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Zachary McCormick, MD
BiographyZachary McCormick, MD is a double-board certified specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) and in Pain Medicine. He focuses on alleviating pain and improving function and quality of life through non-operative spine and joint treatments. His philosophy is grounded in a multi-modal, comprehensive approach that is customized to each individual patient to help achieve his or her specific goals. Dr. McCormick grew up in Oakland California. He attended Haverford College in the Philadelphia area, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with high honors in Neuroscience. He completed his medical degree at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was also an Agnew Surgical Society Fellow. Dr. McCormick completed internship and residency training in PM&R at Northwestern University/ The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, as well as a fellowship in Multidisciplinary Pain Medicine at Northwestern University. Following sub-specialty training, he joined the faculty of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Dr. McCormick is an active researcher and member of the Academic Senate at UCSF. His work focuses on the clinical outcomes of minimally invasive techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of spine and joint pain, specifically radicular, discogenic, zygaphophyseal joint, sacroiliac joint, and knee joint pain. He has published over 50 peer-reviewed medical journal articles. Dr. McCormick has received research awards from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIH), the Spine Intervention Society, the Midwest Pain Society, and the Foundation of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Dr. McCormick serves on the Board of Directors of the Spine Intervention Society (SIS), as well as the Society's Patient Safety Committee, Evidence Analysis Committee, and Education Division. His efforts at both UCSF and SIS focus strongly on educating and training physicians regarding the safe, appropriate, and effective treatment of pain disorders. He regularly lectures nationally on these topics as well as on his research.
Education2003 - 2007: B.S. Neuroscience, Haverford College 2007- 2011: M.D., University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 2011- 2012: Transitional Internship, Department of Physical and Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago &Northwestern University 2012- 2015: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Residency, Department of Physical and Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago & Northwestern University 2015- 2016: Pain Medicine Fellowship, Department of Anesthesiology, Northwestern University
Publications1) McCormick Z, Cushman D, Marshall B, Caldwell M, Patel J, Ghannad L, Eng C, Makovitch S, Babu AN, Chu SK, Marciniak C, Walega DR, Press J, Plastaras CT, Kennedy DJ. Pain Reduction and Repeat Injections with Particulate versus Non-particulate Steroid Injections for the Treatment of Chronic Painful Lumbosacral Radiculopathy. PM&R. Accepted for publication. 2) Lucas M, Stewart C, Mattie R, McCormick Z, Saltychev M, Levin J. A Systematic Review of Available Treatments for Discogenic Low Back Pain. Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports. 3) Saltychev M, Eskola M, Mattie R, McCormick Z, Laimi K. Confirmatory Factor Analysis of 12-Item WHO Disability Assessment Schedule (WHODAS 2.0) In Patients with Musculoskeletal Pain Conditions. Clinical Rehabilitation. Accepted for publication. 4) Cushman D, Mattie R, Curtis B, Flis A, McCormick Z. The Effect of Body Mass Index on Fluoroscopic Time and Radiation Dose During Lumbar Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections. The Spine Journal. Accepted for publication. 5) McCormick ZL, Choxi SC, Lee DT, Marcolina A, Press J, Kennedy DJ, Smuck M, Walega DR, Cushman D. The Impact of Body Mass Index on Fluoroscopy Time During Lumbar Epidural Steroid Injection; A Multicenter Cohort Study. Pain Medicine. Accepted for publication. 6) McCormick Z, Slipman C, Kotcharian A, Chhatre A, Bender FJ, Salam A, Menkin S, Kennedy DJ, Plastaras C. Percutaneous Lumbar Disk Decompression Using the Dekompressor: A Prospective Long-term Outcome Study. Pain Medicine. Accepted for publication. 7) Maneyapanda M, Chang Chien GC, Mattie R, Amorapanth P, Reger C, McCormick ZL. Ultrasound Guidance for Technically Challenging Intrathecal Baclofen Pump Refill: Three Cases and Procedure Description. AJPMR. Accepted for publication. 8) Babu AN, McCormick Z, Kennedy DJ, Press J. Local, National, and Service Component Cost Variations in the Management of Low Back Pain; Considerations for the Clinician. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. Accepted for publication. 9) Carr CM, Plastaras C, Pingree MJ, Smuck M, Maus TP, Geske JR, El-Yahchouchi CA, McCormick Z, Kennedy DJ. Immediate Adverse Event Rates in Interventional Spine Procedures: A Multi-Institutional Study. Pain Medicine. Accepted for publication. 10) Saltychev M, Bärlund E, Mattie R, McCormick Z, Paltamaa J, Laimi K. A Study of the Psychometric Characteristics of 12-item WHODAS 2.0 in a Large Population of People with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain. Clinical Rehabilitation. 2016 Feb 5. pii: 0269215516631385. 11) Cushman D, Mattie R, Clements N, McCormick Z. The Effect of Body Mass Index on Fluoroscopic Time and Radiation Dose During Intra-articular Hip Injections. PM&R. 2016 Jan 28. pii: S1934-1482(16)00044-7. 12) Safaeian P, Mattie R, Hahn M, Plastaras CT, McCormick ZL. Novel Treatment of Radicular Pain with a Multi-Mechanistic Combination Topical Agent; A Case Series and Literature Review. Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. Accepted for publication. 13) McCormick Z, Cushman D, Lee D, Scholten P, Chu SK, Babu AN, Caldwell M, Ziegler C, Ashraf H, Sundar B, Clark R, Gross C, Cara J, McCormick K, Smith C, Press J, Smuck M, Walega D. Is There a Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Fluoroscopy Time During Sacroiliac Joint Injection? A Multicenter Cohort Study. Pain Med. 2015 Dec 26. pii: pnv051. 14) Mattie R, McCormick Z, Huie H. Presentation and Rehabilitation In A Patient With Toxoplasmosis Encephalitis: A Case Study and Review. PM&R. 2016 Jan 21. pii: S1934-1482(16)00038-1. 15) Cushman D, Flis A, Jensen B, McCormick Z. The effect of body mass index on fluoroscopic time and Radiation dose during sacroiliac joint injections. PM&R. 2015 Nov 20. pii: S1934-1482(15)01153-3. 16) Chu SK, McCormick Z, Babu A, Matthews A, Toledo S, Oswald M. Outcomes of Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation in Patients with Simultaneous Bilateral Total Knee Arthroplasty. PM&R. 2015 Nov 18. pii: S1934-1482(15)01129-6. 17) Plastaras C, McCormick Z, Nguyen C, Rho M, Casey E, Roth D, Carniero K, McLean J, Press J. Is Hip Abductor Strength Asymmetry Present in Female Runners in the Early Stages of Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.? American Journal of Sports Medicine. 2016 Jan;44(1):105-12 18) McCormick Z, Chu SK, Binler D, Neudorf D, Mathur S, Lee J, Marciniak C. Intrathecal versus Oral Baclofen; a Matched Cohort Study of Long-term Spasticity, Pain, Fatigue and Quality of Life. PM&R. 2015 Oct 20. pii: S1934-1482(15)01065-5. 19) Joshi AB, McCormick ZL, Sully K, Garvan C, Plastaras CT. Factors that Predict Satisfaction with Medical Care: Data from 27,212 Injured Workers Surveyed Over 14 Years. J Occup Environ Med. 2016 Jan;58(1):101-7. 20) El-Yahchouchi CA, Plastaras C, Maus TP, Carr CM, McCormick Z, Geske JR, Smuck M Pingree MJ, Kennedy DJ. Adverse Event Rates Associated with Transforaminal and Interlaminar Epidural Steroid Injections: a multi-institutional study. Pain Medicine. 2015 Nov 23. 21) McCormick Z, Kennedy DJ. Truth in Medicine: Why most reviews and commentaries on spine treatments are flawed. Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports. June 2015, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 124-128. 22) Mattie R, McCormick Z, Yu S, Kennedy DJ, Levin J. Are All Epidurals Created Equally? A Review of the Literature on Caudal, Interlaminar, and Transforaminal Injections from the Last 5 years. Current Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Reports. June 2015, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 159-172. 23) Plastaras C, McCormick Z, Garvan C, Macron, D, Joshi D, Chimes G, Smeal W, Rittenberg J, Kennedy DJ. Adverse Events Associated with Fluoroscopically Guided Lumbosacral Transformaminal Epidural Steroid Injections. The Spine Journal. 2015 June 8. pii: S1529-9430(15)00556-2. 24) McCormick Z, Gagnon C, Caldwell M, Patel J, Kornfeld S, Atchison J, Stanos S, Harden RN, Calisoff R. Short-term Functional, Emotional, and Pain Outcomes of Patients with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome Treated in a Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Pain Management Program. Pain Medicine. 2015 Dec;16(12):2357-67. 25) McCormick Z, Cushman D, Caldwell M, Marshall B, Ghannad L, Eng C, Patel J, Makovitch S, Chu SK, Babu AN, Walega DR, Marciniak C, Press J, Kennedy DJ, Plastaras CT. Does Electrodiagnostic Confirmation Radiculopathy Predict Pain Reduction after Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection? A Multicenter Study. Journal of Nature and Science. Vol. 1, No. 8, e140, 2015. 26) McCormick Z, Marshall B, Walker JT, McCarthy R, Walega DR. Long-term Function, Pain and Medication Use Outcomes of Radiofrequency Ablation for Lumbar Facet Syndrome. Int J Anesthetic Anesthesiol. 2015 April; 2:028. 27) McCormick Z, Kennedy DJ, Rivers WE, Garvan C, Temme K, Margolis S, Zander E, Rohr A, Smith MA, Plastaras CT. Comparison of Pain Score Reduction Using Triamcinolone vs. Betamethasone in Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injections for Lumbosacral Radiculopathy. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Dec;94(12):1058-64. 28) McCormick Z, Walker JT, Marshall B, McCarthy R, Walega DR. Long-term Pain and Functional Outcomes of Cooled Radiofrequency Ablation for Lumbar Facet Syndrome: A Case Series. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation International. 2014 Dec; 1(5):5. 29) McCormick Z, Chu SK, Goodman D, Oswald M, Rydberg L, Reger C, Sliwa J. An Appropriate Population for Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation? A Case Series of Three Patients with Advanced Heart Failure Patient on Continuous Inotropic Support. PM&R. 2015 Jan 21. pii: S1934-1482(15)00015-5. 30) McCormick Z, Lynch M, Jacobs J, Liem B, Hwang P, Hornby TG, Rydberg L, Roth E. Feasibility for Developing Cardiovascular Exercise Recommendations for Persons with Motor-Complete Paraplegia Based on Wheel Propulsion Energy Consumption. The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine. 2015 Jan13. 31) Cushman D, McCormick Z, Casey E, Plastaras C. Discrepancies in Describing Pain: Is There Agreement Between Numeric Rating Scale Scores and Pain Reduction Percentage Reported by Patients with Musculoskeletal Pain after Corticosteroid Injection . Pain Medicine. 2015 May;16(5):870-6. 32) McCormick Z, Margolis S, Temme K, Rivers WE, Cameron SA, Smith MA, Rohr A, Zander E, Garvan C, Kennedy DJ, Plastaras CT. Concordant Pain Provocation during Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection for Lumbosacral Radiculopathy: Effect on Pain Outcome and Predictive Factors. Pain Physician. 2015 Jan-Feb;18(1):E19-E26. 33) Lynch M, McCormick Z, Liem B, Jacobs J, Hwang P, Hornby TG, Rydberg L, Roth EJ. Energy cost of lower body dressing, pop-over transfers, and manual wheelchair propulsion in people with paraplegia resulting from motor-complete spinal cord injury. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2015 Spring;21(2):140-8. 34) McCormick Z, Walega D. Cervical Epidural Steroid Injection for Refractory Somatic Tinnitus. Pain Pract. 2015 Feb;15(2):e28-33. 35) McCormick Z, Cushman D, Garvan C, Casey E, Kennedy DJ, Plastaras C. Factors Associated with Pain Reduction after Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection for Lumbosacral Radicular Pain. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Dec;95(12):2350-6. 36) Plastaras C, McCormick Z, Macron D, Garvan C, Joshi A, Chimes G, Smeal W, Rittenberg J. Adverse Events Associated with Fluoscopically Guided Zygapophyseal Joint Injections. Pain Physician. 2014 July-August;17(4):297-304. 37) Knezavic N, Chang-Chien G, McCormick Z, Chu SK, Trescot A, Candido K. Transforaminal versus Interlaminar Approaches to Epidural Steroid Injections: A Systematic Review of Comparative Studies for Lumbosacral Radicular Pain. Pain Physician. 2014 July-August;17(4):E509-E524. 38) Chu SK, McCormick Z, Hwang S, Sliwa J, Rydberg L. Outcomes of Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation in Patients with Left Ventricular Assist Devices. PM&R. 2014 Nov;6(11):1008-12. 39) Chang Chien GC, McCormick Z, Araujo M, Candido KD. The Potential Contributing Effect of Ketorolac and Fluoxetine to a Spinal Epidural Hematoma following a Cervical Interlaminar Epidural Steroid Injection. Pain Physician. 2014 May-Jun;17(3):E385-95. 40) McCormick Z, Bouffard K, Neudorf D, Casey E. A Mediastinal Mass Presenting with Unilateral Periscapular and Arm Pain. PM&R. 2014 Jun;6(6):560-3. 41) McCormick Z, Chang-Chien G, Huang M, Harden RN. Phantom Limb Pain: A Systematic Neuroanatomical-Based Review of Pharmacologic Treatment. Pain Medicine. 2014; 15(2): 292–305. 42) Mathur SN, Chu SK, McCormick Z, Chang-Chien G, Marciniak C. Long-term Intrathecal Baclofen: outcomes after more than 10 years of treatment. PM&R. 2014 Jun;6(6):506-513.e1. 43) McCormick Z, Plastaras C. Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection in the Treatment of Lumbosacral Radicular Pain Caused by Epidural Lipomatosis: A Case Series and Review. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2014;27(2):181-90. 44) McCormick Z, Lynch M, Chen D. Fever Following Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: A Case of Brucella Sepsis. PM&R. 2013 Nov; 5(11): 982-4. 45) McCormick Z, Chu SK, Chang-Chien GC, Joseph P. Acute Pain Control Challenges with Suboxone Therapy in a Patient with Compartment Syndrome Secondary to McArdle’s Disease: A Case Report. Pain Med. 2013 Aug; 14(18):1187-91. 46) McCormick Z, Plastaras C. Efficacy of Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection in the Treatment of Lumbosacral Radicular Pain in Obese, Overweight, and Non-overweight Populations; a Pilot Study. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2013 Jan 1;26(2):183-8.
Grants and AwardsFoundation of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Mallinckrodt Acute Pain Management Grant. Comparing Patient Activity Measures Before and After Epidural Steroid Injection for Lumbar Disc Herniation or Lumbar Stenosis Using a Wearable Digital Activity Monitor. Co-Investigator Feb. 2016. Foundation of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Mallinckrodt Acute Pain Management Grant. A Prospective Trial of Zero vs. One Set of Diagnostic Genicular Nerve Blocks to Determine Clinical Outcomes after Radiofrequency Ablation for the Treatment of Painful Knee Osteoarthritis. Primary Investigator Oct. 2015. Spine Intervention Society, Research Grant. Does Lumbar Discography Cause Accelerated Progression of Disc Degeneration in Symptomatic Low Back Pain Patients?: A Multicenter Ten-year Longitudinal Study. Co-Primary Investigator Aug. 2015. Midwest Pain Society Addison and Blonsky Research Grant. A Randomized Comparative Trial of Water-cooled versus Conventional Radiofrequency Ablation of Medial Branch Nerves for the Treatment of Lumbar Facet Syndrome. Co-Primary Investigator Oct. 2014. Midwest Pain Society Addison and Blonsky Research Grant. A Prospective Randomized Controlled Trial of Standardized C7-T1 Epidural Steroid Injections versus Targeted Injection via Cervical Epidural Catheter for the Treatment of Cervical Radicular Pain. Co-Primary Investigator Oct. 2013. National Institute of Diabetes Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIH) Research Grant. Efficacy of Transforaminal Epidural Steroid Injection in the Treatment of Lumbosacral Radicular Pain in Obese, Overweight, and Non-overweight Populations; a Pilot Study. Co-Primary Investigator Sept. 2010. The University of Pennsylvania Agnew Surgical Society Research Grant. Hemorrhagic Shock Does Not Induce Early Mitochondrial-Mediated Apoptosis in Liver. Co-Primary Investigator June, 2008. Howard Hughes Medical Institute Training Grant. A PP2A B’ subunit may play a critical role in mediating apoptosis of autoreactive thymocytes. Co-Primary Investigator June, 2006. Haverford College Jaharis Primary Care Grant. Harm Reduction strategies in the city of Philadelphia. July. 2006.
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