Christopher J. Standaert, MD
Associate Professor

Dr. Standaert is a Visiting Associate Professor and Vice-Chair for Outpatient Services in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Dr. Standaert specializes in the non-operative care of spine, joint and neuromusculoskeletal disorders. He takes a very patient-centered approach to care, trying hard to identify the issues behind an individual's pain or injury and helping them understand this. He believes that knowledge is empowering, and he works with a wide range of providers to help his patients regain or optimize their ability to pursue meaningful activities in their lives. His experience and clinical approach have made him a sought-after speaker and teacher from within many areas of medicine. He has received numerous awards for clinical care, teaching, and research. He has worked with colleagues across the US and internationally to address issues related to spine and musculoskeletal care, in the process authoring or co-authoring over 80 publications and book chapters and giving over 150 lectures.

Dr. Standaert has worked extensively on health policy issues at state and national governmental levels as well as for multiple professional medical associations and hospital systems. His research interests include non-operative spine care, spinal injections, and health policy.

Specialized Areas of Interest
Non-operative spine care including neck and low back disorders, adolescent spine disorders, sports injuries and performance, joint pain, electrodiagnosis, and health policy and population health

Board Certifications
Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Electrodiagnostic Medicine


Professional Organization Membership
American Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
American Medical Association

Education & Training
BA, Harvard College, 1987
MD, Harvard Medical School, 1992
PM&R Residency, University of Washington, 1996
Fellowship in Spine and Sports Medicine, Pioneer Spine and Sports Physicians, 1997

Honors and Awards
Outstanding Teaching Award, Department of Rehabiltation Medicine, University of Washington, 2017
Best Doctor, Seattle Metropolitan Magazine, 2017, 2014
UW Medicine PRAISE Award (Patient Reported Assessment in Satisfaction and Excellence), 2016, 2015, 2014
UW Medicine Cares Award, 2016
UW Medicine Cares Award Nominee, 2016, 2015
The Teresa Massagli Award for Outstanding Resident Teaching, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, 2015
Honored Guest, Gesellschaft fur Orthopadisch-Traumatologische Sportmedizin The Society for Orthopedic and Trauma Sports Medicine), Munich Germany, 2011
McLarren Award for Resident Research, Pacific Northwest Society of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 1996
Outstanding Resident of the Year, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, 1996

Selected Publications
Standaert CJ. From the Burning Platform to the Beautiful Island: Clinicians Can Envision the Way to Value-Based Care. PMR. 2016 Nov;8(11):1111-1114.

Friedly JL, Comstock BA, Turner JA, Heagerty PJ, Deyo RA, Sullivan SD, Bauer Z, Bresnahan BW, Avins AL, Nedeljkovic SS, Nerenz DR, Standaert C, Kessler L, Akuthota V, Annaswamy T, Chen A, Diehn F, Firtch W, Gerges FJ, Gilligan C, Goldberg H, Kennedy DJ, Mandel S, Tyburski M, Sanders W, Sibell D, Smuck M, Wasan A, Won L, Jarvik JG. A randomized trial of epidural glucocorticoid injections for spinal stenosis. N Engl J Med. 2014 Jul 3;371(1):11-21. PMID: 24988555.

Standaert CJ. Health technology assessment: at the junction of evidence, policy, and reimbursement. PMR. 2015 Feb;7(2):203-5.

Standaert CJ, Friedly J, Erwin WM, Lee MJ, Rechtine G, Henrikson ND, Norvell DC. Comparative effectiveness of exercise, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation for low back pain. Spine 2011;36:S120-130.

Standaert CJ. Low back pain in the adolescent athlete. Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 2008;19:287-304.

Standaert CJ, Herring SA. Expert opinion and controversies in sports and musculoskeletal medicine: Core stabilization as a treatment for low back pain. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 2007;88:1734-1736.

Standaert CJ, Herring SA, Pratt TW. Rehabilitation of the athlete with low back pain. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 3(1):35-40, 2004.

Standaert CJ, Herring SA. Spondylolysis: A critical review. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 34(6): 415-422, 2000.