Nels L. Carlson M.D.

Photo of Nels L. Carlson, M.D.
Faculty profile

Associate Professor of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation School of Medicine

Accepting new patients

4.9 out of 5 (246 Ratings, 78 Comments)


  • Orthopaedics and rehabilitation

Special focus on

  • Electromyography
  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Spine
  • Sports Medicine


  • M.D., Oregon Health & Science University, Portland Oregon 1992
  • Residency:

    • Harvard Medical School-Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Boston
  • Fellowship:

    • Neurophysiology-Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
  • Certifications:

    • American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 1998, 2008


Dr. Carlson is an associate professor with the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation. His primary clinical interests are conservative spine care, sports injuries and electrodiagnostics.


  • English

Patient Ratings

4.9 out of 5 (246 Ratings, 78 Comments)

The patient ratings score is an average of all responses to the question "How likely would you be to recommend this provider to your family and friends (on a scale of 0 to 10)" on our nationally-recognized NRC patient surveys.

Patient Comments

  • Apr 24, 2019

    Very helpful, I felt he really cared about my problem and will try to get me some relief.

  • Apr 20, 2019

    Dr. Carlson is the best of the best, knowledgeable empathetic... takes patient input of signs and symptoms... and... participates in... allows the patient to participate in, kind of a collaborative diagnosis. Even when things are very complicated and, and leaves with a plan of action, a, a visit summary... I couldn't be happier he, he's very very good. Thank you.

  • Apr 05, 2019

    Dr Carlson was very congenial, informative and thorough addressing my current symptoms and treatment options.

  • Apr 03, 2019

    For me the visit was excellent, a 10. I give a 10. Everyone was in agreement like I expected and it was very good. Thanks.

  • Mar 22, 2019

    I thought Dr. Carlson was extremely thorough is examination spoken plain language English gave me my options. Listen well and provide provide excellent feedback on options and Alternatives in terms of my current condition. I highly recommend him and think he's an excellent physician.

  • Mar 21, 2019

    Everything went as scheduled even though I waited longer than planned.

  • Mar 21, 2019

    I was quite pleased with the information I received.

  • Mar 10, 2019

    He listened so carefully to understand the underlying issues related to my injury, and seemed extremely knowledgeable regarding solutions. Seems he wants to improve my quality of life, and not just address the current injury.

  • Mar 07, 2019

    Dr. Nels Carlson listened carefully to my concerns and offered clear, concrete advice and guidance. He didn’t hurry through the exam and left me with the sense I was in the hands of a learned, compassionate healer.

  • Feb 05, 2019

    Dr. Carlson is great. I feel well supported and taken care of under his care.

  • Feb 03, 2019

    He is a great doctor. He listens and is easy to communicate with

  • Feb 02, 2019

    Believe Dr. Carlson is over booked. I had to wait for lot about an hour and a half before I got to see him and it seems to be this is the case often for him. You don't have enough providers is what it looks like in menu over booked them. Thank you.

  • Jan 26, 2019

    Dr. Carlson is the best. He is awesome at explaining things. He has great ideas for solutions to problems and I would totally recommend him anybody that needed that kind of treatment.

  • Jan 26, 2019

    He explains things very thoroughly is levelheaded and concerned.

  • Jan 19, 2019

    This provider was very caring and thoughtful and spent a lot of time with me going over my concerns and also seemed very well prepared for my visit. He had read up on my chart before he came into the room.

  • Jan 07, 2019

    I was so frustrated with my bursitis and the pain that I was having in my hip and Dr. Carlson persisted until he was able to resolve it with a cortisone shot in my hip and I really appreciated his ability to listen to me and take care of the problem.

  • Dec 20, 2018

    Very kind and personal. Really listened to me and explained why he was suggesting the surgery that was right for me.

  • Dec 14, 2018

    Dr. Carlson is thorough, he listens very well and he provides very good advice.

  • Dec 14, 2018

    Very positive. Reviewed my issues and answered all my questions.

  • Dec 14, 2018

    Dr. Carlson is an awesome doctor. I know I am in good hands with him.

  • Dec 13, 2018

    Pleasant with a knowledgeable approach. Easy to talk to and communicate with.

  • Dec 07, 2018

    The visit was excellent. The physician is professional, and does a great job explaining the problem or issue, and has a great background knowledge and expertise in treating patients.

  • Dec 07, 2018

    Dr. Carlson is an excellent doctor. Very helpful and encouraging. I always have a good experience with my visits to his office.

  • Dec 06, 2018

    I just thought the Dr. Carlson was extraordinary and I have another appointment with him and I just think he's an outstanding doctor. So I have the highest praise for Dr. Carlson, and my name is Thank you. bye.

  • Nov 29, 2018

    Dr. Nels Carlson is a phenomenal doctor! He has a great way of explaining the assessment of my situation, the overall scope of recovery, and answers in clear terms any questions I may have. I asked him to be my point of contact during my surgery recovery because the other doctor had extremely poor communication skills and vague answers.

  • Nov 29, 2018

    Dr. Nels Carlson has been working with me for many years. He is consistently the most knowledgeable and effective doctor I have ever met.

  • Nov 29, 2018

    Dr. Carlson gave a very clear and discerning diagnosis. I thought I had tendonitis and he said after looking at an x-ray that it was actually arthritis. They gave me very clear instructions how to go about working on healing the problem.

  • Nov 23, 2018

    Dr. Carlson is not rushed, he is calm, and he explains complex concepts well.

  • Nov 16, 2018

    Dr. Carlson has been extremely helpful. He always has wonderful suggestions and he spends time with me and really goes into my problems and issues with my back.

  • Nov 16, 2018

    Yeah, this is [Name]. I was impressed with Dr. Carlson. I think that's his name. Anyway, he was cordial, a little bit late., but, you know, that's the real world there. That's not a complaint. He got my name right, my last name, it's a little tricky. I was quite impressed with that. He was very direct, told me a lot of things that put me at ease actually, you know, feels like he's working with you. I don't know what else to say. I was impressed with him. I'd be glad to see him again.

  • Nov 12, 2018

    Dr. Nels Carlson is a kind, gentle spoken physician who genuinely seems to care about his patients.

  • Nov 11, 2018

    He is very concerned about my problem and gives me new help as it is developed

  • Oct 28, 2018

    He was very attentive to my needs. He showed a great deal of compassion for my suffering. He was polite and introduced me to his colleague that will be helping me also. I felt like he understood what I was needing to relieve my pain.

  • Oct 12, 2018

    Dr. Carlson listens to my concerns and explains his view and offers strategies and solutions.

  • Oct 09, 2018

    He was very knowledgeable, personable and took his time to determine what was wrong. I did not feel rushed and he even let me reschedule in a location closer to my home.

  • Oct 05, 2018

    Problem for me is DR. Carlson?s limited availability what with other admin duties.

  • Oct 05, 2018

    He gives good advice and follows through.

  • Sep 28, 2018

    Dr. Carlson is always so nice and able to explains everything so it is very easy to understand. Also explains all the steps and ask for your opinion. I have been a patient for many years and he remembers me always....even though I have not been to see him for about 7 years. Very good visit.

  • Sep 20, 2018

    Knowledgeable doctor, empathetic, kind and has a good sense of humor. A pleasure to have him help me through the trauma of having to deal with spine issues.

  • Sep 20, 2018

    Business like and effective at conveying information

  • Sep 18, 2018

    About 30 minutes late. Doctor well organized and very professional. Answered our questions and organized follow up.

  • Sep 18, 2018

    Nels excels in his knowledge, thorough yet understandable explanations, and professional and friendly manner.

  • Sep 06, 2018

    Very knowledgeable, personable and helpful!

  • Sep 06, 2018

    Dr Carlson has provided good counsel to me for more than 20 years. He cares. Without him, my health wouldn't be nearly as good as it is -- I might not even be alive!

  • Aug 30, 2018

    Nels Carlson is one of the most patient and attentive practitioners I have ever met. He is able to communicate even difficult medical concepts in a way that can be grasped by the layman. He is a wonderful; caring doctor.

  • Aug 23, 2018

    Dr. Carlson took his time to listen to my concerns. He explained everything and made sure I understood what he felt was the best plan for me.

  • Aug 22, 2018

    No issues with the provider. I only wonder why I had to check in 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment, especially since they took me in 10 minutes late beyond that, and this was early in the morning. I didn't have any forms to fill out so it wasn't for that reason.

  • Aug 22, 2018

    I've been going to Dr. Carlson since 2011, and he's always listened and been very conscientious, been very respectful, been very helpful and I like him a great deal, been a very good doctor for me and I highly recommend him. Thank you.

  • Aug 22, 2018

    Dr. Carlson is a caring and respectful physician. My spine seems to have wandered away from its original path - I am fortunate to have him watching over its journey.

  • Aug 22, 2018

    Awesome doc, through, and brilliant, very patient focused!

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