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Dr. John Engstrom, a specialist in neuromuscular disorders, is director of neurology outpatient services and a neurologist at the UCSF Spine Center. In addition to treating patients, he studies new therapies for neurological complications of spine disease and peripheral nerve entrapment (a category of conditions involving compressed nerves).

Engstrom earned a bachelor's degree in genetics at the University of California, Davis, followed by a medical degree at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He completed a medical residency in neurology at UCSF, where he served as chief resident, before joining the UCSF in 1988.

Engstrom has received numerous awards, including the Betty Anker Fife Distinguished Chair in Neurology from UCSF, Visiting Professor of Neurologic Education at the Mayo Clinic and Outstanding Clinical Teacher for Neurology Residents from UCSF. He was also awarded the Distinguished Neurology Teacher of the Year Award by the American Neurological Association, and in 2021 he was honored with the B. Baker Lifetime Achievement in Neurologic Education, given by the American Academy of Neurology. He is director of the Neurology Residency Program at UCSF and an associate editor for Harrison's, an online resource for medical practice and research. He is vice chair of the Department of Neurology at UCSF.

  • Education

    Stanford University School of Medicine, 1981

  • Residencies

    John Hopkins Hospital, Internal Medicine, 1984

    UCSF Medical Center, Neurology, 1984

  • Fellowships

    John Hopkins Hospital, Neuromuscular Disorders, 1989

  • Board Certifications

    Neurology, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

    Internal Medicine, American Board of Internal Medicine

  • Academic Title


Treatments I specialize in

Everything from medications and physical therapy to access to expert spine neuro radiology and access to spine surgery

Where I see patients (6)

    My reviews


    Overall Experience
    143 Ratings
    About our process
    Nov 22, 2023
    Very experienced informed prepared and caring
    Nov 21, 2023
    Addressed one of my problems have others still unaddressed
    Nov 15, 2023
    Dr Engstrom is one the top care givers I have had throughout bay entire life. He is intelligent thoughtful and compassionate
    Nov 07, 2023
    Dr. Engstrom remains an outstanding experienced clinician who actually utilizes a focused but detailed history and physical exam as foundation for diagnosis and treatmentand still retains his humanity and compassion.
    Oct 27, 2023
    I have inability to explain my symptoms and my medical history.I was diagnosed with Factious disorder. I have and am diagnosed with hEDS and several other rare genetic inherited connective tissue diesese.Unfortunately no is seeing my medical history.My records are in a separate medical portal called picnic health.
    Oct 19, 2023
    I have ultimate confidence in this provider he covers the entire spectrum from initial diagnosis to tests conclusions and treatment / management plan development and follow ups. He is very humble and open to my concerns and discussing and explaining all aspects of my condition. He is also a "big picture" professional which I appreciate very much.
    Aug 23, 2023
    Dr Engstrom didn't hav the answers ( yet) but my spirit was lighter after my appt bcuz the dr & the student dr both made me feel like they would see it thru until I knew what I was going to have to deal with . Dr Engstrom has a positive energy that is healing in its own way. I hope he can help me I'm glad I was sent to him
    Aug 15, 2023
    Dr. Engstrom is the best
    Aug 08, 2023
    If I could give Dr Engstrom more than 5's I would. He's been great and helped address a problem where others failed
    Aug 06, 2023
    Incredible experience. This was the most thorough explanation of my issues from ANY Dr -. And I compare this to my executive program at Mayo Clinic Stanford etc. Dr Engstrom was very very articulate compassionate honest well balanced in determining next steps and used his MRI scans to verify his various explanations of the issues. And his application to me as an individual (working executive Olympic athlete level etc) was extremely helpful.
    Aug 02, 2023
    Dr. Engstrom included me AND my partner in all discussions about my treatment and care. In our opinion medical professionals we have dealt with rarely include spouses or partners.
    Jun 21, 2023
    Very thorough and detailed throughout
    May 19, 2023
    Dr. Engstrom listened empathetically to my crazy scenario. He performed some tests and prescribed more to be done.
    May 16, 2023
    Dr. Engstrom is the consummate professional and one of the best medical doctors on the planet!
    May 05, 2023
    Dr. Engstrom was amazing. He listened to me was thorough in his questions about my health concern and he took the time to allow me to discuss my concerns. I was so impressed with Dr. Engstrom and I think he is an excellent doctor.
    Apr 04, 2023
    Dr Engstrom always goes above and beyond to help me with my health problem. He never hurries me and always has an answer for me or researches it to get me an answer.
    Mar 08, 2023
    I was very pleased with my visit
    Feb 08, 2023
    Very personable
    Jan 26, 2023
    Outstanding physician in every way
    Jan 21, 2023
    Dr Engstrom is the best there is.
    Jan 19, 2023
    Very thoroughthoughtful and professional. Creative analysis of conditions and possible treatment.
    Jan 11, 2023
    I felt like the provider did not care to be proactive about potential issues
    Dec 08, 2022
    I loved the entire experience. Kind caring and knowledgeable!!
    Nov 15, 2022
    Dr. Engstrom is an exceptional doctor. He is one of the doctors that you always know he does care about your well being and each visit spend some time evaluating and listening to you.
    Oct 06, 2022
    I have an absolute confidence and trust in this doctor
    Sep 28, 2022
    The doctoral fellow who examined me seemed excellent. I did not have enough time with Dr Engstrom to ask all the questions I had come with or understand his views about my condition. He ordered blood work and an EMG so explanations about my condition await further testing. He said he would say more in his follow up letter but did not say who that letter goes to? Or if I will see him again for follow up on these test results and findings? He seemed to leave follow up questions about my pain management for another care provider but I'm uncertain who that should be.
    Sep 16, 2022
    Provider explained recommended follow-ups in simple and understandable terms
    Sep 15, 2022
    Resident provided the most thorough assessment I have had in a very long time!
    Sep 07, 2022
    Caring and patient. Overall a wonderful doctor.
    Aug 19, 2022
    Was told to fill out form & bright it to one even asked to see form.on form I mentioned both ankle AND Neck as things I wanted addressed. Only neck was evaluated.
    Aug 13, 2022
    It looks the care provider gives more attention to documenting everything I said rather than listening all of my concerns. Time was up before I mentioned more than half of my concerns because it took too much time documenting and spell checking the first few concerns of mine. It would be much better if the care provider listens to patients and someone with good computer skills do the documenting.
    Aug 10, 2022
    Dr. Engstrom is wonderful at explaining extremely complex neurological issues to someone without a medical degree. He's also incredibly respectful and listened to my concerns with patience and attentiveness. Outstanding doctor!
    Apr 12, 2022
    Very through visit
    Mar 08, 2022
    Dr Engstrom always has a plan for my course of treatment.
    Feb 28, 2022
    I did feel like the concern/interest was more for my leg issues (post op) than the real issue of my 9 hour episodes I am seeing them for. Which is Trying to find and fix why I'm having these episodes. So I will have to make sure we stay on track legs are post op issues I've had since injury.