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Neil Schachter, MD

Dr. Neil Schachter earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Columbia University and a degree in medicine from New York University. He served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant commander and chief of the Pulmonary Division at St. Albans Naval Hospital. He trained in chest medicine at Yale School of Medicine. After completing his training, he was appointed medical director of the Respiratory Care Department at Yale New Haven Hospital, an associate professor at the Yale School of Medicine.

Dr. Schachter is currently the Maurice Hexter Professor of Pulmonary and Community Medicine and Medical Director of Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Mount Sinai Medical Center. He has established and directs the Mount Sinai Pulmonary Rehabilitation program. Author of five books and over 400 articles and abstracts on pulmonary disease, Dr. Schachter is past president of the American Lung Association of the City of New York, the Connecticut Thoracic Society and the National Association of Medical Directors of Respiratory Care. He currently serves on the board of directors and as the chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the American Lung Association of the Northeast. In 2005 he was an honoree of the American Lung Association of the City of New York at their annual Life and Breath Gala. In 2016 he received the Will Ross Medal Award  from the Lung Association.

Dr. Schachter is an advocate for environmental lung issues. He worked with the Southern Poverty Law Center for healthier factory standards and increased workers' compensation for men and women in cotton textile mills. He lobbied for tougher anti-smoking laws in New York City on behalf of the Lung Association and the Coalition for Smoking or Health. He is currently completing a study on the health effects of air pollution on children with asthma in the inner city neighborhoods of New York City.

Full Bio
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Recently Diagnosed with COPD

Ask the Expert


I've recently been diagnosed with COPD, and I feel pretty confused and alone. Where can I find resources and support for living with this condition?


Being diagnosed with COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, can be scary. Because COPD is a chronic disease, meaning that it needs to be managed over the long term, getting the right treatment now is important. Studies show that maintenance therapies can help you maintain lung function and improve your quality of life.

It is important to remember that you are not alone. Nearly 7 million women have been diagnosed with COPD, so there are numerous online and in-person support groups where you can learn more and connect with other people living with the condition. For local groups, check with your doctor's office, your local hospital or even read listings in your local newspaper.

Online resources include:

American College of Chest Physicians and the American Thoracic Society
The pulmonologists and other respiratory specialists you see for your condition will likely belong to one or both of these professional organizations. These groups provide clinical guidelines for the management of COPD, and their members conduct the majority of ongoing research. Their websites also contain interesting, easy-to-read information about COPD designed for patients and their families.

American Lung Association
The American Lung Association (ALA) is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, including COPD, through education, advocacy and research. The ALA website offers information on COPD and other lung diseases, as well as current research and tips on how to quit smoking. The American Lung Association also has a toll-free hotline: call 1-800-586-4872 (1-800-lungusa).

COPD Foundation
This nonprofit organization's mission is to develop and support programs that improve the quality of life for those with COPD through research, education, early diagnosis and enhanced therapy. The programs developed by the COPD Foundation help increase awareness about COPD, its management and available resources. Among its offerings, the COPD Foundation provides a COPD Information Line (866-316-2673), mobile spirometry units and educational and grassroots advocacy events.

COPD Learn More, Breathe Better
This national campaign is managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. COPD Learn More, Breath Better aims to increase awareness and understanding of COPD and its risk factors and underscore the benefits of early detection and treatment of the disease to slow the disease and improve quality of life. The website provides extensive information about COPD, diagnosis, prevention and treatment.

U.S. COPD Coalition
This nonprofit organization brings together patient foundations and organizations, health professional organizations, individuals and government agencies to advocate those affected by COPD, their family members, physicians and scientists. The goal of the coalition is to improve COPD patient needs with a keen eye to the future. It also works with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to promote the COPD Learn More, Breathe Better campaign.

Just remember: you are not alone. And, with the right treatment and care, COPD can be managed and controlled.

This resource was created with the support of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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