Media release: Imagine you suddenly couldn’t tie your own shoes, send a loved one a text message or even write your name.
Our hands and upper extremities are critical to normal day-to-day function, but are easy to take for granted until something goes wrong. Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Jarrad Barber was drawn to this area of practice because he knew that it was a way that he could truly help people.
“Your ability to interact with your environment as well as the world around you is really driven in large part by your hands and upper extremities,” Barber says. “Developing an injury or a chronic condition makes us really appreciate that, and having the ability to help someone reclaim their daily routine is very rewarding.”
Barber joins the hand specialists at Harbin Clinic Orthopedics where he will work closely with Dr. Stephen Klasson and a team of medical experts who are focused on the health of hands and upper extremities.
“Dr. Barber is a fellowship-trained hand and upper-extremity orthopedic surgeon and is a welcome addition to our practice,” says Dr. Klasson. “I’m looking forward to his joining the hand specialists at Harbin Clinic Orthopedics so we can further expand our ability to provide excellent treatment to the people of Northwest Georgia with hand and upper extremity conditions.”
While hands are his focus, Barber diagnoses and treats conditions of the entire musculoskeletal system. Dr. Barber determines the line of care, whether it be surgical or non-surgical, and works to educate his patients on the course of treatment.
“My role in helping people manage their health is in the diagnosis, in the education process, and in the shared decision-making approach in taking care of their needs,” he points out. “It’s very important to effectively communicate with patients so that they understand what is going on with their body as well as what can be done surgically and non-surgically to improve their health.”
Once his patients understand the “why” and “how” of their treatment, Barber says they can reap the full benefits of the healing process.
“We may take our bodies for granted until something happens to them, but being able to help someone get their life back is why I wanted to become a hand surgeon.”
Barber credits his father’s medical career for piquing his interest in medicine.
“My dad was a physician for 35 years, and as long as I can remember, he had a real impact on the people of our community,” recalls Dr. Barber. “We couldn’t go to church or anywhere around town without people coming up with a handshake and a ‘thank you.’ I knew that someday, I wanted to end up in a position to be able to help the people of my community in a similar way.”
Throughout his medical journey, Barber says he has been blessed by great mentors. Not only was he greatly influenced by his father’s medical career, but he also learned an important lesson from a medical school mentor that he recalls often.
“I had the great fortune to work with Dr. Gage Ochsner, a trauma surgeon in Savannah, Ga,,” recalls Dr. Barber. “He had recently been diagnosed with cancer and would not be with us much longer. I remember asking him ‘What is the most important advice you can give me?’”
“He said, ‘If you treat every patient like they are family, you can sleep well at night knowing you did your best for them,’ says Dr. Barber. “I think about that every day.”
Barber also values the lessons he learned from his own father who told him that the way you become a good physician is to simply take care of your patients, and everything else will sort itself out. “My philosophy really boils down to the things I have learned from great mentors,” says Dr. Barber. “Take care of your patients, and treat every patient like they are family.”
Barber had long known about Harbin Clinic’s reputation of providing exceptional care to the Northwest Georgia community. “Early in my studies, Dr. Brad Bushnell spoke to the Georgia Orthopedic Society about the great things going on at Harbin Clinic. I later met Dr. Frank Stegall (a retired Harbin Clinic cardiologist) who was an outstanding ambassador for the quality of the clinic and the community of Rome, and he introduced me to the Orthopedic & Sports Medicine department.”
Barber received his medical degree from Mercer University School of Medicine in Savannah. He completed his residency at Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center, as well as a fellowship in hand and upper extremities at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, Miss.