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Portrait of Leighton Chan

Leighton Chan, MD, MPH
Rehabilitation Medicine Department

Academic Degrees
BA, Dartmouth College
MD, University of California, Los Angeles
MS, Rehabilitation Science, University of Washington
MPH, University of Washington


Phone: 301-496-4733

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NIH Clinical Center Senior Staff

Leighton Chan, MD, MPH


Dr. Chan received his B.A. degree from Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, with a major in political science. He graduated from the UCLA School of Medicine in 1990. Chan then completed postgraduate training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Washington. During his training, he also obtained a Master of Science degree in rehabilitation science. Subsequently, he completed a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar Fellowship, earned a master of public health degree at the University of Washington School of Public Health and was a Congressional Fellow for the Honorable Jim McDermott (Washington). From 1994 to 2006, Dr. Chan was on the faculty of the University of Washington's Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. He is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Chan's research interests include health services research, quality of care given to individuals with disabilities, and Medicare payment policy issues. He has published more than 100 peer reviewed articles and numerous book chapters.


Dr. Chan's awards, include the Distinguished Academician Award from the Association of Academic Physiatrists, two outstanding teacher awards from the University of Washington School of Medicine, and the Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. In addition, since coming to NIH, he has received several NIH CC Director's and the NIH Director's awards for his work in traumatic brain injury and disability assessment, as well as the Chattanooga, Alfred Soffer, and Rene Jaheil Awards for research excellence. In 2007, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Selected Publications

Chan, L, Koepsell, T, Deyo, RA, Esselman, P, Haselkorn, J, Lowery, JP, Stolov, WC. The Effect of Medicare's Payment System on Patient Length of Stay, Charges, and Payments in Rehabilitation Hospitals. Special Article, NEJM, 1997;337:978-985.

Rosenblatt, R, Hart, G, Baldwin, LM, Chan, L, Schneeweiss, R. The Generalist Role of Specialty Physicians: Is there a Hidden System of Primary Care? JAMA, 1998;279:1364-70.

Gan, SC, Beaver, SK*, Houck, P, MacLehose, R, Lawson, HM, Chan, L. Treatment of Acute Myocardial Infarction and Mortality Among Women and Men. NEJM 2000;343:8-15. *Co-first authors.

The National Emphysema Treatment Trial Research Group. Patients at High Risk of Death After Lung Volume Reduction Surgery. NEJM 2001;345:1075-1083.

Flum, D, Dellinger, EP, Cheadle, A, Chan, L, Koepsell, TE. Intraoperative Cholangiography and Risk of Common Bile Duct Injury During Cholecystectomy. Lead Article, JAMA 2003;289:1639-1644. (The first author was a research fellow).

National Emphysema Treatment Trial Research Group. A Randomized Trial Comparing Lung-Volume-Reduction Surgery with Medical Therapy for Severe Emphysema. NEJM 2003;348-2059-73.

Flum, DR, Cheadle, A, Prela, C, Dellinger, EP, Chan, L. Bile Duct Injury During Cholecystectomy and Survival in Medicare Beneficiaries JAMA. 2003;290:2168-2173.

Flum, DR, Dellinger, EP, Broeckel, J, Cheadle, A , Chan, L. Early Mortality Among Medicare Beneficiaries Undergoing Bariatric Surgical Procedures. Lead Article, JAMA 2005;294:1903-1908.

Jarvik, JG, Comstock, BA, Kliot, M, Chan, L, Heagerty, PJ, Hollingworth, W, Kerrigan, CL, Deyo, RA. The Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Diagnosis and Treatment Trial: A Randomized Trial of Surgery versus Non-surgical Therapy. Lancet 2009;374:1074-81.

Gulley S, Rasch EK, Chan L. If we build it, who will come? Working age adults with chronic health care needs and the medical home. Medical Care. 2011;49(2):149-155.

Chan, L, Wang, H, Terdiman, J, Hoffman, J, Ciol, MA, Lattimore, BF, Sidney, S, Quesenberry, C, Lu, Q, Sandel, ME. Disparities in Outpatient and Home Health Service Utilization Following Stroke: Results of a 9-Year Cohort Study in Northern California. PM&R 2009;1:997-1003.

Chan, L, Chin, L, Kennedy, M, Woolstenhulme, J, Nathan, S, Weinstein, AA, Connors, G, Weir, N, Drinkard B, Keyser, R. Benefits of Intensive Treadmill Exercise Training On Cardiorespiratory Function and Quality of Life in Patients with Pulmonary Hypertension. Chest. 2013;142:333-43.

Ni, PS, McDonough, CM, Jette, AM, Bogusz, K, Marfeo, EE, Rasch, EK, Brandt, DE, Meterko, M Haley, SM, Chan, L. Development of a Computer-Adaptive Physical Function Instrument for Social Security Administration Disability Determination. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013;94:1661-69.

Jarvik, JG, Gold, LS, Comstock, BA, Heagerty, PJ, Rundell, SD, Turner, JA, Avins, AL, Zoya, B, Bresnahan, BW, Friedly, JL, James, K, Kessler, L, Nedeljkovic, SS, Nerenz, DR, Shi, X, Sullivan, SD, Chan, L, Schwalb, JM, Deyo, RA. Association of early imaging in older adults with back pain with clinical outcomes. In press, JAMA.

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This page last updated on 07/03/2018

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