Sue Varma, MD

Sue Varma, MD

Psychiatrist, cognitive behavioral therapist, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at New York University Langone Health

Sue Varma, MD is a distinguished psychiatrist and cognitive behavioral therapist based in New York City. With over two decades of private practice experience, Dr. Varma has made significant contributions to the field of mental health. Notably, she served as the pioneering medical director and psychiatrist for the esteemed 9/11 mental health program at New York University. Alongside her clinical work, Dr. Varma holds the position of Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health. Her accomplishments have been recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA), where she was honored as a Distinguished Fellow, the highest honor bestowed upon its members.

Dr. Varma has garnered national acclaim as a sought-after medical commentator, appearing on major news programs and networks. Her expertise has been instrumental in guiding the public through various mental health challenges, from trauma and resilience to stress management and relationship issues. Dr. Varma can frequently be seen discussing breaking news on the morning shows including the Today Show, CBS Mornings and Good Morning America, as well as prime time specials and news documentaries. In addition to her media contributions, Dr. Varma is a captivating speaker, engaging diverse audiences with her messages of inspiration, compassion, and hope. From C-suite executives to healthcare professionals, educators, and the general public, she imparts valuable knowledge on topics such as self-compassion, psychological safety, work-life balance, and women’s mental health.

Throughout her career, Dr. Varma has received numerous prestigious awards for her groundbreaking work in mental health education and advocacy: two Sharecare Emmy awards (including an inaugural Sharecare Emmy), the Ivan Goldberg Award for Outstanding Service and a Mayoral Proclamation. Notably, she was recognized as one of the world’s top five leading health experts by Global Citizen for her contributions during the pandemic.

Dr. Varma’s integrative approach to mental health, encompassing the 4 Ms of mental health, empowers individuals to boost their mood, mastery, and sense of meaning in life. Dr. Varma’s new book, Practical Optimism: The Art, Science and Practice of Exceptional Well-Being, offers valuable insights into promoting optimal mental health and wellness. She believes that physicians have a duty to not only take their patients from a state of dysfunction to function, but also from functional to optimal.