Mary E. Charlson, M.D.

Internal Medicine
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Personal Statement

This physician serves at one of the most comprehensive care facilities in the world - the renowned NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. All Weill Cornell Physicians are committed to delivering outstanding medical care with compassion and concern for each patient. They are part of Weill Cornell's 100 year old tradition of excellence in academic medicine. Weill Cornell Physicians are academic leaders responsible for many health-restoring medical breakthroughs and advances.

Biographical Info

Mary E. Charlson, MD is the William T. Foley Distinguished Professor in Medicine, the Executive Director of the Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine and the Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University/New York Presbyterian Hospital. She is also the Program Chair for the Master of Science Program in Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research and Director of the T32 fellowship Clinical Epidemiology and Health Services Research Training Program funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Director of the T32 fellowship in Complementary and Integrative Medicine funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. As an expert in clinical trials, Dr. Charlson is also a member of the Cardiovascular and Sleep Epidemiology Study Section for the National Institute Health. 

Dr. Charlson is a well-established methodologist and clinical epidemiologist with a strong background in multidisciplinary research, including clinical trials, outcomes research, and population-based studies. She is an international leader in the measurement and improvement of risk-adjusted quality outcomes. She developed a method of assessing the prognostic impact of comorbid conditions; the Charlson index’; with more than 2,200 citations, it is one of the most widely cited articles. She leads a multidisciplinary research team that performs clinical trials, outcomes research, and population-based studies. Her work has focused on developing predictive models in chronic illness and using the models to develop interventions to improve outcomes in inpatients and outpatients. She has also translated basic theories from economics and psychology to develop individually tailored strategies that patients with chronic illness can employ to successfully change their health risk behaviors.

Dr. Charlson has designed clinical trials of mind-body interventions as well as behavioral interventions and has developed new measures of clinical phenomena. Additionally, she also focuses on prognosis and interventions in chronic illness and on developing clinical research methodology in clinical research. She was the principal architect of trials in 660 CABG patients and 660 angioplasty patients. She is the principal investigator of a program project from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute consisting of three randomized trials involving over 1200 patients evaluating the impact of positive affect and self-affirmation on the ability of patients with chronic cardiopulmonary disease to change their behavior. She is also currently studying the effect of Indo-Tibetan meditation on quality of life among breast cancer survivors. This trial is funded by the Avon foundation. She has a lifelong research interest in psychosocial interventions that build self-efficacy.

Dr. Charlson leads the Research Methodology Core, a multidisciplinary group of faculty from different divisions, departments and institutions engaged in clinical trials, outcomes research, and population-based studies. She has extensive experience in investigator development and for the last 10 years has implemented a systematic strategy for this purpose.

Dr. Charlson received her medical degree from Yale University School of Medicine. After completing her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at Yale. She is a member of the American Association of Physicians, the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research Society of General Internal Medicine, Society for Epidemiological Research, and a Fellow in the American College of Physicians.

Board Certifications
American Board of Internal Medicine
  • M.D.
    Yale University School of Medicine
  • William T. Foley Distinguished Professor of Medicine
    Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
  • Professor of Medicine
    Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell University
  • Attending Physician
    NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

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No External Relationships Reported