Richard D. Zorowitz, MD

Richard D. Zorowitz, MD, is an attending physician at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and a Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at Georgetown University. He serves as the Chief Medical Informatics Officer at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, where he is also the chairman of the Credentials Committee and the secretary of the Medical Executive Committee.

Dr. Zorowitz focuses his clinical activities on the rehabilitation of stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and other neurological conditions. He specializes in the management of spasticity, including oral medications, botulinum toxin injections, and intrathecal baclofen.

Dr. Zorowitz is a fellow of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He is a member of the board of directors of the PCPI Foundation. He is a member of the editorial boards of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Topics in Stroke Rehabilitation, and Stroke.

Dr. Zorowitz has received numerous awards including: Visionary in Practice Society, National Stroke Association (2001); Central Nervous System Council Outstanding Service Award, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2011); Golden Goniometer Award, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (2012); America’s Top Physicians, Consumer’s Research Council of America (2015, 2018); and Outstanding Contributions in the Training and Education of the Resident Staff, MedStar National Rehabilitation Network/Georgetown University Department of Rehabilitation Medicine (2016); Top Doctors in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Washington, DC (2017); and 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr. Zorowitz has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and has written chapters about stroke rehabilitation internationally. He is a co-editor of the textbook, Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation (2015). He participated on consensus panels of The Joint Commission (TJC) Primary Stroke Centers, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) Stroke Subspecialty Program, and the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement (PCPI) Stroke and Stroke Rehabilitation Workgroup. He has contributed to a number of clinical practice guidelines, including the Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense Clinical Practice Guideline for the Management of Adult Stroke Rehabilitation Care (2005); and the American Stroke Association Writing Groups for Recommendations for the Establishment of Stroke Systems of Care (2005), Metrics of Comprehensive Stroke Centers (2005), Comprehensive Overview of Nursing and Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Care of the Stroke Patient (2010), Metrics for Measuring Quality of Care in Comprehensive Stroke Centers: Detailed Follow-up to Brain Attack Coalition Comprehensive Stroke Center Recommendations (2011), Palliative and End-of-Life Care in Stroke (2014), and Adult Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery (2016). He currently serves on the writing group to update the Stroke Systems of Care guideline.

Dr. Zorowitz is a graduate of the Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed an internship in internal medicine at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY, and a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, IL. He is board-certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spinal Cord Injury Medicine, and Brain Injury Medicine.

Research Interests

Dr. Zorowitz’s research activities focus on stroke rehabilitation, including:

  • Motor recovery
  • Hemiplegic shoulder pain
  • Dysphagia
  • Spasticity
  • Pseudobulbar affect
  • Functional outcomes

Selected Research

A Screening Tool to Identify Spasticity in Need of Treatment
This research sought to develop a clinical tool for providers to use in patient interactions to provide data in making a determination of spasticity for treatment. DOI: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000605

ICU-Acquired Weakness: A Rehabilitation Perspective of Diagnosis, Treatment, and Functional Management
This research highlighted the risk factors and causes of ICU-acquired weakness, along with potential treatment options for patients.
DOI: 10.1016/j.chest.2016.06.006

View Dr. Zorowitz’s publications on PubMed.

Visit Dr. Zorowitz’s clinical practice page.

  • Research Areas
  • Neuroscience
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation