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Steven Paul Cohen, M.D.

Director of Medical Education - Pain Medicine Division
Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine


Appointment Phone


Main Location

The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Out-of-State & International Patients +
Out of State Patients

Call 410-464-6641 (8a.m. to 6p.m., EST, Mon-Fri)

Learn more about our out-of-state patient services »

International Patients

Call +1-410-502-7683 (7a.m. to 6p.m., EST, Mon-Fri)

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  • Director of Medical Education - Pain Medicine Division
  • Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
  • Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Centers & Institutes



The Johns Hopkins Hospital

Appointment Phone: 410-955-7246

600 N. Wolfe Street
Sheikh Zayed Tower
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-955-7246

Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center

Appointment Phone: 410-955-7246

601 N. Caroline Street
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-955-7246

Johns Hopkins Pediatric Specialty Clinic

Appointment Phone: 410-955-5710

200 N. Wolfe Street
Rubenstein Child Health
Baltimore, MD 21287 map
Phone: 410-955-5710
Fax: 410-614-9246

Contact for Research Inquiries

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

550 North Broadway, Suite 301
Baltimore, MD 21205 map
Phone: 410-955-1818
Fax: 410-614-7597


Interventional Pain Management

Research Interests

Neuropathic pain; Fibromyalgia


Dr. Steven P. Cohen obtained his medical degree at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, completed an anesthesiology residency at Columbia University, and a pain management fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Currently, he is Professor of Anesthesiology & Critical Care Medicine, as well as Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is also Director of the Blaustein Pain Treatment Center, Medical Education and Quality Assurance for the Pain Management Division at Johns Hopkins, and Director of Pain Research at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Dr. Cohen has been very active in teaching and pain research in recent years, having published over 250 peer-reviewed articles, reviews and book chapters in the past 15 years. Among his major contributions are the development of an FDA-approved technique for treating sacroiliac joint pain (lateral branch radiofrequency denervation), inventing the intravenous ketamine test to help guide treatment in patients with chronic pain, and performing the first studies evaluating the epidural administration of biological agents for pain. These articles have been featured in some of the top general medical journals including “Lancet”, “CMAJ”, “BMJ”, “Annals of Internal Medicine” and “JAMA-Internal Medicine”. His research has been the subject of articles in the Science Section of the New York Times on 4 separate occasions. He has been the first author on the “Pain” chapter in the last 2 editions of “Cecil Textbook of Medicine”, and was listed in 2014 as one of the top 10 experts in the world for back pain based on quantitative analysis of publications. 

In addition to his academic work, Dr. Cohen is a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army, and was deployed 4 times in support of operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He also serves as the Reserve Liaison to the Pain Management Consultants to the U.S. Army and Navy Surgeons General. Dr. Cohen has previously presented data on pain management in service members to the U.S. Congress, FDA and 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 U.S. Army Medical Advisory Board. His previous awards include the American Society of Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine John J. Bonica Award, ASIPP Public Service Award, Donlin M. Long Pain Award, Michael J. Cousins Award Lecture, American Academy of Pain Medicine Founder’s Award, the Order of Military Medical Merit, and the Legion of Merit. more

    Additional Information

  • Education +


    • Mount Sinai School of Medicine / MD (1991)


    • The Presbyterian Hospital in the City of New York / Anesthesiology (1993)


    • Massachusetts General Hospital / Pain Medicine (2000)


    • American Board of Anesthesiology / Anesthesiology (1994)
    • American Board of Anesthesiology / Pain Management (2001, 2012)
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    Dr. Cohen’s research focuses on pain, including neuropathic pain and fibromyalgia. Many of his studies examine the causes and treatment of injuries among U.S. soldiers.


    Dr. Steven P. Cohen's Lab

    Selected Publications

    Cohen SP, Atanelov L, Rammasubu C, Amasha R, Kurihara C, Verdun A, Duarte SS, Stambaugh T. "Can changes in vital signs be used to predict the response to lumbar facet blocks and radiofrequency denervation? A prospective, correlational study." Reg Anesth Pain Med. 2014 Jul-Aug;39(4):333-40. doi: 10.1097/AAP.0000000000000105.

    Hsu E, Atanelov L, Plunkett AR, Chai N, Chen Y, Cohen SP. "Epidural lysis of adhesions for failed back surgery and spinal stenosis: factors associated with treatment outcome." Anesth Analg. 2014 Jan;118(1):215-24. doi: 10.1213/ANE.0000000000000042.

    Rauck RL, Cohen SP, Gilmore CA, North JM, Kapural L, Zang RH, Grill JH, Boggs JW. "Treatment of post-amputation pain with peripheral nerve stimulation." Neuromodulation. 2014 Feb;17(2):188-97. doi: 10.1111/ner.12102. Epub 2013 Aug 15.

    Cohen SP, Hameed H, Kurihara C, Pasquina PF, Patel AM, Babade M, Griffith SR, Erdek ME, Jamison DE, Hurley RW. "The effect of sedation on the accuracy and treatment outcomes for diagnostic injections: a randomized, controlled, crossover study." Pain Med. 2014 Apr;15(4):588-602. doi: 10.1111/pme.12389. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

    Kroll CE, Schartz B, Gonzalez-Fernandez M, Gordon AH, Babade M, Erdek MA, Mekhail N, Cohen SP. "Factors associated with outcome after superior hypogastric plexus neurolysis in cancer patients." Clin J Pain. 2014 Jan;30(1):55-62. doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e3182869d68.

  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +
  • Activities & Honors +


    • National Defense Service Medal, 1991
    • Army Service Ribbon, 1993
    • Overseas Service Ribbon with Oak Leaf Cluster, 1994 - 1999
    • Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, 1995 - 1996
    • Meritorious Service Medal, 1999
    • Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device, 2003 - 2007
    • Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, 2003
    • Army Achievement Medal, 2008
    • Lifetime Public Service Award, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, 2009
    • Letter of Recognition, U.S. Army Surgeon General, 2010
    • Order of Military Medical Merit, 2010
    • Teacher of the Year, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2010
    • Best Doctors, Baltimore Magazine, 2011 - 2012
    • Faculty-Mentor Award, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 2014
    • Founder’s Award, American Academy of Pain Medicine, 2014
    • John J. Bonica Award, American Society of Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine (ASRA, 2014


    • 38th Parallel Medical Society, 1993 - 1999
    • American Society of Anesthesiologists, 1998
    • New York State Society of Anesthesiologists, 1998 - 2003
    • New York Academy of Sciences, 1999 - 2002
    • American Pain Society, 2001
    • American Society of Regional Anesthesia, 2004
    • Maryland State Society of Anesthesiologist, 2005
    • American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, 2006
    • Association of University Anesthesiologists, 2007
    • International Spinal Intervention Society, 2007

    Professional Activities

    • Vice Chairman, Wuerzburg Army Hospital, 1995 - 1996
      Committee on Conscious Sedation
    • Chairman, 121st General Hospital in Seoul, Seoul, Korea, 1997 - 1999
      Committee on Conscious Sedation
    • Associate Editor, Journal of Cancer Pain and Symptom Palliation, 2005
    • Associate Editor, Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, 2007 - 2009
    • Associate Editor, Pain Physician, 2007 - 2009
    • Associate Editor, Local and Regional Anesthesia & Analgesia, 2008
    • Associate Editor, Open Spine Journal, 2008
    • Associate Editor, Open Pain Journal, 2008
    • Board of Directors, Defense & Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management, 2009
    • Editor, Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, 2009
    • Editor, Pain Physician, 2009
    • Associate Editor, Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research, 2010
  • Videos & Media +

    Recent News Articles & Media Coverage

    Questioning Steroid Shots for Back Pain,” The New York Times, September 19, 2013

    Reuters, “Spinal injections may not aid lower back pain,” April 16, 2012

    Psychiatric Problems Send More Troops Home Than Combat Injuries,” NPR, January 27, 2010

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