CMC’s newest ortho doc an East TN native
CROSSVILLE – After working with professional athletes, including a hockey team and renowned jockeys at a National Steeplechase event, Darren Barton, DO has decided the best place to be is back where he started.
Dr. Barton, a graduate of Lincoln Memorial University’s medical school and member of the inaugural class rotating through Cumberland Medical Center, has signed on to work for Covenant Medical Group at Cumberland Orthopedics.
“This area is my home, and will always be my home,” he said. “People tend to take care of their own in ways that far exceed the typical relationship most physicians have with their patients.”
Dr. Barton, whose hometown is Oakdale in neighboring Morgan County, attended a small, K-12 school and played baseball from the age of five until he graduated and left for college. At the time, he thought he had his life mapped out, and orthopedic surgery was nowhere on the course he had charted for himself.
“Initially, I planned on attending law school,” Barton said.
He was in his fourth year of college and majoring in political science when he decided to refocus his career. The reason? He wasn’t satisfied with the gray areas in law.
“The appealing side of medicine is that it is rather concrete,” Barton said. “In medicine, fact is always fact, and science is always science.”
On top of that, Dr. Barton has never shied away from a good challenge, and medical school certainly seemed like a good challenge. After graduating from the University of Tennessee, he left Knoxville for Harrogate and LMU.
“To me, it felt like home,” he said.
From medical school, Dr. Barton went on to pursue orthopedic surgery for three reasons. The first came from the same line of reasoning that had taken him from law to medicine: he liked the idea that there weren’t many gray areas in orthopedics.
“Orthopedics is a somewhat cut and dry specialty – Is the bone broken? Is the joint arthritic? Is the rotator cuff painful?” Barton said. “All of those things are easily defined.”
Second, there was the allure of a new challenge.
“Orthopedic surgery is among the most difficult of all specialties to join,” he said.
There was one other reason Dr. Barton chose the field of orthopedic surgery. He knew he could make a measureable difference in the lives of his patients, and there would be a great return on his investment.
“After surgery for a broken bone or an arthritic joint, patients have a significant reduction in pain and disability before they leave the hospital,” he says.
Dr. Barton was offered a fellowship in sports medicine at the prestigious Hughston Foundation in Columbus, GA. Hughston developed the first sports medicine fellowship program in the country, and its doctors have cared for thousands of athletes, sometimes being the first surgeons to develop advancements in sports medicine surgery and arthroscopy.
“I spent a year there caring for collegiate athletes at Columbus State University, world-renowned jockeys at a National Steeple Chase event, and working the sidelines as a team physician for a large 5A high school in Georgia,” he said. “I spent the last year caring for the Columbus Cottonmouths Hockey Team, a professional team that often plays the Icebears in Knoxville.”
Dr. Barton also received the Hughston Fellowship Award for a research presentation at the 2017 Hughston Society Biennial Meeting. His presentation addressed a surgical procedure used to treat bicep tendonitis of the shoulder.
Not long ago, Dr. Barton decided it was time to take his career in a new direction that would bring him closer to his old home place. East Tennessee was calling, and it was a call he couldn’t ignore. With family still living in Tennessee to welcome him back, Dr. Barton has returned, and he couldn’t be happier.
“As much as I’ve traveled, there’s no place like home,” he said. “I love the culture and the heritage in East Tennessee, and I want my children to experience that.”
Dr. Barton lives in Crossville with his wife and four children. They enjoy outdoor activities, and are active in their church.
He is a member of the American Osteopathic Association, Tennessee Osteopathic Medicine Association, American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopaedics, and the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He is accepting new patients. For more information, call (931) 459-4262.