Robert Cowan, MD, FAAN

Headache specialist

Bio:   Robert Cowan, MD, FAAN is Professor of Neurology and Chief of the Division of Headache Medicine at Stanford University. Prior to coming to Stanford he was ta senior clinical research scientist in molecular neurobiology at Huntington Medical Research Institutes (Pasadena, CA). Dr. Cowan attended University of Southern California, Keck Medical School, completed a residency program at USC Department of Neurology and served on faculty there until 2000. He is Board Certified in the areas of: Psychiatry and Neurology and Pain Medicine. He also holds subspecialty certification in Headache Medicine. Dr. Cowan is widely published in various scientific journals, including the Journal of the American Medical Association Cephalalgia, and Headache. He has authored book chapters lectures both nationally and internationally on a variety of headache topics, and has appeared on NBC, CBS and has been featured in articles ranging from the San Francisco Chronicle to Vogue Magazine.

Dr. Cowan has held several nationally elected positions, including chair of the sections on Chronic Daily Headache and In-office Patient Education for the American Headache Society. He is immediate past President of the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific, is a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society. He is on the boards of the Alliance for Headache Diseases Advocacy, the Headache Cooperative of the Pacific, the American Headache and Migraine Association, and the American Council for Headache Education. He is a reviewer for several peer-reviewed journals, including Headache and Cephalalgia. He is an editor for Headache Currents. Dr. Cowan is the author of The Keeler Migraine Method (Penguin/Avery, 2008).

Along with Dr. Alan Rapoport, Professor of Neurology at UCLA School of Medicine, Dr. Cowan co-founded BonTriage which develops computer-based tools to aid in the diagnosis, education, and care of people with chronic medical conditions. Dr. Cowan’s primary iresearch nterest is the pathophysiology of chronic daily headache, utilizing functional imaging, body fluid analysis and deep phenotyping. He has been the recipient of NIH, foundation, industry and individual grants and gifts for his research, .
4.7 out of 5
148 Patient Ratings
35 Patient Comments

Headache Clinic

Headache Clinic in Redwood City

Headache Clinic at Boswell Building

Pain Management Center

  • 450 Broadway Street
  • Pavilion A, 1st Floor
  • Redwood City, CA 94063
  • Phone: 650-723-6238
More Clinic Information » Insurance Coverage » Getting Here » Make An Appointment

Professional Education

  • Board Certification, Unified Council of Neurologic Subspecialties, Headache Medicine (2008)
  • Board Certification, American Academy of Pain Medicine (2000)
  • Residency: LAC and USC Medical Center (1990) CA
  • Internship: LAC and USC Medical Center (1987) CA
  • Medical Education: Keck School of Medicine University of Southern CA (1986) CA
  • Board Certification: Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology (1994)

Honors & Awards

  • Magna Cum Laude, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts (1972)
  • Woodrow Wilson Scholar, Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts (1972)
  • Chief Resident, LAC/USC, Los Angeles, California (1989)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Neurology (2006)
  • Fellow, American Headache Society (2010)

Administrative Appointments

  • Program Director, Headache Cooperative of the Pacific (2007 - 2011)
  • Vice President, Headache Cooperative of the Pacific (2007 - 2012)
  • Chair, Refractory Headache Special Interest Section, American Headache Society, American Headache Society (2012 - Present)
  • Director,Stanford Headache Program, Stanford University School of Medicine (2011 - Present)
  • President, Headache Cooperative of the Pacific (2012 - Present)

Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.

Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.

4.8

Friendliness

4.6

Recommended to others

4.6

Explanations

4.6

Listens

4.6

Includes you in decisions

4.8

Clear Communication

4.7

Confidence in your doctor

4.1

Wait times

SHC Patient, Jul 2016

I had a very good experience with the doctor and resident doctor.

SHC Patient, Jul 2016

Dr. Cowan was very kind, understanding and knowledgeable.

SHC Patient, Jun 2016

Great I would be happy to see him again! Those were the least painful botox injections that I've had & my heart rate did not spike at all!

SHC Patient, Jun 2016

Dr. Cowan and Dr. Peretz provided useful advice.

SHC Patient, Jun 2016

Good attend excellent.

SHC Patient, Jun 2016

Dr. Cowan showed no concern for my condition or side effects from the medication he prescribed. He did not give me any follow up care instructions or information - he said maybe 5 words to me.

SHC Patient, May 2016

My experience with Dr. Cohen & his assistant was very good & I would recommend him to anyone with migraines.

SHC Patient, May 2016

Very positive experience with a neurologist who understands headaches! Wish I had access to such knowledge when first diagnosed with migraines approx. 32 years ago.

SHC Patient, Mar 2016

Excellent care, very kind and explained everything to me. I really appreciate your expertise!!

SHC Patient, Mar 2016

Kind, compassionate, attentive, thorough. Jacob Hall, the neurology resident was exceptional - caring, attentive, thorough, excellent bedside manner.

SHC Patient, Mar 2016

Awesome doctors!

SHC Patient, Nov 2015

Excellent drs.

View All 35 Patient Comments »
4.7 out of 5
148 Patient Ratings
35 Patient Comments

SHC Patient, Jul 2016

I had a very good experience with the doctor and resident doctor.

SHC Patient, Jul 2016

Dr. Cowan was very kind, understanding and knowledgeable.

SHC Patient, Jun 2016

Great I would be happy to see him again! Those were the least painful botox injections that I've had & my heart rate did not spike at all!

SHC Patient, Jun 2016

Dr. Cowan and Dr. Peretz provided useful advice.

SHC Patient, Jun 2016

Good attend excellent.

SHC Patient, Jun 2016

Dr. Cowan showed no concern for my condition or side effects from the medication he prescribed. He did not give me any follow up care instructions or information - he said maybe 5 words to me.

SHC Patient, May 2016

My experience with Dr. Cohen & his assistant was very good & I would recommend him to anyone with migraines.

SHC Patient, May 2016

Very positive experience with a neurologist who understands headaches! Wish I had access to such knowledge when first diagnosed with migraines approx. 32 years ago.

SHC Patient, Mar 2016

Excellent care, very kind and explained everything to me. I really appreciate your expertise!!

SHC Patient, Mar 2016

Kind, compassionate, attentive, thorough. Jacob Hall, the neurology resident was exceptional - caring, attentive, thorough, excellent bedside manner.

SHC Patient, Mar 2016

Awesome doctors!

SHC Patient, Nov 2015

Excellent drs.

SHC Patient, Nov 2015

Loved Dr. Cowan very nice & knowledgeable.

SHC Patient, Sep 2015

This is a great doctor and I am thankful to be seen by him.

SHC Patient, Sep 2015

So far, I'm very happy w/the treatment options I've been presented with -

SHC Patient, Aug 2015

Both Doc Cowan and his assistant were wonderful and very helpful.

SHC Patient, Jul 2015

I was required to bring disc with radiology studies. These were never reviewed with me. It was clear that Dr. Cowan did not read my entire medical record prior to my visit.

SHC Patient, Jul 2015

The best migraine doctor I have ever seen!

SHC Patient, Mar 2015

Dr. McCawley & Dr. Cowan were very thorough & wonderful. Felt like I was in good hands.

SHC Patient, Mar 2015

Always get more time w/the fellow than Dr. Cowan.

SHC Patient, Jan 2015

Awesome doctor - good listener. (Fellow was also wonderful.)

SHC Patient, Dec 2014

Dr. Cowan treated me with respect and had genuine concerns about my health. Dr. Aurora and Carol Ann Barch don't seem to care about helping me.

SHC Patient, Dec 2014

Dr. Cowan and his fellows were superb in all ways.

SHC Patient, Nov 2014

This was a consultation arranged by my treating neurologist (from Stanford) to assess my eligibility for a procedure performed elsewhere in Stanford - a limited, non-traditional role for Cowan.

SHC Patient, Oct 2014

Love Doctor Cowan!! Wished I'd come sooner.

SHC Patient, Aug 2014

When I see Dr. Cowan it's amazing! Yet NOT so when I see Barch, etc. Wish you were less busy so I could always see Dr. Cowan.

SHC Patient, Jun 2014

99% of visit was with assistant doctor (she had a fellowship). Dr. Cowan spent 5 minutes or less with me.

SHC Patient, Jun 2014

Super happy with my care from Dr. Cowan & Dr. Barch.

SHC Patient, May 2014

Dr. Cowan was great.

SHC Patient, Apr 2014

GREAT effort to include me in decision making, but I felt rushed to make decision without enough information.

SHC Patient, Apr 2014

This provider and I "clash" on some aspects of my care re: medications - opiates, so I've been transferring most of my care, aside from Botox to other providers. He is, however, very friendly & caring.

SHC Patient, Mar 2014

I was really nervous to get botox for my migraines. Dr. Cowan really eased that fear.

SHC Patient, Mar 2014

Dr. Cowan was very friendly, competent & informed - - helped me with decisions re" my care. Feel confident seeing him.

SHC Patient, Feb 2014

'Botox day' did not allow time so I am returning to talk.

SHC Patient, Jan 2014

Very respectful.