Rebecca Barmherzig, MD

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Rebecca Barmherzig, MD, is an attending physician with the Pediatric Headache Program and Division of Neurology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Locations: Main Hospital
Appointments and Referrals: 1-800-TRY-CHOP (1-800-879-2467)


Dr. Barmherzig is a pediatric neurologist in the Division of Neurology at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). She specializes in treating children with headache and pain disorders.

Dr. Barmherzig has a deeply personal interest in helping children with headaches.

“In addition to being a headache provider, I am also a headache patient, which allows me a unique perspective in being able to join the conversation from both sides of the table,” she says.

Headache is among the top ten leading causes of disability worldwide, and there is an immense need for correct diagnosis, management and treatment, Dr. Barmherzig notes.

“This is even more critical in the pediatric population, where there is a vital opportunity for early awareness and intervention to avoid long-term disability and improve quality of life and outcomes,” she says. “I am passionate about serving the health of this population through patient-centered care, research, education and advocacy.”

Knowledge of the biology and genetics of headache disorders is expanding and overall awareness has increased. Personalized treatment models hold promise, making this an exciting time to be in headache medicine, Dr. Barmherzig says.

Along with her clinical role, Dr. Barmherzig is involved in educational outreach programs for both community healthcare partners as well as children and families.

She is pursuing research into medications and interventional procedures and devices that may benefit children and adolescents with migraine and other primary headache disorders. Dr. Barmherzig also has an interest in vestibular dysfunction in migraine.

“For many suffering with headache, this is an invisible disease. It is important that our patients and their families feel like they are being heard, clearly understood, and that their provider is committed to working with them towards their goals,” Dr. Barmherzig says.

Education and Training

Medical School

MB BCh BAO/ MD - Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), School of Medicine, Dublin, Ireland


Pediatric Neurology - The Hospital for Sick Children, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada


Headache Medicine - The Hospital for Sick Children and Women’s College Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

Board Certification


Titles and Academic Titles

Attending Physician

Departments and Services




Barmherzig R, Lagman-Bartolome AM, Marlowe S, Kohut SA, Gunn G, Olivieri H, et al. Headache Hygiene: Brushing Up on the Basics. Pediatr Neurol. 2019 Nov 1. pii: S0887-8994(19)30899-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2019.10.002. [Epub ahead of print]

Barmherzig R, Szperka CL. Pseudotumor Cerebri Syndrome in Children. Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2019 Jul 10;23(8):58. doi: 10.1007/s11916-019-0795-8.

Barmherzig R, Kingston W. Occipital Neuralgia and Cervicogenic Headache: Diagnosis and Management. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2019 Mar 19;19(5):20. doi: 10.1007/s11910-019-0937-8.


Barmherzig R, Bullivant G, Cordeiro D, Sinasac D, Blaser S, Mahmutoglu S. A new intermediate severe Salla disease patient with hypomyelination: a literature review for Salla disease. Pediatr Neurol. 2017 Jun; S0887-8994(17)30074-7. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol. 2017.05.022.

Irwin S, Barmherzig R, Gelfand AA. Abdominal migraine and cyclical vomiting syndrome. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2017 Mar; 17(3):21. doi: 10.1007/s11910-017-0731-4.

Posters and Presentations


Barmhezig R, Vandenbussche N, Fourier C. Making migraine trial designs and endpoints clinically more relevant. iHEAD Program, 19th Congress of the International Headache Society (IHC), September 2019.

Barmherzig R. Rethinking Intracranial Pain-Sensitive Structures. 18th Annual International Headache Academy, American Headache Society, January 2019.


Barmherzig R. The CHAMP Study: A Positive Step in the Understanding of Pediatric Migraine Therapy?. 16th Annual International Headache Academy, American Headache Society, January 2017.

Awards and Honors

2018, Canadian Headache Society Fellowship (award for funded clinical fellowship in Headache Medicine)
2017, Prichard Research Award, Hospital for Sick Children, Division of Neurology
2016, Frontiers in Headache Research Scholarship, American Headache Society

Leadership and Memberships

Memberships in Professional Organizations


2018, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada (FRCPC), Neurology
2012-present, Canadian Headache Society
2012-present, International Headache Society
2012-present, Canadian Stroke Consortium
2012-present, Canadian Association of Child Neurology
2012-present, International Child Neurology Association
2012-present, Canadian Pediatric Society


2012-present, American Headache Society
2012-present, American Stroke Association
2012-present, American Academy of Neurology