Roberto Lewis-Fernández

roberto fernandez


Roberto Lewis-Fernández, M.D. is Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center and Director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence, and the Hispanic Treatment Program, at New York State Psychiatric Institute.  He is also Lecturer on Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard University.  Dr. Lewis-Fernández’s research focuses on developing culturally-valid interventions and instruments to enhance patient engagement, reduce misdiagnosis, and help overcome disparities in the care of underserved cultural groups, especially Latinos.  He also studies the way culture affects individuals’ experience of mental disorder and their help-seeking expectations, including how to explore this cultural variation during the psychiatric evaluation. 

He led the development of the DSM-5 Cultural Formulation Interview, a standardized method for cultural assessment for use in mental health practice, and was the Principal Investigator of its international field trial, conducted in Canada, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, Peru, and the United States.  Dr. Lewis-Fernández is Chair of the Cultural Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry, President of the Society for the Study of Psychiatry and Culture, President-Elect of the World Association of Cultural Psychiatry, and Immediate Past President of the American Society of Hispanic Psychiatry.  He was until recently a member of the United States’ NIMH National Advisory Mental Health Council and Chair of the Cross-Cultural Issues Subgroup of DSM-5.  He has received numerous awards, including the Simón Bolívar Award of the American Psychiatric Association and the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.


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