Gérard V. Sunnen, M.D., received his medical degree from the State of New York Medical School, Downstate Medical Center. Following an internship in surgery and medicine at Bellevue Hospital, New York, he was appointed resident, then chief resident at Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital. He has practiced medicine and psychiatry in general hospital, academic, Air Force, forensic and hospice settings.
Dr. Sunnen was named official psychiatrist for the French Consulate and Embassy in New York in 1980, with the mission of delivering comprehensive health care to French nationals (approximately 75,000 registered nationals in the New York tri-state area, and 400,000 tourists yearly). He received commendations for assisting the French families of the TWA flight 800 disaster victims, and for coordinating the post 9/11 consular psychiatric crisis team.
For his role in developing mental health services for the French community in the greater New York City area, and for enriching American-French fellowship, he was awarded the title of "Chevalier du Mérite" by the French government in 1991.
Dr. Sunnen is a co-founder and honorary president of the International Association for Emergency Psychiatry (IAEP), a transcultural association of mental health professionals seeking to develop global emergency psychiatric services. Founded in Paris in 1988, the association, since its inception has held several international congresses, among them in Réunion Island, Amsterdam, Moscow, Turin, Quebec, and Brussels.
He has, for many years, applied medical hypnotherapy to many aspects of patient care. During his internship he enlisted hypnotic assistance for pain control, for pre-operative preparation and for illness management. During his residency he applied medical hypnosis to the treatment of anxiety, depression, addictions, and to the goals of psychotherapy, namely self-discovery, self-expression and creativity. In his book, co-authored with Barbara DeBetz, MD, "A Primer of Clinical Hypnosis," Dr. Sunnen explores a subject of special interest to him, namely the relationship between hypnosis and meditative experiences. For these insights, he expresses everlasting gratitude to his late parents who were both students of P. Yogananda.
Both in the United States and his native France, Dr. Sunnen has lectured on innovative techniques of psychotherapy - including hypnosis-enhanced psychotherapy - on clinical psychopharmacology, and on future directions in psychiatry. He became foreign correspondent to the premier French psychiatric publication "Psychiatrie Française" in 1988.
Dr. Sunnen was certified as Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in 1977. He was appointed Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the New York University-Bellevue Medical Center in 1977, and Associate Clinical Professor in 1987.
Interested in medical research for many years, Dr. Sunnen was president and director of research, from 1997 to 2002, of Medizone International, Inc., a publicly-held company engaged in the research and development of ozone-based technologies for diseases caused by lipid-enveloped viruses and for biological fluid decontamination. He is the recipient of two patents relative to the medical use of ozone's unique antimicrobial dynamics for the healing of diabetic skin ulcers and poorly healing surgical skin lesions.
In 2005, Dr. Sunnen founded Ozonics International, LLC, a company dedicated to the development of ozone-based and other forward-looking medical technologies.
In May 2017, Dr. Sunnen was presented with the William A. Console, MD, Alumni Achievement Award, by the State University of New York (SUNY), "In Recognition of Significant Achievement in Psychiatry."