Dr. Starrels is Professor of Medicine (with tenure) at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, Associate Chief of Research in the Division of General Internal Medicine, and Director of the IMPOWR-ME Research Center. She is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Addiction Medicine. Dr. Starrels is nationally recognized for her expertise in research, clinical care, education, and health policy to address the opioid crisis. Her research focuses on opioid management for patients with chronic pain with or without opioid use disorder. In particular, she studies the benefits and harms of opioid tapering, treatment agreements, urine drug testing, prescription monitoring programs, and medical cannabis use. She also studies the impact of opioid use on HIV outcomes, collaborative care models for integrating behavioral health care and pain management, treatment of opioid use disorder in primary care, and integrated treatment for opioid use disorder and chronic pain. Her work has been funded by grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the Society of General Internal Medicine, the New York Community Trust, and the Einstein-Montefiore Center for AIDS Research. Her expertise has been recognized by invitations to serve as expert consultant to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York State Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for developing guidelines and initiatives to improve opioid prescribing.
Dr. Starrels joined the Einstein/Montefiore faculty in 2008. Her teaching and clinical care activities also focus on chronic pain and substance use. She is faculty in the Center on Comparative Effectiveness Research, leads a number of opioid and pain related initiatives, is teaching faculty in the Internal Medicine and Primary Care and Social Internal Medicine residency training programs, and is attending physician at the Montefiore Family Care Center where she focuses on caring for patients with chronic pain and who use opioids and/or medical cannabis.
Before joining Einstein/Montefiore, Dr. Starrels received her BA from Wesleyan University, where she majored in the Science in Society Program, and her MD from Jefferson Medical College. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and fellowship in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received a MS in Health Policy Research.