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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Craig M. McDonald, M.D. View profile as PDF

Craig M. McDonald

Clinical Interests

Craig McDonald, M.D. is an internationally recognized expert in the clinical management and rehabilitation of neuromuscular diseases including muscular dystrophies and the development of novel outcome measures for clinical trials. He also is widely known for his expertise in the management of children and young adults with spinal cord injury and spina bifida.

Research/Academic Interests

McDonald directs the NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Neuromuscular Diseases and serves as principal investigator of the UC Davis NINDS-funded site in the NeuroNEXT Neurosciences Clinical Trials National Consortium. He is recipient of over $16 million in federal grant support over the past 12 years.

McDonald has been involved in a multitude of NIH, MDA, CDC and Shriners hospitals national committees and serves as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry regarding clinical trials in Duchenne muscular dystrophy and other muscular dystrophies. He has served on many NIH study sections reviewing research proposals relating to neuromuscular diseases and rehabilitation sciences.

His research has focused on novel clinical endpoint development in neuromuscular diseases, clinical trials and natural history studies in muscular dystrophies, metabolic syndrome, and energy expenditure in childhood disabilities.


Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Director, Neuromuscular Disease Clinics
Director, Spina Bifida Program
Director, Electrodiagnostic Laboratory, Shriners Hospital for Children Northern California
Director, NIDRR Rehabilitation Research Training Center in Neuromuscular Diseases


Neuromuscular Medicine, Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Pediatric Orthopaedics


Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
4860 Y St., Suite 1700
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions
Phone: 916-734-7041

Additional Phone:

Phone: 916-734-2923
Physician Referrals: 800-4-UCDAVIS (800-482-3284)


M.D., University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, 1987
A.B., Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, 1982


Children's Hospital and Medical Center, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 1992
UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, 1989
University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, Washington, 1989-1992

Board Certifications:

American Board of Pediatrics, 1992
American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 1993
American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation-Neuromuscular Medicine, 2008
American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation-Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, 2003

Professional Memberships:

American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine
American Academy of Neurology
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine
Association of Academic Physiatrists
World Muscle Society

Select Honors and Awards:

UC Davis university-wide Affirmative Action Award, 1999

Young Academician Award presented by the Association of Academic Physiatrists for outstanding performance in teaching, research and academic administration, 1997

Nominated as a finalist for Richmond Cerebral Palsy Center Award, 1988

Thesis Honors from the University of Washington School of Medicine, 1987

Alpha Omega Alpha National Honor Medical Society, 1987

Thesis Honors from the University of Washington School of Medicine, 1986

Herbert S. Ripley Research, University of Washington School of Medicine, 1986

Northwest Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Medical Student Award for outstanding work in the area of Rehabilitation Medicine, 1985

Select Recent Publications:

Bakshi N, Maselli RA, Gospe SM, Ellis WG, McDonald CM, Mandler RN. Fulminant demyelinating neuropathy mimicking cerebral death. Muscle Nerve 1997;20:1595-1597

Davis CH, Fardanesh L, Rubner D, Wanlass RL, McDonald CM. Profiles of functional recovery in 50 traumatically brain-injured patients after acute rehabilitation. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 1997; 76:213-218

Fone PD, Vapnek JM, Litwiller SE, Couillard DR, McDonald CM, Boggan JE, Stone AR. Urodynamic findings in the tethered spinal cord syndrome. Journal of Urology 1997;157(2):604-609

Im D, McDonald CM. New approaches to managing spasticity in children with cerebral palsy. The Western Journal of Medicine. 1997;166:271

Carter GT, Kilmer DD, Szabo RM, McDonald CM. Case of the Month: Focal posterior interosseus neuropathy in the presence of hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy type I. Muscle Nerve 1996;19:644-648

To see if Craig M. McDonald is accepting new patients, or for assistance finding a UC Davis doctor, please call 800-2-UCDAVIS (800-282-3284).