Michelle Gittler, M.D.

  • Medical Director, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Residency Program Director, Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Chief Medical Officer, Sinai Health System Post-acute Care
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Michelle Gittler, M.D.


  • English


  • Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital


  • Board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Board certified in Spinal Cord Injury Medicine


Dr. Michelle Gittler has been practicing rehabilitation medicine for almost 25 years at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital, where she advocates for the highest quality of rehabilitative services for all individuals with disabilities, regardless of their socioeconomic status.

Dr. Gittler is an expert in working with individuals who have sustained violently acquired disabilities and has been on the forefront of promoting the concept of firearm violence as a public health issue. She spends a great deal of time working with individuals who have sustained a variety of disabling conditions, and is particularly interested in spinal cord injury care, amputee medicine and prosthetics.

In addition to patient care, Dr. Gittler is passionate about graduate medical education. She has been the residency program director at Schwab for over 20 years. Dr. Gittler was also the chairman of the medical education committee for the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2010-2016, and is now a member of the Board of Governors for the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as treasurer. Dr. Gittler also works with the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as a senior reviewer on the Part 2 Exam Committee. She was a member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, PMR Milestone Committee from 2012 until 2014. She served on the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, Board of Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics from April 2001 February 2011.

After graduating from the University of Michigan with a degree in engineering and history, she attended medical school at University of Illinois where she graduated as a James Scholar. She completed her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Northwestern/Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. She is Board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation as well as in spinal cord injury medicine. She is currently an associate professor of surgery in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Chicago. She is now Visiting Clinical Professor of Rehabilitation at University of Illinois Hospital.

Dr. Gittler has been named Top Doctor in Chicago Magazine consistently since 2005. Together with her husband, Dr. Lee Francis, who is CEO of the Erie Family Health Center, she received the Avodah Chicago Partners in Justice Award. They also have two daughters, Hannah and Laila. She rides her bicycle to and from work every day.

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  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University
  • Chicago, Illinois

Medical School

  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Chicago, Illinois


  • Bachelor of Arts, History
  • University of Michigan
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering, Bioengineering
  • University of Michigan
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan


Clinical Interests

  • Amputation rehabilitation and prosthetic management
  • Trauma rehabilitation
  • Deinstitutionalization

Learn more about Michelle

What she enjoys most about her job

“I’m always energized by the resilience I see in the patients and families I serve. I enjoy working with colleagues who believe that health care is a right and who take great pride in giving back.”

What's important in a doctor-patient relationship?

Humility, honesty

A physiatrist's role

“My job is to help diagnose and treat problems of the brain, muscles and nerves, and help people believe in their ability to be as independent as they can be.”

Favorite hobbies

Hiking, gardening, and kayaking.
“I also love cooking. And I get really excited seeing all kinds of birds and flowers.”

The best invention since sliced bread?


Join Our Team

Clinical Staff

Our world-class rehabilitation team members come together for our patients, for our community, and for each other. We commit to community-driven care – making sure everyone has the ability to live a healthy, vibrant life.


Our future starts with you. Through diversity in our patient population, residents, rotation sites, and dedicated teaching attendings, our PM&R Residency Program provides an outstanding residency experience — and an outstanding patient experience as well.

Schwab is a member of the Sinai Chicago network of care. Learn more about Sinai Chicago

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Appointments & Referrals

To make an appointment or to refer a patient. please call 773.522.2010

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Office: 773.565.3008
Fax: 773.522-5855