, maintains a schematherapy and psychopharmacology practice in Manhattan,and conducts forensic evaluations and consultations on a wide range of criminal and civil matters.
Dr. First is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on psychiatric diagnosis and assessment issues. Dr. First was co-principal investigator on the “Future of Psychiatric Diagnosis” conferences that developed research agendas for the upcoming DSM-V and ICD-11 revisions and was director of the DSM-V Prelude Project and is a consultant to the World Health Organization regarding the revision of ICD-11. Dr. First is the Editor of the DSM-IV-TR, the Editor of Text and Criteria for DSM-IV, the DSM-IV Primary Care Version, 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, Advancing DSM: Dilemmas in Psychiatric Diagnosis, Clinical Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Mental Disorders, DSM-5 Handbook for Differential Diagnosis, Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-5(SCID), Co-editing the Two Volume Textbook of Psychiatry with Allan Tasman, Jeffrey Lieberman, and Jerald Kay, and various software packages. He has trained thousands of clinicians and researchers in diagnostic assessment and differential diagnosis. He has provided expert opinion and testimony on several high profile cases including the federal trial of the accused Al Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui.
Current research interests include studying ways to improve the clinical utility of psychiatric diagnosis and conducting studies to elucidate the characteristics, causes, and potential treatment of Body Integrity Identity Disorder, a rare disorder in which individuals have a life-long desire to acquire a disability such as amputation or paraplegia.