Medals won
By Tom Szymanski

UNM Doctor to Run in NYC Marathon to Raise Awareness for Neuromuscular Disorders

As Division Chief of the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) in The University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine, Rebecca Dutton, MD, spends her days  running between patients.

“My role at UNM is building our physical medicine and rehabilitation program, which has the overarching goal of serving the community of Albuquerque and New Mexico and the needs of people who are living with disabilities,” Dutton said.


“The field of physical medicine, rehab covers a wide umbrella. It addresses a lot of different forms of impairment and disability from very high functioning sports medicine to complex injuries such as spinal cord injury, brain injury, and amputations.”

In addition to helping run PM&R at UNM, when Dutton’s away from the office…she’s  also running.

“I was never a runner growing up, but I took up running after college,” she said.

She is modest about her running, but the medals from her competitive running career show her passion. “I forgot I did all this,” she said as she displayed her medals on her desk. “This one was a 200-mile relay that I did back in the Bay Area.”

This November, Dutton is focused on a new finish line.

“The New York City Marathon is really one of the pinnacles in the marathon world,” she said.


Running in the New York City Marathon is not just a personal goal for Dutton, it’s also the merging of two life paths.

“I was approached to participate in it by the American Neuromuscular Foundation,” she said. “They were looking for several people to represent their foundation in this race. It's another way to raise awareness for what they do and hopefully raise some funds to support their work as well.”

“Neuromuscular disorders reflect a group of diseases or disorders that affect the neuromuscular system,” Dutton said. “These are the peripheral nerves and the muscles of the body.”

Bouncing between clinically appropriate footwear and running sneakers has its challenges though. 

“It is very different training now that I'm more established in my career because there's less time during the week,” she said. “Trying to squeeze in some of those mid-week runs has definitely been challenging.”

The New York City Marathon is Nov. 5, and those who wish to support Dutton, can find a link to her page here.

“Even the smallest donation is really meaningful for me personally, but also for the American Neuromuscular Foundation,” she said. “We would be really grateful for the support.”

Categories: Community Engagement, News You Can Use, School of Medicine, Top Stories