Orthopedic Surgeon William Barrett, MD—a 30-year veteran of the operating room—has been named a Top Doc every year since 2007 by Seattle Magazine and/or Seattle Met Magazine. This year he is once again named a 2016 Top Doc by Seattle Met Magazine. Dr. Barrett serves as the Medical Director of Valley’s award-winning Joint Center.
“The thing I love most about my job is the ability to help people get over their pain and disability resulting from arthritis of the joint, hip, and knee,” says Dr. Barrett. “There’s nothing more gratifying than to assist patients who have been unable to participate in the activities they enjoy—or need to participate in for their jobs—fix them in relatively short order and have them come back and say ‘Wow, my pain is gone and I can now do all the things I couldn’t do.’”
“More often than not, particularly with hips, at six weeks my patients want to give me a hug for changing their lives,” Dr. Barrett continues. “That’s such a phenomenally rewarding aspect of my job, and that’s what keeps me going, just this ability to intervene in an episode in somebody’s life and have such a positive impact.”
While many know Dr. Barrett as one of the leading orthopedic surgeons in the country, you may not know is that before Dr. Barrett became an orthopedic surgeon, he was a biology major in college. His love of science led him to biology, but a chance encounter with a college friend in medical school eventually led him to enter the medical profession.
“While rotating through different specialties in medical school I came to understand there are two main elements to the medical profession, medicine and surgery,” said Dr. Barrett. As Dr. Barrett describes it, “I’m more of a doer, and surgery is doing stuff, so I thought I wanted to go into surgery. That was an early decision in my career. Then, as you rotate through different surgical specialties you get a feel for the personality of the people in that specialty, and orthopedic surgeons all seemed to be happy and active. Since I like to do stuff, and I thought I relate to them, so I decided I want to do this. That’s how I went into orthopedics.”
More recently, Dr. Barrett has been exploring the philanthropic side of orthopedics.
In 2004 Dr. Barrett formed The VOA Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission and goal is to inform and educate physicians and patients about advanced treatment options for arthritis of the hip and knee. The foundation sponsors educational forums to further the knowledge base of both orthopedic and primary care practitioners about advances in orthopedic care.
Dr. Barrett is a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in primary and revision hip and knee replacement. He performs more than 500 hip and knee replacement procedures each year. He is actively involved in clinical research on Anterior Approach Total Hip Replacement (THA), Alternative Bearings for THA, Less Invasive Approaches to joint replacement and use of computerized vs. custom cutting guides for knee replacement. As a nationally recognized joint replacement surgeon, he lectures globally on hip and knee replacement topics. He is active in the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons Continuing Medical Education programs. He is a board examiner for the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.
Dr. Barrett has been involved in the design of some of the most commonly used hip and knee replacement systems used today. He is Medical Director of the Joint Center at Valley Medical Center in Renton WA, voted the #1 hospital for joint replacement in 2010, 2011 by Healthgrades.
* The 2016 Seattle Met Top Doctors survey polled doctors, nurses and physician assistants across King, Snohomish, Kitsap and Pierce counties, asking “If you or a loved one needed medical care, whom would you choose?” Voters nominated their peers based on the provider’s level of experience and competency within their specialty, rapport with patients – including patient satisfaction and compliance with care recommendations – and ability to work effectively with colleagues across specialties to deliver the best care for patients.