Jay S. Cohen, M.D. is a highly skilled therapist in the treatment of anxiety and depressive disorders, and a nationally recognized expert on safer methods of prescribing medications. His work has been published in books and medical journals and featured in newspapers and magazines across America including the New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, Consumer Reports, Wall Street Journal, Modern Majority, Women's Day, and many others. Dr. Cohen has appeared on more than 100 radio programs including National Public Radio, the People's Pharmacy, and the Gary Null show. He has presented his research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and at major medical conferences including grand rounds at Scripps Clinic in La Jolla, CA. He is an Adjunct (voluntary) Associate Professor of Psychiatry and of Family and Preventive Medicine at the University of California, San Diego.
Dr. Cohen began his career as a general practitioner, working at the San Diego State University student health center and at the Beach Area Free Clinic. In 1973, at UCLA, he was the medical director of the first university acupuncture research program in America. His in-depth discussions with research subjects triggered an interest in psychiatry and he entered the psychiatry residency program at UCSD 1974-1977. For the following thirteen years, Dr. Cohen practiced psychiatry in San Diego and Del Mar. He was one of the first in the area to specialize in the treatment of anxiety, phobic, and panic disorders, and a pioneer in the use of safer methods with antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications.
In 1990, Dr. Cohen undertook independent research into the causes of the high incidence of medication side effects in the U.S. Medication side effects are the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., with more than 100,000 deaths each year. More than 1 million people are hospitalized each year because of medication reactions. In his books and articles, Dr. Cohen has challenged the drug industry and FDA to provide safer, flexible drug doses and better guidelines for doctors and patients. In his writings, he has predicted problems with antidepressants such as Prozac and Paxil, anti-inflammatory drugs such as Celebrex and Bextra, and hormones such as Premarin and Prempro. Subsequently, new toxicities were discovered with each of these drugs.
Dating back to his days studying acupuncture, Dr. Cohen has had a strong interest in natural, alternative methods. He believes that for medical disorders that are not severe, natural remedies may offer a safer, less expensive alternative to prescription drugs. A Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, he is considered an expert on many of these natural therapies. In his four latest books, Dr. Cohen has included information on proven-effective natural therapies as alternatives to prescription drugs. Today, in his psychiatry practice, Dr. Cohen prescribes natural alternatives to individuals with mild anxiety or depressive disorders and to those who do not want to take prescription drugs.
Dr. Cohen is a strong advocate of patients' rights of informed consent. These include a right for information on all serious side effects before being prescribed a new medication. Patients need to be told about lower, safer, effective doses of medications -- and about natural alternatives -- information that most patients do not receive today.
Education: Dr. Cohen was a member of the advanced class at Central High of Philadelphia, one of the first all-academic magnet schools in America, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree at age 17. He graduated Cum Laude from Ursinus College, in Collegeville, PA, in 1967 with a pre-med degree . He earned his M.D at Temple University School of Medicine in 1971, then moved to San Francisco for a medical internship at St. Mary's Medical Center and Hospital. Dr. Cohen is Board Certified as a specialist in psychiatry.