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Neil W. Schluger, M.D., Named Dean of the School of Medicine

After an Extensive National Search, Dr. Schluger is Appointed Dean of the School of Medicine

July 10, 2023
Dr. Schluger wearing glasses, a white collar shirt and suit jacket staring forward.
Neil W. Schluger, M.D.

Recently recognized by Crain’s New York Business as a 2023 Notable Health Care Leader for his exceptional work and dedication to health care, Dr. Schluger is an international renowned pulmonologist. His leadership on the NYMC campus and at Westchester Medical Center, as the director of medicine, began in 2020. He distinguished himself as a clinician, researcher and educator, leading a department of more than 425 faculty members and teaching more than 800 medical students and residents. In 2021, he took on the additional role of associate dean for clinical and translational research for the SOM. 

"After an extensive national search done by a committee with broad representation, there was a clear consensus that our own chair of medicine was by far the best candidate for dean of the School of Medicine at New York Medical College. We are excited that Dr. Schluger has agreed to become our next dean," said Alan Kadish, M.D., president of NYMC and Touro University (TU).

Previously, Dr. Schluger served as chief of the division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center; professor of medicine, epidemiology and environmental health sciences; director of the Population and Global Health Track for the Scholars Projects Program; and co-director of the Programs in Education and Global and Population Health for the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. 

Dr. Schluger’s influence expands well beyond the U.S., as he is a founder of the East Africa Training Initiative (EATI) in Pulmonary Medicine. The two-year fellowship training program in pulmonary and critical care medicine, which marked its tenth anniversary in 2023, is the first training program of its kind in Ethiopia and the broader East African region. Before the launch of EATI, Ethiopia had only one pulmonologist for its 110 million people. Thus far, the initiative graduated 18 specialists, including two pediatric pulmonologists and two physicians from Rwanda and Tanzania, who have assumed leadership roles at hospitals across East Africa. 

"There is a theatrical adaption of the Sherlock Holmes' story The Adventure of The Abbey Grange," said Edward C. Halperin, M.D., M.A., chancellor and chief executive officer, NYMC and provost for biomedical affairs, Touro University (TU). "In the adaptation, one of the central characters of the story is referred to as 'a large-souled man.' That was my opinion of Dr. Schluger when I met him three years ago. The fact that he was the first choice to become dean in the seventy evaluations I received regarding the finalists confirmed my judgment."

He has been a principal investigator in the Tuberculosis Trials Consortium, an international collaboration sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 25 years and was the chair of the consortium from 2000-2016. Dr. Schluger has been an author or editor of several editions of the Tobacco Atlas, the definitive work describing the extent and consequences of the global epidemic of tobacco use, published by Vital Strategies and the American Cancer Society. Dr. Schluger also serves as a member of the board of trustees at Vital Strategies, a global not-for-profit organization devoted to public health issues.

Dr. Schluger is the author of more than 200 articles, chapters and books. His work has been published in The New England Journal of Medicine, The Journal of the American Medical Association, The Lancet and The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, among other leading journals. Dr. Schluger is an associate editor of The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Medicine. He is a past chair of the American Lung Association of New York and past chief scientific officer of the World Lung Foundation. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Schluger rose to the occasion and became a voice in the media on re-infection, long-term symptoms and the use of hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19. He was an author of the lead article, “Observational Study of Hydroxychloroquine in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19,” published in The New England Journal of Medicine, May 7, 2020. Dr. Schluger used data from an observational trial he led where 1,400 COVID-19 patients were given hydroxychloroquine and showed that there was no evidence that the drug had any benefit of the patient’s conditions. 

Board-certified in pulmonary disease and internal medicine, Dr. Schluger is a graduate of Harvard College and earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania and completed a residency in internal medicine and served as chief resident at St. Luke’s Hospital in New York. He later completed a three-year pulmonary and critical care medicine fellowship at The New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.

"I'm excited and humbled to have been chosen as the next Dean of the School of Medicine of New York Medical College, a school with a wonderful history of educating students of diverse backgrounds who have become great physicians and leaders in medicine," said Dr. Schluger. "I look forward to working with the School's leadership, faculty, hospital affiliates and students to continue this tradition and to creating exciting new programs and initiatives that will prepare the next generation of physicians to achieve excellence in the great NYMC tradition."