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Marlis Gonzalez-Fernandez, MD PhD

Medical Director, Outpatient Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics
Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
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The Johns Hopkins Hospital

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  • Medical Director, Outpatient Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics
  • Associate Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation


Amputee Rehabilitation, Botulinum Toxin Injections, Dysphagia Evaluation - Adults, Neuro Rehabilitation, Orthotics, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Prosthetics, Rehabilitation, Spasticity Management, Speech and Language Disorders After Stroke, Swallowing Disorders

Research Interests

Epidemiology of Swallowing Disorders (dysphagia); Neural Control of Swallowing and Communication; Swallowing disorders (Dysphagia) after stroke


Dr. Marlis Gonzalez-Fernandez is an associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She specializes in physical rehabilitation after amputation, neuro rehabilitation, prosthetics, orthotics, and the treatment of swallowing disorders and speech and language disorders after stroke.

She serves as the medical director of Outpatient Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics at Johns Hopkins.

Dr. Gonzalez-Fernandez received her medical degree from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine in 1999. She completed a residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore in 2004 and a PhD from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

She is a member numerous scientific societies, including the Association of Academic Physiatrists, the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the Dysphagia Research Society. She has won several awards for her research, including the Passano Physician Scientists Award, the New Investigator Award of the Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and a Traveling Fellowship Award from the Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine. She is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation.


  • English
  • Spanish


Association of Academic Physiatrists
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
Dysphagia Research Society
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Additional Resources

Additional Resources +
  • Education +


    • University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine (San Juan) (1999)


    • Sinai Hospital of Baltimore / Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Baltimore MD ) (2004)


    • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehab (2005)
  • Research & Publications +

    Research Summary

    Dr. Gonzalez-Fernandez’s research focuses on the epidemiology of swallowing disorders, swallowing disorders after stroke, and neural control of swallowing and communication.

    Selected Publications


    Peer-Reviewed Publications

    González-Fernández M, Sanchez JL. Malignant Melanoma in Puerto Rico: an Update. PR Health Sci J. 1999. 18(2):95-8. PMID: 10461314.

    Matsuo K, Hiiemae KM, González-Fernández M, Palmer JB: Respiration during Feeding on Solid Food: Alterations in Breathing during Mastication, Pharyngeal Bolus Aggregation and Swallowing. J Appl Physiol. 2008, 104(3):674-81 PMID:18162483

    González-Fernández M, Kuhlemeier K, Palmer J.B. Racial Disparities in the Development of Dysphagia after Stroke: Analysis of the California (MIRCal) and New York (SPARCS) inpatient databases.Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008, 89(7):1358-65. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2008.02.016. PMID:18586139

    González-Fernández M, Kleinman J, Ky P, Palmer JB, Hillis AE. Supratentorial Regions of Acute Ischemia Associated with Clinically Important Swallowing Disorders: A Pilot Study. Stroke. 2008, 39(11):3022-8. doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.108.518969. PMID:18688014

    González-Fernández M, Gardyn M, Wyckoff S, Ky PKS, Palmer JB. Validation of ICD-9 Code 787.2 for Identification of Individuals with Dysphagia from Administrative Databases. Dysphagia. 2009, 24(4):398-402. doi: 10.1007/s00455-009-9216-1. PMID:19399554.

    White KT, Dillingham TR, González-Fernández M,Rothfield L. Opiates for Chronic Non-Malignant Pain Syndromes: can appropriate candidates be identified for outpatient clinic management? Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2009, 88(12):995-1001. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e3181bc006e. PMID: 19789432.

    Erdek MA, Halpert DE, González Fernández M, Cohen SP. Assessment of celiac plexus block and neurolysis outcomes and technique in the management of refractory visceral cancer pain. Pain Medicine. 2010, 11(1):92-100. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2009.00756.x. PMID: 20002595.

    Ozaki, K, Kagaya H, Baba M, Yokoyama M, Eiichi Saitoh, Okada S, González-Fernández M, Palmer JB, Uematsu H. The Risk of Aspiration during Videofluoroscopic Examination of Swallowing Varies depending on Food Types. Tohoku J Exp Med. 2010, 220(1):41-6. PMID: 20046051.

    Bussell SA, González-Fernández M. Is Dysphagia After Stroke Associated with Race? Further Evidence from the Medical Provider Analysis and Review Data (MedPAR). Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011, 92(5):737-42. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2010.12.005. PMID: 21457943.

     González-Fernández M, Davis C, Molitoris JJ, Newhart M, Leigh R, Hillis AE. Formal Education, Socioeconomic Status, and the Severity of Aphasia after Stroke. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2011, 92(11):1809-13. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2011.05.026. PMID: 21840498.

    González-Fernández M, Sein MT, Palmer JB.Clinical Experience Using the Mann Assessment of Swallowing Ability for Identification of Patients at Risk for Aspiration in a Mixed-Disease Population. Am J Speech Lang Pathol. 2011, 20(4):331-6. doi: 10.1044/1058-0360(2011/10-0082). PMID: 21813822.

    Williams KA, Plunkett A, González-Fernández M, Hamzehzadeh S, Erdek MA, Griffith S, Crooks M, Larkin T, Cohen SP. A Multi-center Analysis Evaluating Factors Associated with Spinal Cord Stimulation Outcome in Chronic Pain Patients. Pain Med, 12:1142-53, 2011. PMID: 21749636.

    Christian AB, Haig AJ, González-Fernández M, Mayer RS. Rehabilitation needs of persons discharged from an African trauma center. Pan Afr Med J. 2011, 10:32. PMID: 22187614.

    Hanna MN, González-Fernández M, Barrett AD, Williams KA, Pronovost P. Does Patient Perception of Pain Control Affect Patient Satisfaction Across Units in a Tertiary Teaching Hospital? Am J Medical Quality. 2012, 27(5):411-6. doi: 10.1177/1062860611427769. PMID:22345130.

    Neufeld N, González-Fernández M, Christo P, Williams KA. Positive Recognition Program Increases Compliance with Medication Reconciliation by Resident Physicians in an Outpatient Clinic. American Journal of Medical Quality. 2013, 28(1):40-5. doi: 10.1177/1062860612443550. PMID:22605782

    Humbert IA, Christopherson H, Lokhande A, German RZ, González-Fernández M, Pablo Celnik P. Human hyo-laryngeal movements show adaptive motor learning during swallowing. Dysphagia. 2013, 28(2):139-45. doi: 10.1007/s00455-012-9422-0. PMID:22926828

    González-Fernández M, Christian AB, Davis C, Hillis AE. Role of Aphasia in Discharge Location After Stroke. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 94:851-5, 2013.PMID:23237764.

    Neufeld NJ, Hoyer EH, Cabahug P, González-Fernández M, Mehta M, Walker NC, Powers RL, Mayer RS. A Lean Six Sigma Quality Improvement Project to Increase Discharge Paperwork Completeness for Admission to a Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program. Am J Med Qual. 2013, 28(4):301-7. doi: 10.1177/1062860612470486. PMID:23322910.

    Kroll CE, Schartz B, González-Fernández M, Gordon AH, Babade M, Erdek ME, Mekhail N, Cohen SP. Factors Associated with Outcome after Superior Hypogastric Plexus Neurolysis in Cancer Patients. Clin J Pain. 30:55-62, 2014. PMID:23446083.

    Taniguchi H, Matsuo K, Okazaki H, Yoda M, Inokuchi H, Gonzalez-Fernandez M, Inoue M, Palmer JB. Fluoroscopic Evaluation of Tongue and Jaw Movements During Mastication in Healthy Humans. Dysphagia. 2013, 28(3):419-27. doi: 10.1007/s00455-013-9453-1. PMID:23446812.

    González-Fernández M, Ghosh N, Ellison T, McLeod J, Pelletier CA, Williams K. Moving Beyond the Limitations of the Visual Analogue Scale for Measuring Pain: Novel Use of the General Labeled Magnitude Scale in a Clinical Setting. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2014, 93(1):75-81. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31829e76f7. PMID:23900013.

    González-Fernández M, Humbert I, Winegrad H, Cappola A, Fried LP. Dysphagia in old-old women: Prevalence as determined by self-report and the 3 oz. water swallowing test. J Am Geriatr Soc. 2014, 62(4):716-20.

    Invited Editorials

    Gonzalez-Fernandez M. Why Not Call 911? Stroke, 2010. Stroke. 2010 May . DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.585117

    González-Fernández M.Development of Upper Limb Prostheses: Current Progress and Areas for Growth. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Dec 18. pii: S0003-9993(13)01241-0. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.11.021. [Epub ahead of print] PMID:24361817.

    Invited Review Articles

    González-Fernández M, Daniels SK. Dysphagia in Stroke and Neurological Disease. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2008, 19(4):867-88. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2008.07.001. PMID: 18940646.

    González-Fernández M, Ottenstein L, Atanelov L, Christian AB. Dysphagia after Stroke: an Overview. Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep (2013) 1:187–196. DOI 10.1007/s40141-013-0017-y.

    Gonzalez-Fernandez M, Huckabee ML, Doeltgen SH, Inamoto Y, Kagaya H, Saitoh E. Dysphagia Rehabilitation: Similarities and Differences in Three Areas of the World. Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep. 2013. 1:296–306. DOI 10.1007/s40141-013-0035-9.

    Gonzalez-Fernandez M, Vose A. Dysphagia Management in Acute and Sub-acute Stroke. Curr Phys Med Rehabil Rep. 2014.




    1: Gonzalez-Fernandez M, Friedman JD, co-editors. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Pocket Companion. Demos. New York. In press, Jan 2011.

    Book Chapters

    Gonzalez-Fernandez M, Monahan DM, Matsuo K, Palmer JB. Dysphagia. In: Stein J, Harvey RL, Macko R, Winstein CJ, Zorowitz RD, ed. Stroke Recovery and Rehabilitation. New York: Demos; 2008:183-200.

    Gonzalez-Fernandez M, Feldman DR. Rehabilitation of the Stroke Patient. In: Rakel RE, Bope ET, Hellerman RD, ed. Conns Current Therapy 2010 and 2011. Philadelphia: Saunders; 2010:903-906.

    Feldman DR, Gonzalez-Fernandez M, Singla A, Krabak B, Singh S. Chapter 9: Hip and pelvis injuries in special populations; in The Hip and Pelvis in Sports Medicine and Primary Care, Seidenberg PH and Bowen JD, editors, New York: Springer; 2010: 187-205.

    Feldman DR, Gonzalez-Fernandez M. Dysphagia in Stroke and Neurologic Disease. In: Preedy VR, ed. The Handbook of Behavior, Diet and Nutrition. Springer.

    González-Fernández M, Hillis AE. Speech and language therapy. In: Ovbiagele B, ed. Stroke Management and Recovery. London, UK. In press.

     Vadivelu S, González-Fernández M. Cerebral Palsy. In: Frontera WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Saunders, Philadelphia, PA. In press.

    González-Fernández M, Hillis AE. Language and the Frontal Cortex. In: Miller BL, Cummings JL. The Human Frontal Lobes, 3rd ed. New York: Guilford Press. In press.


    Poliak M, González-Fernández M. Neurogenic Bowel. KnowledgeNow-AAPMR online educational journal. 2011.

    Cabahug P, González-Fernández M. Neurogenic Bladder. KnowledgeNow-AAPMR online educational journal. 2011.

    Gonzalez-Fernandez M, Taftian D, Hopkins M. Upper and Lower limb Orthoses and Therapeutic Footwear. KnowledgeNow-AAPMR online educational journal. 2014.

    Gonzalez-Fernandez M, Vu T. Rehabilitation of, and the effects of exercise on peripheral arterial diseases. KnowledgeNow-AAPMR online educational journal. 2014.

  • Academic Affiliations & Courses +
  • Activities & Honors +


    American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation leadership program, 2013

    Best Paper Award, Faculty category for “Moving Beyond The Limitations Of The Visual Analogue Scale For Measuring Pain: Novel Use Of The Generalized Labeled Magnitude Scale In A Clinical Setting,” Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2013

    Top Doctors in Baltimore, Baltimore magazine, November issue, 2012

    Passano Physician Scientist Award, 2010

    Program for Academic Leadership Recipient, Association of Academic Physiatrists, 2008

    New Investigator Award, Foundation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 2008

    Traveling Fellowship Award, Japanese Association of Rehabilitation Medicine, 2008

    Chief Resident, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, 2003

    Scholarship Recipient, American Pain Society Meeting, 2002

    Dr. Ramon Ruiz Arnau Award, graduating medical student Research Award, 1999

    Research Pathway Award, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, 1999

    Leadership Award, University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, 1999

    3rd Place, Glaxo Wellcome Research Awards, 1999

  • Videos & Media +
  • Events +
  • Contact & Locations +


    The Johns Hopkins Hospital
    600 N. Wolfe Street
    Baltimore, MD 21287
    Phone: 410-502-2438
    Appointment Phone: 410-614-4030
    Fax: 410-502-2419
    Location Map
    Good Samaritan Professional Building
    5601 Loch Raven Boulevard
    Smyth Building (POB)
    Baltimore, MD 21239
    Phone: 443-444-4700
    Appointment Phone: 443-444-4714
    Fax: 443-444-4943


    • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

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