Rachel Thompson is a Chicago native, who attended medical school at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and completed her residency in orthopaedic surgery at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL. She completed her first fellowship in pediatric orthopaedics and scoliosis at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, TX and her second in neuromuscular orthopaedics at Nemours A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. She additionally completed a travelling fellowship in adolescent and adult hip dysplasia in Aarhus, Denmark before joining the faculty at UCLA.
Her primary area of practice is pediatric orthopaedics, with a specialization in neuromuscular orthopaedics/cerebral palsy. She is on staff at Orthopaedic Institute for Children and UCLA as an assistant clinical professor-in-residence in the department of orthopaedics at UCLA, where she also serves as the Associate Director for the UCLA/OIC Center for Cerebral Palsy. Her clinical and research interests are in cerebral palsy and adolescent hip disease, in utilizing gait analysis to improve surgical decision making, and in the molecular basis for the muscular pathology seen in cerebral palsy.
Dr. Thompson has published clinical peer-reviewed journal articles and textbook chapters in general orthopaedics, pediatric orthopaedics and neuromuscular orthopaedics. She has presented her research both nationally and internationally. Dr. Thompson's research in a broad area of topics has led to receiving research awards from the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the Orthopaedic Research Society, the Orthopaedic Trauma Association and the Mid-America Orthopaedic Association.