Alexander Lerman, M.D., P.C.
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Dr. Lerman's c.v. and Background

ABOUT ALEXANDER LERMAN

Training and professional practice:

I am an educator and clinician dedicated to the relief of suffering, and the realization of human potential, through the practice of psychiatry.  Board-Certified in both Adult and Child/Adolescent Psychiatry. I received subspecialty training in Child Psychiatry (New York Hospital) and Psychoanalysis (Columbia University). I has extensive experience in many different domains of psychiatry, including psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, crisis intervention, and evaluation of children in school.

I presently serve as the Director of Residency Training and Vice-Chairman for Education in the Department of Psychiatry at Westchester Medical Center.  I remains in part-time private practice.  Prior to my affiliation with Westchester Medical Center, I maintained privileges at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco NY, and Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.

I graduated cum laude from Downstate College of Medicine, and completed an internship in Internal Medicine at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn NY, subsequently completed residencies in both Adult Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the New York Hospital Westchester Division in White Plains, NY and New York City.

I am a member of numerous professional organizations, including serving as program coordinator in the Westchester District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association.  Other professional affiliations include the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Psychoanalytic Association, and American Association of Program and Residency Training Directors.

Philosophy

Human experience is too complex to be captured or explained by any single theory, or any single model mind. I am committed above all else to listening, and attempting to understand and help the individual person.  

I believe that successful psychiatric treatment depends on developing a collaborative working relationship with a patient, and building an individualized treatment that is right for that individual. In doing this, I utilize a variety of different therapeutic methods and ideas ranging from brain-based practices of pharmacology and neurocognition, to family treatment, individual psychotherapy, language and communication assessment, and models of child development.

Frequently asked questions:

Q:  Do you believe in medication, or only use it as a last resort?

A:   I believe in the potential of human beings, not treatment modalities. I will use medication – or any other treatment modality – as a first resort, if I believe that it is the best way to help someone. Some psychiatric problems benefit greatly from use of psychotropic drugs, whereas in many others medication has no, or only limited, benefit.

Q:   You trained in psychoanalysis – does that mean you believe in Freud and all that sex stuff?

A:    psychoanalysis is first and foremost a technique of intensive listening. Most modern psychoanalysts do not share Freud’s view that sexuality represents the source of all human motivation – and even Freud himself changed his position about this in response to his clinical experience.

Q: a lot of psychiatrist except money from drug companies, and just give out medication. Is that what you do?

A: I don’t accept compensation of any kind from the pharmaceutical industry. I worry that the effect of Pharma and other for-profit institutions is distorting academic psychiatry and his clinical practice. That said I am perfectly content to prescribe medication if this seems a good way to help one of my patients, and if my patient also agrees.

Q: Why are you so hard to reach on the phone?

A: I have a very demanding job at Westchester Medical Center, which sometimes makes it hard for me to return calls promptly. I try to return calls within 24 hours, but this is not always possible. Do not text or email me – these are non-secure means of contact, and I do not check these sources regularly In an emergency, use my cell phone, or contact the Westchester Medical Center emergency room at (914) 493-7076.

Q: I see you in my list of providers for my insurance company, but I understand you don’t take insurance in your private practice. What’s going on?

A: I am listed as a provider in many managed-care plans, due to the fact that I’m the director of the outpatient department where Westchester Medical Center, but I don’t accept insurance in my private practice. The reason for this has a little to do with reimbursement rates, and a lot to do with the fact that managed-care work is distorted by the insurance industry, and in many cases makes it impossible to practice child psychiatry in the manner I deem best for my patients.  The WMC does in fact take a variety of insurance plans.


Publications

A Puzzling Case in Psychoanalysis, by Arthur Zitrin, M.D., Alexander Lerman, M.D. reporting, Bulliten of the Association for Psychoanalytic Medicine, 3/00.

A. Lerman The Training Neurosis  (2000). Journal of Clinical Psychoanalysis, 9:51-64

Russ MJ, Roth SD, Lerman A, Kakuma T, Harrison K, Shindledecker RD, Hull J, Mattis S.  Pain perception in self-injurious patients with borderline personality disorder  Biol Psychiatry. 1992 Sep 15;32(6):501-11.

W Picker, A Lerman, and F Hajal Potential interaction of LSD and fluoxetine  American Journal of Psychiatry 149;6 p. 3 (1992).









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