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Dale M Needham, M.D., Ph.D.

Headshot of Dale M Needham
  • Medical Director, Critical Care Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Program
  • Professor of Medicine


Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), Delirium, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine more

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The Johns Hopkins Hospital (Main Entrance)

Appointment Phone: 410-955-3467
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Dr. Dale Needham is a professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also holds an appointment in physical medicine and rehabilitation. His areas of clinical expertise include pulmonary and critical care medicine.

Dr. Needham serves as the medical director of the Critical Care Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program and the director of the Outcomes After Critical Illness and Surgery (OACIS) Group at Johns Hopkins.

He earned his M.D. from the McMaster University School of Medicine. He completed his residency and performed a fellowship in critical care medicine at the University of Toronto. more


  • Medical Director, Critical Care Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Program
  • Director, OACIS Group
  • Professor of Medicine
  • Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Departments / Divisions

Centers & Institutes



  • MD; McMaster University School of Medicine (1998)


  • Internal Medicine; University of Toronto Postgraduate Programs in Medicine (2001)


  • Critical Care Medicine; University of Toronto Postgraduate Programs in Medicine (2003)

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Internal Medicine (Critical Care Medicine) (2012)
  • Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada (Critical Care Medicine) (2003)
  • Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada (Internal Medicine) (2003)

Research & Publications

Research Summary

Dr. Needham has over 350 publications, with his research focused on advancing medical care in the intensive care unit to improve patients’ long-term outcomes (LTO), including physical, psychological, and quality of life status after critical illness (details at: He is focused on innovative research aimed at improving methods of physical rehabilitation to reduce muscle weakness and functional impairment, as well as preventing and treating delirium in the intensive care unit (see  His research interests also include patient safety, quality of care, and “knowledge translation” of evidence-based therapies into clinical practice.  He is a Principal Investigator on many federally-funded, peer-reviewed grants, including the NIH-funded ARDSNet Long-Term Outcomes Study (ALTOS), the Improving Care of Acute Lung Injury Patients (ICAP) study, and the ImproveLTO national infrastructure grant aimed at advancing clinical research methodology for improving acute respiratory failure patients’ outcomes after hospital discharge.

Selected Publications

View all on PubMed

Ruhl AP, Huang M, Colantuoni E, Karmarkar T, Dinglas VD, Hopkins RO, Needham DM; With the National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Network. Healthcare utilization and costs in ARDS survivors: a 1-year longitudinal national US multicenter study. Intensive Care Med. 2017 May 26. doi: 10.1007/s00134-017-4827-8. [Epub ahead of print]

Turnbull AE, Hashem MD, Rabiee A, To A, Chessare CM, Needham DM. Evaluation of a strategy for enrolling the families of critically ill patients in research using limited human resources. PLoS One. 2017 May 25;12(5):e0177741. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177741. eCollection 2017.

Needham DM, Sepulveda KA, Dinglas VD, Chessare CM, Aronson Friedman L, Bingham Iii CO, Turnbull AE. Core Outcome Measures for Clinical Research in Acute Respiratory Failure Survivors: An International Modified Delphi Consensus Study. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 May 24. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201702-0372OC. [Epub ahead of print]

Alugubelli NR, Al-Ani A, Needham DM, Parker AM. Understanding early goal-directed mobilization in the surgical intensive care unit. Ann Transl Med. 2017 Apr;5(7):176. doi: 10.21037/atm.2017.03.44.

Hopkins RO, Suchyta MR, Kamdar BB, Darowski E, Jackson JC, Needham DM. Instrumental Activities of Daily Living after Critical Illness: A Systematic Review. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2017 May 2. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201701-059SR. [Epub ahead of print]

Activities & Honors


  • Honorary Membership, American Physical Therapy Association, 2020

Videos & Media

Play Video:

Johns Hopkins Medicine: Early Mobility in the ICU

Recent News Articles and Media Coverage

Long COVID Isn’t as Unique as We Thought | Vox (March 2021)

Many Survivors of This Lung Disease Lose Their Jobs | Futurity (May 2017)

A New Awareness of Mental Health in ICU Patients | Restore (Spring 2017)

Depression Common After Time Spent in ICU | U.S. News & World Report (August 2016)

A Tactic to Cut I.C.U. Trauma: Get Patients Up | The New York Times (January 2009)

Patient Ratings & Comments

The Patient Rating score is an average of all responses to physician related questions on the national CG-CAHPS Medical Practice patient experience survey through Press Ganey. Responses are measured on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best score. Comments are also gathered from our CG-CAHPS Medical Practice Survey through Press Ganey and displayed in their entirety. Patients are de-identified for confidentiality and patient privacy.

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