Karen Louise Horst, MD


School Education Degree Year
Denver Institute for Psychoanalysis postgraduate training Psychoanalysis Training 2010
Baylor College of Medicine residency Psychiatry 2003
Baylor College of Medicine internship Obstetrics & Gynecology 1999
Baylor College of Medicine medical school Doctor of Medicine 1997

Personal Statement

Dr. Horst joined the Baylor College of Medicine Obstetrics & Gynecology faculty after working as a private clinician specializing in perinatal psychiatry for the first fifteen years of her career.  Dr. Horst returned to Houston in 2019 after practicing in the Denver metro area of Colorado, where she worked collaboratively with obstetrician-gynecologists and women’s mental health specialists, and also was active with the Colorado Department of Public Health & The Environment's committee on maternal mortality.  Dr. Horst co-chaired that committee in 2018-2019.

Dr. Horst also provided outreach services across Colorado to nursing and physician organizations supporting mental health treatment of pregnant and postpartum women. Her work included teaching the psychopharmacology lecture for Postpartum Support International as part of their perinatal mental health certificate training in Colorado and Montana.

Dr. Horst sees mental health as integral to overall health. Medical science is increasingly focused on the bi-directional relationship between our bodies and our minds. For example, emotional stress impacts multiple systems in the body, and intestinal health affects emotions. She is also interested in mindfulness practice that can ease both emotional and physical pain by changing our relationship to the day-to-day experience of our busy minds and physical sensations. Understanding the complexity of our mind-body relationship is key to supporting health, both emotional and physical.

Dr. Horst is a native Houstonian. She studied philosophy at Yale University as an undergraduate and completed her medical and residency training at Baylor College of Medicine. She began her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology, but her interest in the psychology around illness led her to psychiatry. She is thrilled to return to the Baylor College of Medicine Obstetrics & Gynecology program to help patients, and the next generation of women’s health specialists.

Clinical Interests:

The etiology and treatment of psychiatric conditions related to women’s hormonal shifts including pregnancy and the postpartum period, the premenstrual period and perimenopause

Holistic and complementary approaches to health care including attention to nutrition, exercise and mindfulness practices

Pharmacogenetic testing in psychiatry

Supporting physician well-being

View News Article:

Genetic Testing and Maternal Mental Health 


Organization Name Role
American Psychiatric Association Member
Postpartum Support International Member
The International Marcé Society & Marcé of North America Member
The North American Menopause Society Member