Dr. Steven P. Cohen obtained his medical degree at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, completed an anesthesiology residency at Columbia University, and a pain management fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Currently, he is Professor of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. He is also the Director of Medical Education and Quality Improvement for the Pain Management Division at Johns Hopkins, Director of Pain Research at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and the Reserve Liaison to the U.S. Army Pain Management Consultant to the Surgeon General.
Dr. Cohen has been very active in teaching and pain research in recent years, having published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and 50 book chapters in the past 10 years. Among his major contributions are the development of a new FDA-approved technique for treating sacroiliac joint pain (lateral branch radiofrequency denervation), for which Dr. Cohen published the first reports of this technique as well as the first controlled study, inventing the intravenous ketamine test to help determine treatment strategy in patients with chronic pain, and performing the first controlled studies evaluating the local administration of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors for pain treatment. His recent placebo-controlled, dose-response and concurrent animal safety study evaluating epidural etanercept was named one of the top 3 pain research papers in 2009 by ‘Anesthesiology’, the leading journal in the specialty. Some of his more recent work has focused on comparative-effectiveness studies and improving pain care in wounded soldiers. These include establishing that MRI do not improve outcomes in patients with sciatica scheduled for epidural steroid injections, outcome data from the first pain clinic ever established in a combat zone (the most highly publicized article in ‘Anesthesiology’), and conducting epidemiological studies evaluating a wide range of pain conditions. These full-length articles have been featured in some of the top general medical journals including “Lancet”, “CMAJ”, “BMJ”, “Annals of Internal Medicine” and “Archives of Internal Medicine”. Dr. Cohen is currently the Principal or Senior Investigator on nearly a dozen studies, including several multi-center clinical trials. He is also an author on the “Pain” chapter in the latest edition of “Cecil Textbook of Medicine”, one of the premier medical textbooks in the world.
Dr. Cohen plays an active role in many organizations. He currently serves on the Editorial Boards of ‘Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine’, ‘Pain Medicine’, ‘Pain Physician’ and half a dozen other journals. He has been on the organizing committees for the American Academy of Pain Medicine and American Society of Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine (ASRA) for the past several years, and is the ‘Chair-elect’ for the 2013 Annual ASRA Pain Meeting.
In addition to his academic work in pain management, Dr. Cohen is a Colonel in the Army Reserve, and the Chief, Anesthesia & Operative Services at the 48h Combat Support Hospital in Maryland. He also serves as the Reserve Liaison to the Pain Management Consultant to the U.S. Army Surgeon General. Over the past few years, Dr. Cohen has briefed or presented data on pain management issues in service members several times to the U.S. Congress and high-ranking general officers. His research was instrumental in the passage of the 2008 Military Pain Care Act, and he served as an inaugural member of the first U.S. Army Medical Advisory Board.