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Profile: Harold J. Bursztajn, MD

Accredited Psychiatry & Medicine
96 Larchwood Drive
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-492-8366
Fax: 617-441-3195

Harold J. Bursztajn, MD, a Harvard Medical School and Princeton University honors graduate, maintains an active patient practice, has a distinguished academic achievement record, and consults nationally. He is currently a senior clinical faculty member at Harvard Medical School and co-founded the Program in Psychiatry and the Law at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Bursztajn consults, teaches, and testifies nationwide as an expert qualified in general psychiatry and forensic neuropsychiatry. His litigation prevention services include both continuing education workshops and individual consultations. He has taught clinicians, judges, and attorneys on a variety of forensic topics, including evaluation of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder and detection of medical and psychiatric malingering and misattribution, as well as a variety of clinical topics, including informed consent, assessment of suicide, pain management, psychopharmacology, the addictions, and the treatment of acutely and chronically mentally ill patients. He also consults widely to both public and private organizations including state and federal agencies, the courts, law firms, health care providers, educational institutions, and corporations. 

Dr. Bursztajn has published more than 70 peer-reviewed medical journal articles, 4 books, and more than 30 book chapters. He is also a major contributor to national media health reporting designed to educate the general public. He has made numerous well-received public and professional educational appearances, including as commentator for news (CNN) and public radio and television. 

A respected peer reviewer for medical, mental health, and ethics journals, he has been qualified nationally as an expert in State and Federal courts. He has served on a variety of advisory and expert panels including the ABA State Judicial Institute Benchbook Project for Judges. 

Dr. Bursztajn has been retained by attorneys representing plaintiff's and defendants, mediators, arbitrators, and finders of fact as an expert in over 200 civil and criminal cases.


  • A.B. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
  • M.D. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

Current Academic Appointments:

  • Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School
  • Co-Founder, Harvard Medical School Program in Psychiatry and the Law at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Massachusetts Mental Health Center

Selected Awards & Honors:
  • Harvard Medical School Alumni Council Representative to Harvard University Alumni Directors
  • Mentor for Harvard Medical School Academy Mentored Student Casebook Project
  • Listed in Best Doctors in America
  • Clifford A. Barger Excellence in Mentoring Award, Harvard Medical School
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Area(s) of Expertise

  • Forensic & Clinical Psychiatry
  • Forensic & Clinical Neuropsychiatry
  • Pharmaceutical Product Liability
  • Employment Issues
  • Informed Consent
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Psychiatric & Medical Malpractice
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Sexual & Racial Harassment/Misconduct
  • Testamentary Capacity
  • Pain Management
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Substance Abuse & Addiction
  • Diminished Capacity
  • Family & Custodial Issues
  • Professional Ethics
  • Risk Management
  • ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • Workplace Violence & Dangerousness
  • Evaluation of Malingering & Misattribution
  • Emotional & Physical Damages