Zoom On: Michael Niederman, Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician

Lead by example, it helps coalesce a team and team spirit
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Michael S. Niederman, MD, MACP, FCCP, FCCM, FERS is Clinical Director, Pulmonary and Critical Care at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

1.      What are your key areas of interest and research?

Respiratory infections. I focus my interests on pneumonia arising in the community and in the hospital, with a particular interest in improving the management of ICU patients with severe pneumonia, and infected with drug-resistant pathogens.
2. What are the major challenges in your field?
We still need to have better diagnostic tests for pneumonia, more therapeutic options for drug-resistant pathogens, and less government interference with the practice of ICU medicine (which recently has had too much of a focus on “zero VAP”).

3. What is your top management tip?
Lead by example, it helps coalesce a team and team spirit.

4. What would you single out as a career highlight?

Being the chairman of a number of committees that have written international guidelines for the management of pneumonia. This has given me the opportunity to impact patient management in multiple countries around the world and to develop investigational collaborations in a variety of healthcare systems.

5. If you had not chosen this career path you would have become a…?
I cannot imagine doing anything else. To this day, I remain enthusiastic about being a physician and all the opportunities it provides. It is an unparalleled way to help others.

6. What are your personal interests outside of work?
 I enjoy spending time with family and friends, particularly in the mountains of New England, where I can be involved in a number of sporting activities (skiing, biking, golf)
7. Your favourite quote?

“We have to ask ourselves whether medicine is to remain a humanitarian and respected profession or a new but depersonalized science in the service of prolonging life rather than diminishing human suffering” - Elizabeth Kübler-Ross.

Before taking up his current position, Prof. Niederman was Professor in the Department of Medicine at the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, New York for 16 years. He obtained his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine, completed his training in internal medicine at Northwestern University School of Medicine, before undertaking a pulmonary and critical care fellowship at Yale University School of Medicine.

His interests lie in respiratory tract infections, and include mechanisms of airway colonisation, the management of community- and hospital-acquired pneumonia, the role of guidelines for pneumonia, and the impact of antibiotic resistance on the management and outcomes of respiratory tract infections. He has published over 400 peer reviewed or review articles, and has lectured widely, both nationally and internationally. Dr Niederman served as co-chairman of the committees that created the American Thoracic Society (ATS) 1993 and 2001 guidelines for the treatment of community-acquired pneumonia and the 1996 and 2005 committees that wrote guidelines for the treatment of nosocomial pneumonia. He was a member of the ATS/ Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) committee that published guidelines for community-acquired pneumonia in 2007. He is also Editor-in-Chief of Clinical Pulmonary Medicine, and serves on  the editorial boards of Critical Care Medicine, Intensive Care Medicine, Critical Care and Chest. He has previously served on the editorial board of The American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.


Niederman MS (2013) Inhaled antibiotics in the ICU. ICU Management, 13(4): 14,16-18.

Prof. Niederman’s educational courses for the American College of Physicians are available at

  • Management of Obstructive Lung Disease in the ICU
  • Pneumonia in the Critically Ill Patient: Prevention, Diagnosis and Management

Published on : Tue, 5 Apr 2016

Zoom On, Michael Niederman, Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician Zoom On: Michael Niederman, Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician

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