John D. Fitzgerald, MD, PhD, MBA
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John D. Fitzgerald, MD, PhD, MBA

  • Rheumatology
Average rating: 5.0
| 71 ratings
Westwood Specialty Care | 200 Medical Plaza, Suite 365, Los Angeles, CA 90095


John D. FitzGerald, MD, PhD research focuses on improving the care for patients with gout or other crystalline arthritis such as CPPD disease. He is the lead author for the American College of Rheumatology Gout Guidelines and American College of Rheumatology Gout Quality Improvement Measures.

Working with the Gao lab at CalTech, Dr. FitzGerald is evaluating a skin patch sensor that will continually measure a patient's uric acid levels in their sweat reporting pre- and post-meal results back to their mobile phone.

Dr. FitzGerald, working with the Ozcan lab, has a patent (pending) application that uses a lens-free polarized microscope to identify gout (monosodium urate – MSU) and pseudogout (calcium pyrophosphate– CPP) crystals.

Dr. FitzGerald is studying the impact of gout on cholesterol and how that relationship impacts atherosclerosis.

Dr. FitzGerald is also interested in Quality of Care and patient outcomes research. He has studied the impact of Rheumatology physician supply on patient care, hospital surgical volume on patient outcomes, and patient quality of life after joint replacement surgery. Dr. FitzGerald also conducts policy research.

Finally, Dr. FitzGerald has led national efforts to ensure the quality of care for Musculoskeletal Ultrasound applications in Rheumatology.

Dr. FitzGerald received his MD from Tufts University in 1993. He received PhD in Health Services from UCLA in 2005. He completed his medical residency in 1996 and fellowship in Rheumatology in 1999, both at UCLA.

Dr. FitzGerald has been on faculty in the Division of Rheumatology since 1999. He is the Clinical Chief of Rheumatology.

Dr. FitzGerald sees patients 1 half-day in Westwood, 1 half days in Santa Monica and patients at the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs.

He holds appointments at West Los Angeles Veterans Health Administration and RAND.


English, Spanish


Medical Board Certification

Rheumatology, American Board of Internal Medicine, 1999


Rheumatology, UCLA School of Medicine, 1999


Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, 1996


Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, 1994


PhD, UCLA School of Public Health, 2005
MD, Tufts University School of Medicine, 1993
MPH, Tufts University, 1993
MBA, Santa Clara University, 1989


Hospital Affiliations

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center

UCLA Santa Monica Medical Center


Musculoskeletal Ultrasound



  • Gout
  • Synovial fluid crystal microscopic analysis
  • Joint Replacement Surgery
  • Health Disparities
  • Musculoskeletal Ultrasound
  • Health Policy


Link to Dr. FitzGerald's PubMed publications


  1. FitzGerald JD, Dalbeth N, Mikuls T, Brignardello-Petersen R, Guyatt G, Abeles AM, Gelber AC, Harrold LR, Khanna D, King C, Levy G, Libbey C, Mount D, Pillinger MH, Rosenthal A, Singh JA, Sims JE, Smith BJ, Wenger NS, Bae SS, Danve A, Khanna PP, Kim SC, Lenert A, Poon S, Qasim A, Sehra ST, Sharma TSK, Toprover M, Turgunbaev M, Zeng L, Zhang MA, Turner AS, Neogi T. 2020 American College of Rheumatology Guideline for the Management of Gout. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2020 Jun;72(6):879-895.
  2. FitzGerald JD, Mikuls T, Neogi T, Singh J, Robbins M, Khanna P, Miller A, Myslinski R, Suter L. "Development of the American College of Rheumatology's Gout Electronic Clinical Quality Measures" Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2018 May;70(5): 659-671.

Synovial fluid crystal microscopic analysis

  1. Zhang Y, Lee SY, Zhang Y, Furst D, Fitzgerald J, Ozcan A. Wide-field imaging of birefringent synovial fluid crystals using lens-free polarized microscopy for gout diagnosis. Sci Rep. 2016 Jun 30;6:28793.
  2. Bai B, Wang H, Liu T, Rivenson Y, FitzGerald J, Ozcan A. "Pathological crystal imaging with single-shot computational polarized light microscopy." J Biophotonics. 2019 Sep 4

Joint Replacement Surgery

  1. FitzGerald JD, Orav EJ, Lee TH, Marcantonio ER, Poss R, Goldman L, Mangione CM. "Patient Quality of Life during the 12-months following Total Joint Replacement Surgery." Arthritis Rheum 2004; 41: 100-109.

Health Disparities:

  1. Weng HH, Kaplan RM, MacLean CH, Lee IY, Chen WL, FitzGerald JD. "Development of a Decision-Aid to Address Racial Disparities in Utilization of Knee Replacement Surgery." Arthritis Rheum. 2007 May 15;57(4):568-75
  2. Volkman ER, FitzGerald JD. "Reducing gender disparities in post-total knee arthroplasty expectations through a decision aid." BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2015, 16:16 (7 February 2015)

Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

  1. McAlindon T, Kissin E, Nazarian L, Ranganath V, Prakash S, Taylor M, Bannuru RR, Srinivasan S, Gogia M, McMahon MA, Grossman J, Kafaja S, FitzGerald J "American College of Rheumatology Report on Reasonable Use of Musculoskeletal Ultrasonography in Rheumatology Clinical Practice." Arthritis Care Res 2012 Nov;64(11):1625-40. PMID: 23111854


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  • First Health
  • Health Net of California
  • Interplan (part of HealthSmart)
  • L.A. Care
  • MultiPlan
  • UFCM Health System
  • Prime Health Services
  • Private Healthcare Systems (PHCS)
  • UnitedHealthcare

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  • Super Doctors® Southern California, 2022, 2023, 2024
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  • Top Doctors, Los Angeles Magazine, 2018