Steven Cohen, MD, Professor, Chief, Division of Pain Medicine and Pain Research; Director of Resident Education Program

Dr. Steven P. Cohen is professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Johns Hopkins Hospital and at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He also serves as Director of Pain Research at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Director of the Blaustein Pain Treatment Center and Pain Medicine Division Chief at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Cohen has been on the faculty of Johns Hopkins since 2004 and is actively involved in both patient care and medical research. He treats patients with many types of chronic pain, particularly those with back and neck pain, neuropathic pain (pain from nerve damage), and pain resulting from traumatic injuries. Treatment options may include epidural steroid injections, radiofrequency nerve ablation, joint injections, and sacroiliac joint radiofrequency nerve ablation, depending on where the pain is located along the length of the spine and which treatment is found to be most effective for an individual patient.

Similar to his clinical practice, Dr. Cohen’s research focuses primarily on back pain and neuropathic pain. He is the lead investigator of a multidisciplinary team involved with many funded multicenter studies that are comparing various therapeutic modalities for the treatment of patients with headaches, radiating neck pain, neuropathic pain, arthritis of the spine, and low back pain. For example, in one study, he is compared the effectiveness of epidural steroids and the drug gabapentin for the treatment of neuropathic pain, and in another ongoing study, he is comparing two kinds of sacroiliac joint injections for the treatment of low back pain. The results of these studies will help physicians identify which treatment option is likely to work best for a particular source of pain.

Dr. Cohen has received many awards for his clinical and academic work in pain medicine, including the American Academy of Pain Medicine Founder’s Award (2014), The American Society of Regional Anesthesia & Pain Medicine John J. Bonica Award (2014), the Donlin M. Long Pain Award (2015), and the U.S. Military Legion of Merit (2015). He was also chosen by Baltimore Magazine as a “Best Doctor” in 2011 and 2012, and is a retired colonel in the U.S. army.

Education: Dr. Cohen earned his Doctorate of Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine in 1989. He then completed his residency training in Anesthesiology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, Columbia University, in 1993 and a fellowship in Pain Management at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, in 2000.