Laura Lennihan, MD

Hospital Neurology
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Laura Lennihan, MD is a Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC) and Vice Chair for Faculty Development in the Department of Neurology at the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons (VP&S). A specialist in the neurological care of inpatients, Dr. Lennihan directs the Neurohospitalist Program and oversees the Neurology Consult Services at NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) Milstein Hospital, where she is an Attending Physician. She also oversees Neurohospitalist Services at the NYP Allen and Westchester Hospitals.

Dr. Lennihan received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her medical degree from Cornell University Medical College. After completing residency in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Lennihan came to Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital for residency at the Neurological Institute of New York. She remained at Columbia for fellowship training in both Cerebrovascular Diseases and Neuroepidemiology, and subsequently joined the faculty of the VP&S Department of Neurology in 1987. In the time since, she has held various clinical, administrative, and leadership positions at NYP/CUIMC, while also serving as an Attending Physician (1989-2014), Director of Stroke Rehabilitation (1989-2006), and Chief of Neurology (1994-2006) at Helen Hayes Hospital in New York. From 2011-2023, Dr. Lennihan served as Vice Chair of the Department of Neurology at VP&S.

Dr. Lennihan is a current and longstanding member of the CUIMC Ethics Committee. She has been a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Society since 1977 and the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) since 1982, in which she received the formal distinction of Fellow (FAAN) in 1996. Dr. Lennihan has received numerous honors and awards, including the NewYork-Presbyterian Physician of the Year Award (2007), the Stephen Q. Shafer Award for Humanism in Neurology (2009), and the Lewis P. Rowland Teacher of the Year Award (2014).

From 2020-2023, Dr. Lennihan served as Advisory Dean for Clinician-Educator Faculty for the Office for Women and Diverse Faculty, through which she provided mentorship and faculty development guidance to VP&S women and minority faculty. Currently, as Vice Chair of Faculty Development in Neurology, she continues to cultivate mentoring networks between junior and senior faculty and remains involved in multiple university and departmental advisory committees overseeing the recruitment, retention, appointment, and promotion of a diverse faculty. A longtime advocate for women in academic medicine, Dr. Lennihan has been instrumental in steering the growth of the VP&S Department of Neurology, which is now widely considered a leader among neurology programs nationwide, in terms of the number of women faculty at each academic rank.

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Neurology at CUMC

Administrative Titles

  • Vice Chair for Faculty Development, Department of Neurology
  • Director, Neurohospitalist Program, Department of Neurology

Hospital Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital
  • NewYork-Presbyterian / Columbia University Irving Medical Center
  • NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester


  • Female

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Credentials & Experience

Education & Training

  • Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Residency: Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
  • Residency: Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, NY
  • Fellowship: Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, NY

Board Certifications

  • Neurology