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Elaine L. Pico


Pediatric rehabilitation medicine specialist
Lifelong music lover

About me

Pronouns: She | Her | Hers

Dr. Elaine L. Pico is a specialist in pediatric rehabilitation medicine who cares for children and adolescents to maximize their physical function. She has expertise in cerebral palsy, spina bifida, brachial plexus palsy (arm weakness or paralysis resulting from injury to a network of nerves in the shoulder), Rett syndrome (a rare neurological disorder affecting girls almost exclusively), mucopolysaccharidoses (inherited conditions in which the body is unable to break down certain molecules whose buildup then causes cell and organ damage), transverse myelitis (a type of spinal cord inflammation), muscular dystrophy, cancer and traumatic injuries. She assesses patients and designs treatment plans that may include the use of certain medical equipment (such as leg and hand braces, crutches, walkers or wheelchairs), physical therapy and augmentative communication (tools and techniques to enhance speaking ability). She also specializes in electrodiagnostic procedures (tests that measure electrical activity in muscles and nerves) and in managing spasticity.

Pico has led research on spina bifida and Rett syndrome that was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health, respectively. She has also been involved in successful clinical trials to evaluate promising pharmacological therapies for patients with rare conditions affecting physical function. She is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, which is distributed worldwide.

After earning a master's degree in education at Mills College, Pico earned her medical degree from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She completed a residency in pediatrics and physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Pico has integrated her lifelong passion for music with her medical career. She once organized a flash mob to honor Dr. Steve Skinner, an emeritus member of the orthopedic and pediatric departments at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland.

Pico is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

  • Education

    David Geffen School of Medicine, MD, 1991

  • Residencies

    Mayo Clinic, Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 1996

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