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Daniel Rafie, MD

Daniel Rafie, MD

Board Certified in Neurology and Traumatic Brain Injury Medicine 
Fellowship Trained in Sports Neurology
Specializing in Headache, Concussion, and Interventional Spine Procedures 

Daniel Rafie is a physician specializing in Sports Neurology and Traumatic Brain Injury. He completed his medical schooling at the American University of the Caribbean and his Neurology residency training at Hackensack – JFK Medical Center in New Jersey. He then went on to complete a 2-year Sports Neurology and Traumatic Brain Injury fellowship at the prestigious UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT program. During this fellowship, he gained expertise in the assessment and management of traumatic brain injury and the performance of interventional spine procedures in order to comprehensively treat post-traumatic patients and athletes. He has also gained proficiency in the optimization of brain health and athletic neurological performance through non-invasive modalities.

Dr. Rafie has particular interest in developing interventions to aid in concussion recovery, enhance overall brain health, and optimize athlete’s neurological performance. He continues to be involved in research with UCLA, including his investigation of Cannabidiol (CBD) as an aid to improve concussion recovery. He is also the current host of the UCLA BrainSPORT Podcast, where he discusses topics related to brain injury, brain health, and brain performance with topic experts and elite athletes.


2016 American University Caribbean School of Medicine Medical Degree Cupecoy, St. Maarteen

Board Certification and Licensure

  • Board Certified in Neurology
  • NIHSS Certified
  • CPR-AED/BLS Certified

Professional Training

2020-2022 UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program
Sports Neurology/Traumatic Brain Injury Fellowship
Los Angeles, CA
2022 UCLA Goldberg Migraine Clinic
Outpatient Headache Management
Los Angeles, CA
2021 UCLA Spine Center
Interventional Spine Medicine Rotation
Los Angeles, CA
2016-2020 Hackensack Meridian - John F. Kennedy Medical Center
Adult Neurology Residency Program
Edison, NJ

Professional Experience

2022-Present The Spine and Orthopedic Center
Neurologist, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Post-Traumatic Headache Specialist
Santa Barbara, CA
2020-2022 UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program – David Geffin School of Medicine
Clinical Instructor and Fellow Sports Neurology and Traumatic Brain Injury

Research Experience

Ongoing Review on the Potential for Cannabidiol (CBD) use in Acute-Subacute Concussion, Ongoing
Ongoing Retrospective Analysis of Cannabidiol (CBD) Use in a UCLA BrainSPORT Traumatic Brain Injury Cohort, Ongoing
2021 “Age Dependent Changes in Cerebral Hemodynamics After Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.” Abstract accepted to: The 38th Annual National Neurotrauma Symposium; July 11–14, 2021; Virtual Conference
2020 Retrospective“Herpes Encephalitis Presenting as New Onset Status Epilepticus with MRI Suggestive of Acute Stroke.” Poster presented at: American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting; December 2020; Seattle, WA
2019 Case Report Published in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease – “Pure Cortical Stroke Causing Hemichorea – Hemiballismus”; 2019


Present Host of the UCLA BrainSPORT Podcast
2020-2022 NBA and Los Angeles Lakers Pre-season Neurological Baseline Assessment
2022 Professional Boxing Ringside Physician Experience
2021 Sideline Physician Coverage for Venice High School Football
2020 UCLA Speech Therapy Neurology Rounds; 2020
2019 Amateur Boxing League Volunteer Ringside Physician

Attending Staff

2023 Carrillo Surgery Center Santa Barbara,CA

Lectures, Presentations and Exhibits

2022 UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative Grand Rounds Lecture – Cannabidiol (CBD) Use in Concussion; 2022
2022 UCSD TBI Research Group Presentation – Cannabidiol (CBD) Use in Concussion; 2022
2021 UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Educational Presentation – The BrainSPORT Case Series; 2021
2020 UP2US Lunch and Learn Concussion Presentation and Q&A; 2020
2020-22 UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Journal Club Presentations; 2020, 2021, 2022
2020 UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Educational Presentation – Cannabidiol (CBD) Use in Concussion; 2020