Craig McDonald, M.D.

Craig M. McDonald, M.D.


Neuromuscular Medicine

Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


  • 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
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).

Lawrence J. Ellison Ambulatory Care Center

4860 Y St., Suite 1700
Sacramento, CA 95817
Driving Directions

Primary Phone:

Additional Phone Numbers

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

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.


Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Pediatric Orthopaedics

Center/Program Affiliation

Center for Healthcare Policy and Research
UC Davis Children's Hospital


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

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