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Michael D. Lockshin, MD

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Dr. Lockshin headshot

Michael D. Lockshin, MD

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Hospital for Special Surgery
535 East 70th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10021

Tel: 212.606.1461
Fax: 212.774.2374

Hospital for Special Surgery
535 East 70th Street, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10021

Tel: 212.606.1461
Fax: 212.774.2374

Michael Lockshin, MD, is the Director of the Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Disease at Hospital for Special Surgery and professor of medicine and obstetrics-gynecology at Weill Cornell Medicine. From his days as a medical student, when he cared for a seriously ill pregnant woman with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), he has focused his career on patients with this disease, including those who are pregnant. He was one of the first physicians to associate the newly discovered antiphospholipid antibody with pregnancy complications. Dr. Lockshin also has a long-standing interest in sex differences in disease incidence and has convened a conference and participated in an Institute of Medicine review on the topic.

Throughout his career, Dr. Lockshin has noted the complexity of SLE. Chief among these issues is the frequent occurrence of patients with SLE-like illnesses who do not meet criteria for this diagnosis, and others who have SLE as well as other autoimmune diseases like thyroid disease or multiple sclerosis. These patients led him to question the yes-you-have-it/no-you-don’t approach to chronic illnesses. He has published many medical papers on disease overlap and evolution as well as three books: Guarded Prognosis (2010), about evolving scientific and socioeconomic trends in medicine that conflict with patients’ desires; Dancing at the River’s Edge (2010, with Alida Brill), in which a patient and a doctor explore their communications and miscommunications over a long period of time; and The Prince at the Ruined Tower (2017), about the actuality and effects of diagnostic uncertainty on patients, physicians and students.

Writing his last book inspired Dr. Lockshin to seek consensus on how to conceptualize and act on diagnostic uncertainty. He is currently leading an initiative focused on this topic, bringing together basic scientists, clinical researchers, practicing physicians, patients and members of the pharmaceutical, administrative, insurance and media communities to find practical solutions for patients with conditions that do not fall within clear diagnostic criteria.

Dr. Lockshin graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Medical School; he did his medical residency at Second (Cornell) Medical Service at Bellevue Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and his rheumatology fellowship at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital (now NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center). A member of the faculty of Weill Cornell Medical College and a staff rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery and New York Hospital (now Weill Cornell Medicine) from 1970 to 1989, he became Extramural Director, then Acting Director of the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in 1989. He returned to HSS in 1997 to head the Barbara Volcker Center, rising to full professorship at Weill Cornell Medicine. He also served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service of the Communicable Disease Center (now Centers for Disease Control), where he focused on environmental causes of rheumatic illnesses.

Dr. Lockshin served as Editor-in-Chief of Arthritis & Rheumatism, rheumatology's premier journal, from 2005 to 2010. He is the author of more than 330 research papers, book chapters and books, most on the topics of lupus, pregnancy, antiphospholipid syndrome and sex differences in disease. Among his recognitions include national awards from the Arthritis Foundation, the American College of Rheumatology and the Lupus Foundation of America.

Patient Stories


Attending Physician, Hospital for Special Surgery
Professor of Medicine and OB-GYN, Weill Cornell Medical College
Director, Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Disease, Hospital for Special Surgery
Co-Director, Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research, Hospital for Special Surgery


Specialized Centers

Special Expertise

Gender and rheumatic disease
Pregnancy and rheumatic disease
Antiphospholipid antibody syndrome
Neurological systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)


Various national offices, national and international visiting professorships
Institute of Medicine Committee
"Best Doctors in New York," New York Magazine, 2010



Insurance Information

Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage. You may have coverage subject to the availability of 'out-of-network' benefits.

Industry Relationships

One of the goals of HSS is to advance the science of orthopedic surgery, rheumatology, and related disciplines for the benefit of patients. Physicians at HSS may collaborate with outside companies for education, research and medical advances. HSS supports this collaboration in order to foster medical breakthroughs; however HSS also believes that these collaborations must be disclosed.

As part of the disclosure process, this website lists physician collaborations with outside companies. The disclosures are provided by information provided by the physician and other sources and are updated regularly. Further information may be available on individual company websites.

Below are the healthcare industry relationships reported by Dr. Lockshin as of December 19, 2019.

  • American College of Rheumatology - Honoraria
  • Defined Health Inc. - Honoraria
  • Wolters Kluwer - Author

By disclosing the collaborations of HSS physicians with industry on this website, HSS and its physicians make this information available to their patients and the public, thus creating a transparent environment for those who are interested in this information. Further, the HSS Conflicts of Interest Policy does not permit physicians to collect royalties on products developed by him/her that are used on patients at HSS.

Patients should feel free to ask their HSS physicians questions about these relationships.

Dr. Lockshin in the News


MD, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1963


Second (Cornell) Medical Service, New York
Bellevue Hospital, New York
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, New York


Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, New York


Internal Medicine, 1969
Rheumatology, 1972
Chairman, Rheumatology Subspecialty Board, 1983-86

State Licensure

Patient Education by Dr. Lockshin on HSS.edu

Blog Posts by Dr. Lockshin

Selected Books by Dr. Lockshin

Dancing at the River's Edge book cover The Prince at the Ruined Tower book cover

Dancing at the River's Edge
The Prince at the Ruined Tower

For more publications, please see the PubMed listing.

Professional Education by Dr. Lockshin on HSS.edu

Research Description

Clinical Aspects of Lupus, Antiphospholipid Syndrome, and Pregnancy

Dr. Michael Lockshin has a long-term interest in clinical aspects of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), and pregnancy in rheumatic disease patients. He is Director of the HSS unit participating in the multi-site Lupus Clinical Trials Consortium. With Dr. Melanie Harrison, and funded by the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research and the National Institutes of Health, he is investigating prevalence, mechanisms, and potential treatments for cognitive dysfunction in SLE and APS. With Dr. Doruk Erkan, he participates in the Antiphospholipid Syndrome Registry (APSCORE), funded by NIH, and in a number of specific projects reflecting relative risks, outcomes, and treatments of APS. With Dr. Jane Salmon, he contributes patients to and participates in planning for an NIH-funded study of mechanisms of pregnancy loss in APS and SLE (PROMISSE), as well as in a now-completed study on atherosclerosis in SLE and rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Lockshin also has a long-standing interest in sex differences in disease incidence; he convened a conference on this topic in 1999 and participated in an Institute of Medicine review of this topic.

Clinical Trials