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Nabil Kotbi, <span>MD</span>

Nabil Kotbi, MD

Psychosomatic Medicine (Board Certified, Primary Specialty)
Psychiatry (Board Certified, Primary Specialty)
Geriatric Psychiatry (Board Certified, Primary Specialty)
Addiction Psychiatry (Board Certified, Primary Specialty)
Languages: French, Arabic


Nabil Kotbi received his medical degree from the Casablanca School of Medicine, Hassan II University, Morocco in 1996, graduating with greatest honors “summa cum laude”. His post-graduate training took place at SUNY Downstate Medical Center where he was named Resident of the Year twice and served as Chief Resident for two years, which was a first in the history of Downstate. In 2005 came to New York-Presbyterian, Westchester Division,  geriatric psychiatry fellowship under the direction of Dr. George Alexopoulos, director of the Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Dr. Kotbi is quadruple board certified (Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, Geriatric Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine). In 2007, he was appointed Chief of “The Haven”, a 10-bed inpatient unit at The Westchester Division of NYP/Cornell Campus. This unit specializes in assessing and treating patients with complex psychiatric, neurological, medical and substance use disorder co-morbidities. The “Haven” treats patients across a broad developmental lifespan from young adults to the elderly and attracts a local, national and international patient base and often times “influential” and “high profile” individuals or their family members, due to its focus on individualized patient care within a culturally sensitive framework.

As Unit Chief, Dr Kotbi has broad administrative responsibilities which includes multidisciplinary (nursing, psychology, social work) personnel oversight and clinical supervision. His personal background and academic training in geriatric psychiatry have helped establish a comprehensive patient approach including diagnostic assessment, evidence-based psychopharmacologic treatment and collaborative care planning. He also devoted efforts towards multidisciplinary programmatic development, including evidence-based psychotherapeutic treatment paradigms with unit-based psychologists. These psychotherapy models, suited to brief inpatient lengths of stay, include cognitive-behavioral therapies, problem-solving therapies, and for those patient suffering from co-morbid substance use, motivational interviewing. Dr Kotbi also ran “The Retreat” a 5-bed amenities substance abuse treatment unit before the hospital leadership decided to close this program.

In 2011, he was appointed Unit Chief of a 12-bed addiction/rehabilitation unit in NYP Westchester campus specializing in the treatment of individuals suffering from primary substance use disorders.
Dr Kotbi has been serving as a clinical consultant to The International Service at NYP. His multi-cultural familiarity and fluency in English, French and Arabic has helped him provide psychiatric consultation to a wide variety of national and international patients treated at the other medical campuses of NYP. 

He maintains a clinical psychiatric practice through the Weill Cornell Physicians Organization and specialize in the treatment of affective disorders, treatment-resistant depression, addiction and personality disorders.
He is active in teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition, I have research experience and interests in psychotic depression and late-life affective disorders

His geriatric fellowship training has also led to my clinical interest in brain stimulation therapies, including electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and the more nascent field of repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS). In conjunction with his clinical and administrative inpatient duties, I provide comprehensive inpatient ECT services for the 257-bed Westchester Division. This is a particular treatment role requiring hospital certification and, due to its complex medical-psychiatric interplay, is often filled by psychiatrists with subspecialty geriatric training. He is a member of The ECT committee and am responsible for assessing the indication of this treatment modality with the referring psychiatrists, and reviewing informed consent, medical clearance and the evaluation of risks versus benefits for treatment continuation beyond 15 sessions.


Along with his clinical/administrative responsibilities, he participates in the education of  medical students, adult psychiatry residents and geriatric psychiatry fellows. Throughout the year, he regularly supervises the clinical inpatient work of WCMC psychiatry clerkship students and has been teaching  a substance abuse seminar to the clerkship students.  He routinely mentor students to publish scholarly articles based on their clinical and academic work with me and have co-authored six such articles with clerkship students.


Dr Kotbi is the associate program director of geriatric psychiatry training fellowship at Cornell College of Medicine. He  has been actively involved in the geriatric fellowship education since 2007. As a member of the Geriatric Psychiatry Fellowship Program Committee, he was involved in applicant selection and assessment, as well as programmatic and curricular development.  He has been teaching an advanced geriatric psychiatry lecture series which includes topics such a late-life depressive disorders, geriatric psychopharmacology including drug-drug interactions, and psychodynamic considerations in diagnosis and treatment planning.


Dr Kotbi has been active in clinical research since he joined the faculty at Weill Cornell Medicine. He served as a co-investigator in studies of psychotic depression and late-life affective disorders. His role within these protocols is primarily that of a research clinician.  Recently, I was a co-investigator in the NIMH-funded study Prolonging Remission in Depressed Elderly (PRIDE).  This is a multi-site study whose purpose is to determine whether combined pharmacotherapy and ECT, individualized according to patient response, will be more effective in maintaining remission in depressed older adults than pharmacotherapy alone. Dr Kotbi participates in subject recruitment and diagnostic assessment, monitors patients during the acute phase, perform ECT,  provide clinical care during the continuation phase, complete research assessments and prescribe medication for study patients. Dr Kotbi has been a clinical consultant in the REBUILD study which is a psychosocial intervention to sustain remission and reduce residual depression and disability in middle age and older adults who have achieved partial or full remission post-ECT therapy.  He is also involved in identifying patients, providing ECT treatment, and overseeing the pharmacological treatment of these patients. I remain involved in the identification of psychosocial stressors that need to be addressed after their discharge. 


Dr. Kotbi is an active member of the American Psychiatric Association, the American Association of Geriatric Psychiatry, and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He has received numerous honors and awards in the past including a 2005 NCDEU NIMH New Investigator Award. He has been interviewed by the New York Times and other newspapers about the recent financial crisis and its impact on mental health. Because he is fluent in English, French, and Arabic, he is a consultant for the NYPH international service. In this role, Dr. Kotbi serves as liaison psychiatrist assisting different medical teams to provide culturally sensitive care to international Arabic or French speaking patients admitted to different hospital sites.

He is a true partner with nursing and supports the Patient Care Director in cheering the nursing staff accomplishments. He always acknowledges publicly how nursing staff contribute to an increase in patient satisfaction. He invites nurses to go with him when he meets with a patient so that communication between the patient, the nurse, and the doctor is more direct. Throughout the day, evening, weekends, and holidays Dr. Kotbi will call the unit to speak to the RN in charge to see how the patients are doing, get feedback from the nurse, and sometimes make changes to the treatment plan if there is something that can be quickly resolved.


He contributes to the education of nursing staff and others by giving on-going PowerPoint presentations about evidence-based treatments related to psychiatric disorders and psychopharmacological agents. He assists with huddles related to managing the patients utilizing the Milieu Improvement Project findings and will do on-the-spot teaching on any topic when asked in order to improve patient care. He teaches staff, students, patients, and families in a way they can easily understand.




To schedule an appointment:
  Call (914) 682-5415.


Area of Expertise

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1996 University Hassan II School of Medicine

Residency: 2005 University Hospital of Brooklyn

Fellowship: 2006 NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center