Jeffrey Barton, MD - Thursday, April 7, 2016
Jeffrey Barton, M.D.
By Maria Muro
New Orleans Living Magazine
Colorectal surgeon Jeffrey Barton, M.D. takes pride in the fast
relief he can provide patients, while teaching up-and-coming physicians
how to treat the patients of the future.
Born to a family full of physicians, Dr. Barton at first didn’t think
he’d follow the family path, preferring to think of himself as a future
educator. But once he realized that through being a physician he could
be a teacher too, Dr. Barton decided to pursue academic medicine,
specifically in the field of colorectal surgery.
"I was always looking for a field where I could get a good mix of
doing benign and malignant diseases, small and large operations and good
teaching opportunities, and I thought colorectal surgery was a good mix
of doing all of those,” Dr. Barton says. "You can go a day just taking
care of little problems with hemorrhoids or take on big colon cancers,
and it’s a pretty good feeling either way.”
Dr. Barton is currently a practicing surgeon but also an assistant
professor of clinical surgery in the Section of Colorectal Surgery at
LSUHSC’s School of Medicine surgery department. When asked how he
balances his work as a clinician and educator, he says, "I’d like to
think it’s 100 percent on both sides.”
"But the fact of the matter is anytime I’m doing clinical work, if
there’s a resident or student around, I’m trying to be sure that they
learn something,” Dr. Barton says. "There’s some downtime in between,
but every patient is a learning opportunity.”
The students and residents Dr. Barton teaches on his rounds through
the hospital’s wards are enthusiastic, he says, including those who may
not be taking up colorectal surgery as their own specialty.
"Having students who see the importance of a disease that they may not
treat all the time but they’re going to see from time to time is very
rewarding to me,” Dr. Barton says.
In addition to providing bedside learning opportunities as he sees
patients, Dr. Barton also keeps a stack of PowerPoint presentations
handy and delivers impromptu lectures to offer quick additional lessons
when time allows. While illuminating the ins and outs of his own
practice, Dr. Barton also aims to demonstrate the merits of surgery as a
"When somebody sees surgery not just as cutting people but rather
treating diseases medically and surgically, it’s eye-opening for them,
and it makes me feel like I taught something more than just a fact about
surgery,” Dr. Barton says.
Dr. Barton also takes pride in the work he is able to do with his
patients. In keeping with his passion for education, Dr. Barton spends
time explaining diagnoses, treatment options and expectations, while
answering his patients’ questions — something Dr. Barton feels is not
done enough in medicine today.
But additionally rewarding to Dr. Barton is the unique type of relief his colorectal surgery specialty can offer to patients.
"Most of the time when a surgeon operates, the patient feels worse at
first,” Dr. Barton says. "The operation hurts; having these diseases
doesn’t necessarily hurt. That’s not the case with colorectal surgery.
People with abscesses next to their bottoms, ulcerative colitis — the
minute you operate on them, they wake up and say, ‘I feel better now.’
And that’s really rewarding.”
Dr. Barton has his work cut out for him in New Orleans, where he says
colorectal cancer is common in the local community. However, the
disease is very preventable if patients are screened regularly, he says.
Dr. Barton emphasized the importance of colonoscopies last month
especially, as March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.
"It’s been interesting to talk to people about that, because it’s
very preventable and far too many people don’t get their colonoscopy to
prevent it,” Dr. Barton says. "It’s something that ideally at the end of
my career I won’t be treating as much because we’ll be preventing it
Jeffrey Barton, M.D.
LSU Healthcare Network
3700 St. Charles Ave., 5th Floor
New Orleans, LA 70115
Medical School: University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
Internship: General Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR
Residency: General Surgery, Oregon Health & Science University,
Portland, OR; Colon and Rectal Surgery, University of Texas Houston
Affiliated Hospitals and Colon and Rectal Clinic of Houston, Houston, TX
Board Certification: Surgery