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University Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

University Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation is the practice of Dr. Sheila Dugan, Associate Professor at Rush Medical College, assisted by certified medical assistant Jessica Pelayo, and Dr. Max Fitzgerald, Assistant Professor at Rush Medical College with a practice site at Rush Oak Park. 

Dr. Dugan's practice is dedicated to providing comprehensive evaluation and treatment of a wide variety of musculoskeletal and neurological dysfunctions.  After reviewing your history and previous tests and procedures, Dr. Dugan will perform a comprehensive examination addressing muscle, joint and neurological status, biomechanics and functional abilities.  This will lead to recommendations on necessary diagnostic testing and treatment including medications, rehabilitation, and referral for other specialists when needed.  Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) practitioners, also known as Physiatrists, are trained to provide holistic care to address the biological, psychological and social (work, family and community) issues involved in pain and functional limitations.  Dr. Dugan specializes in all non-surgical musculoskeletal dysfunctions including pelvic floor, spine including degenerative disc disease, disc herniation, and spinal stenosis, pelvic and hip joint, and upper and lower extremity joints including shoulders and knees. She is board certified in Sports Medicine.  She performs electrodiagnostic testing and joint and soft tissue injections.  She co-directs the Rush Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health where she collaborates with colorectal surgeons, gastroenterologists, urologists, gynecologists, urogynecologists, psychologists and physical therapists, among others. Her research interests include pelvic floor fitness and the health benefits of physical activity.

Dr. Fitzgerald is the Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services at Rush Oak Park Hospital. He completed his medical education and residency training at Rush Medical College and is an Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Dr. Fitzgerald's clinical expertise includes back pain, multiple sclerosis, nerve conduction study and electromyography, parkinsonism, parkinson's disease, rehabilitation-stroke, and sports injuries. His research areas include stroke rehabilitation, general rehabilitation, exercise medicine, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and fall prevention.


Sheila A. Dugan, MD is an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Rush Medical College, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She is a faculty member of the Department of Neurosurgery and the Department of Preventive Medicine. She is co-medical director of the Rush Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health.

Dugan is multi board-certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, electrodiagnostic medicine and pain medicine. She is highly skilled in neurological and sports-related rehabilitation. Prior to medical school, she received her physical therapy degree from Northwestern University in 1986. Dugan currently is pursuing the development of a program focused on women's care, including both their medical and rehabilitation needs.

Dugan earned her medical degree in 1994 from the University Of Illinois School Of Medicine in Chicago. There she served as president of her medical school class and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. She held an internship in internal medicine at the University of Chicago and completed residency training in physical medicine and Rehabilitation at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, affiliated with Northwestern University, where she served as chief resident.

Dugan joined the Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in 1998, where she was also the director of Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation and the medical director of the Spaulding Downtown Crossing Office for the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Network in Boston, Mass. She was a clinical associate at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she provided ambulatory care at the Women's Health Associates, a Harvard Medical School Center for Clinical Excellence in women's care. She was on staff at the Orthopedics and Arthritis Center at Brigham and Women's Hospital, where she worked in the Spine Center in addition to evaluating and treating patients with general musculoskeletal conditions. She served as team physician for a local women's college and for several years provided medical coverage in the elite runner's tent at the Boston Marathon.

Her research interests include women and exercise, pain and menopause, visceral fat development and physical activity, pregnancy-related musculoskeletal problems and pelvic pain. She is a co-investigator at Rush on the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation (SWAN) and WISHFIT. She has served as a discussant on the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Women's Health Chronic Pain Symposium and the American College of Sports Medicine Roundtable on Exercise in Pregnancy.
An active lecturer and author, Dugan has published several review articles and book chapters on rehabilitation, sports medicine and women's musculoskeletal topics. She is a board member of American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the Women's Health Foundation and the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Foundation. She chairs the Strategic Initiative on Women, Sport and Physical Activity Strategic Planning Committee and sits on the Pronouncement Committee for the ACSM.
For more information about Sheila Dugan, MD, please visit the Program for Abdominal and Pelvic Health section.


Max Fitzgerald, MD, completed medical school and his residency at Rush University Medical Center and is now excited to join Rush as an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services at Rush Oak Park. Dr. Fitzgerald has a clinical focus in neurorehabilitation and musculoskeletal medicine. He treats a variety of conditions including post-stroke weakness, joint and muscle pain, diabetic neuropathy, balance disorders, and spasticity. He is proficient in peripheral joint injections, botulinum toxin injections, electromyography, baclofen pump management as well as a number of other minimally invasive procedures. Dr. Fitzgerald will remain active in research into balance disorders and falls prevention.

Dr. Fitzgerald has clinical interests in stroke, multiple sclerosis, and movement disorder rehabilitation, musculoskeletal medicine, fall prevention, and diabetic neuropathy. His research interests including using exercise as medicine, therapy for balance disorders, multiple sclerosis, and interdisciplinary stroke care.


Jessica  Pelayo, RMA, is a registered medical assistant in University of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation with Dr. Sheila Dugan at Rush. She received her certification from Lincoln College of Technology in Melrose Park, Illinois in 2016. She is bilingual in Spanish and is CPR and First Aid certified. She has worked in a pediatrics department partnered with Advocate Christ Hospital in Oaklawn, Illinois. She is currently enrolled at Malcom X College, working towards a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing.




Elizabeth Schrader, RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC is a nurse practitioner at Rush Oak Park Hospital with a practice dedicated to addressing the physical, emotional, and social needs associated with the rehabilitation process. Prior to joining University Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Elizabeth worked as an RN in the acute rehabilitation unit at Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago, IL. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in biobehavioral psychology at University of Vermont and subsequently moved overseas to participate in the Irish Health Research Board’s extensive study on cardiovascular reactivity and sleep deprivation at the National University of Ireland, Galway. She attended nursing school and received her Master of Science in Nursing at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. She is board certified by the ANCC as an Adult-Geriatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and is a member of the American Nurses Association. 


  • Electromyography (EMG)
  • Joint injections
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Women's nerve conduction studies
  • Pelvic pain 
  • Spinal cord disorders
  • Spinal disorders
  • Nonsurgical care
  • Sports medicine
  • Trigger point injections
  • Vaginal pain​

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Accreditation and Recognition

University Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
1725 W. Harrison St.
Professional Building III
Suite 855
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: 312-942-6644
Fax: 312-942-2176
Driving Directions

University Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
610 S. Maple Ave.
Suite 4600
Oak Park , IL 60304
Phone: (708) 660-2240
Fax: (708) 660-2243
Driving Directions

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