Theresa Gillis, MD

About Me

I am a physician specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation, also known as physiatry. I help people with neurological and musculoskeletal problems that affect their quality of life. My goal is to allow them to return to their normal activities. I see patients at the Sillerman Center for Rehabilitation in Manhattan and Memorial Sloan Kettering Bergen, in New Jersey

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Physiatrists understand the impact of cancer and cancer treatment on a person’s daily activities, their mobility, and their well-being. We help get people back to living their lives, during treatment or afterward. Sometimes our treatment plans involve medications. Other times we prescribe skilled therapy or independent exercise, lifestyle changes, special braces or supports for weak or painful joints, or other treatments. We always strive to help people recover their sense of self and wellness despite experiencing a life-changing illness.

I became a physiatrist because I loved the way this specialty requires me to blend the understanding of multiple systems — neurologic, musculoskeletal, and psychological — with an understanding of the overall health of a person facing cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or another chronic condition. My training emphasized the importance of understanding each person as an individual, listening carefully to find the best path forward toward healing and recovery. It also helped me realize that a person’s illness can be treated successfully but they can still be held back by their experience, and that a person can continue to live life fully even in the presence of illness.

Caring for people living with or recovering from cancer is the most rewarding career I can imagine. While I enjoy helping individual patients, it is my goal to create major changes in cancer care throughout MSK to strengthen our attention to our patients’ function and mobility. If we can better maintain a person’s mobility throughout their treatment, we will help them return to usual activities more quickly and restore their quality of life. 

  • Clinical Expertise: Rehabilitation, Pain Management, Palliative Care
  • Languages Spoken: English
  • Education: MD, Northeast Ohio Medical University
  • Residencies: Baylor College of Medicine
  • Board Certifications: Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Pain Management; Hospice and Palliative Medicine

See My Colleagues


Visit PubMed for a full listing of Theresa Gillis’ journal articles

Pubmed is an online index of biomedical articles maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Clinical Trials

As home to one of the world’s top cancer research centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering is typically involved in more than 900 clinical trials at a given time. Currently, clinical trials focused on the conditions I treat are enrolling new patients. If you’re interested in joining a clinical trial, click to learn about the trial’s purpose, eligibility criteria, and how to get more information.

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Most major health insurers offer plans that include MSK as one of their in-network providers. If MSK is in-network, it means all our doctors are too. Medicaid and New York State Medicare also provide benefits for care at MSK.

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