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Carolyn L. Westhoff

Professor of Epidemiology & Population and Family Health at the New York Presbyterian Hospital & at the Columbia University Medical Center

Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the New York Presbyterian Hospital & at the Columbia University Medical Center, College of Physicians and Surgeons (Home Department)

Dr. Westhoff's work focuses on improving access to and quality of contraceptive and abortion services through education and research. She has published over 200 scientific articles, as well as many abstracts, relating to safety and effectiveness of contraception and abortion. Current clinical trials evaluate new approaches to contraception such as the use of microbicidal agents that can protect against HIV as well as against pregnancy. In addition, trials evaluate new and simpler ways to initiate contraceptive methods, and evaluate whether drug interactions interfere with contraceptive efficacy. Numerous recent studies have evaluated the safety and effectiveness of early abortion using medications rather than procedures. All studies and projects welcome the involvement of public health students as well as clinicians.

Dr. Westhoff serves as editor-in-chief of the international health journal, Contraception, a monthly publication for the advancement of reproductive health. The journal, published by Elsevier, is the official journal of the Society of Family Planning and the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Education & Training:

    Other, 1984, Oxford University- Post Doctoral Work

    MSc, 1983, University of London

    Other, 1982, Kings County Hospital Center-Residency

    MD, 1977, University of Michigan

    BS, 1972, University of Michigan


Mailman School Affiliations:

  • Center for Community Health and Education

Additional Affiliations:

  • Board Chair, Society of Family Planning
  • Senior Medical Advisor, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Past President, New York Obstetrical Society
  • Past Chair and Member, Board of Directors, National Medical Committee, Planned Parenthood Federation of America
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Alan Guttmacher Institute
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Honors and Awards:
  • NYCLU, Reproductive Rights Award, 2004
  • NCWH Shirley Sacks Women's Health Award, 2003
  • PPNYC, Women Making History Award, 2002
  • Selected Editorial Boards

    • Editor-in-Chief, Contraception
Selected Publications:
  • Madden, T., WESTHOFF, C. Rates and Follow-up and Repeat Pregnancy in the 12 months After First-Trimester Induced Abortion Obstetrics and Gynecology 113 (3) 663-668. 2009 March
  • WESTHOFF, C., Jones, K. Smoking and oral contraceptive continuation Contraception In Press 2009
  • Benrubi, G., Edelman, A., Grimes, D., Kaunitz, A., MacIsaac, L., WESTHOFF, C. Contraceptive Effectiveness of Oral Contraceptives in “real world” clinical practice APGO Contraception Module. Including: monograph, case studies, PowerPoint slides, and audio podcasts http://www.apgo.org/elearn/modules/cpcm/ 2009
  • Wiegerinck, MM., Jones, HE., O’Connell, K., Lichtenberg, ES., Paul, M., WESTHOFF, CL. Medical Abortion Practices: A Survey of National Abortion Federation Members in the United States Contraception 78(6) 486-91 2008 Dec
  • Edwards, SM., Zieman, M., Jones, K., Diaz, A., Robilotto, C., WESTHOFF, C. Initiation of oral contraceptives – Start now! Journal of Adolescent Health 43(5) 432-6 2008 Nov
  • Shimoni N, WESTHOFF C Review of the vaginal contraceptive ring (NuvaRing) Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care 34(4) 247-50 2008 Oct
  • Nelson, AL., WESTHOFF, C., Schnare, SM. Real-world patterns of prescription refills for branded hormonal contraceptives: a reflection of contraceptive discontinuation Obstetrics and Gynecology 112(4) 782-7 2008 Oct
  • O'Connell, K., WESTHOFF, C. Pharmacology of hormonal contraceptives and acne Cutis 81 8-12 2008
  • Kalmuss, D., Koenemann, S., WESTHOFF, C., Heartwell, S., Edwards, S., Zieman, M., Cushman, L., Robilotto, C., Stuart, G. Prior Pill Experiences and Current Method Commitment, Satisfaction and Continuation among Young Women Re-Starting Oral Contraceptives Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 40(3) 138–143 2008
  • Chen, B., Reeves, MF., Gilles, JM., Barnhart, K., WESTHOFF, C., Zhang, J. Misorpostol for treatment of early pregnancy failure in women with previous uterine surgery American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 198 e1-5 2008

Contact Information


PH16, 630 West 168 St.

NY, NY 10032