Dr. Richard Friedman is a professor of clinical psychiatry and a psychopharmacology clinic director at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he focuses on mood and anxiety disorders. In addition to his research, Dr. Friedman has interests in mental health policy and psychiatric practice, and is a classical pianist and long-distance swimmer. He graduated from Duke University in 1978 with a degree in physics before graduating from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1982. He has written for The New York Times science section since 2002, and recently became a contributing opinion writer in 2015. He has also written for The New England Journal of Medicine, The American Journal of Psychiatry, and The Journal of the American Medical Association. Dr. Friedman graciously agreed to talk with me over the phone. This interview has been edited and condensed.