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Carl Erik Fisher, M.D.

Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychiatry

Carl Erik Fisher, M.D teaches neuroscience and ethics in the Masters in Bioethics program. He completed psychiatric residency at Columbia University and fellowship training in forensic psychiatry in the Columbia/Cornell Residency in Psychiatry and the Law. He has received the Rappeport Fellowship from the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law and the Laughlin Fellowship from the American College of Psychiatrists. He has been named a Henry Luce Foundation Scholar and a New York State Office of Mental Health Policy Scholar.

Dr. Fisher's academic focus is on law, ethics, and policy relating to psychiatry and neuroscience. He works on both substantive questions (e.g., conceptual work in law and bioethics) and concrete issues (e.g., research ethics). Examples of the former include: the future implications of neuroscience on policy and society; the broader consequences of psychiatric definitions of disorder; and the application of group data in psychiatry and medicine to law, ethics, and society. Concrete issues of particular interest include education and professionalism, forensic psychiatry, and research on the capacity to consent and therapeutic misconception.

His writing has been published in JAMA; The American Journal of Bioethics; The Journal of Medical Ethics; and The Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics, among others. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association’s Council on Psychiatry and Law and was recently invited to become a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He is also committed to better communication about bioethics and neuroscience between the public and academia. His writing for the public has appeared in Scientific American MIND and WIRED UK, and he is a member of NeuWrite, Columbia University’s science writing collective.


  • M.D., Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellow, Division of Brain Stimulation and Therapeutic Modulation)


  • American Psychiatric Association: Position Statement on Firearm Access, Acts of Violence and the Relationship to Mental Illness and Mental Health Services (Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 2015)
  • Restoration of Firearm Rights in New York (Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 2015)
  • The Ethics of Molecular Memory Modification (Journal of Medical Ethics, 2014)