Dr. Jeffrey Goldberg knew at an early age that he wanted to help people. He has been around medicine for a long time, as both of his parents are physicians and have practiced in Savannah; one could say he was gently nudged toward the profession.
“My parents may or may not have pushed me toward this,” the surgeon said with a smile. “I’ve been around medicine my whole life and I’ve always wanted to help people.”
He went to Colby College in Maine and later attended the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. It was at MCG where Goldberg was drawn to orthopedics. It was a field where he felt he was best able to make a real difference in the lives of patients.
“I like working with my hands and seeing immediate results,” he said. “So, when I was doing rotations, I gravitated toward orthopedics. It was fun and again you could see results quickly.”
Goldberg did his fellowship in orthopedic foot and ankle surgery in Michigan after spending five years in residency in Lexington, KY at the University of Kentucky. After spending more than 15 years up north, he returned to his home state. Since that time, he joined Optim Orthopedics.
Optim Healthcare, a collaboration between Optim Orthopedics and the physician-owned Optim Medical Center-Tattnall, offers a number of specializations including orthopedics, spine care, diagnostic, and therapeutic care. The doctors there offer top quality care in a collaborative atmosphere, which allows them to best serve their patients. Once Goldberg became familiar with the company, he was eager to come on board.
There, he specializes in foot and ankle related issues as well as general orthopedics.
“Working for Optim, I do a lot of foot and ankle: hind-foot, mid-foot, fore-foot and ankle reconstruction for arthritis and deformity,” he said.
As a specialist, he can address and treat any issue with the foot or ankle, be it trauma or a deformity from birth or something newly acquired.
“Pretty much any issue with the foot or ankle, a fracture or trauma, chronic pain from a prior injury, or deformity that’s causing them pain,” Goldberg clarified.
However, as with the other doctors at Optim, he is committed to approaching each case individually. Goldberg typically opts for the least invasive method of treatment, such as non-operative measures, before jumping into surgery.
“Sometimes surgery is the only option, such as in the case of trauma,” he said. “However, for elective procedures, I like to consider physical therapy, medications, braces, casting, or injections. I believe it’s important to explore every option to see if we can make the problem better without surgery.”
It is an approach that he would prefer if the tables were turned, he notes.
“I think that’s important ... I would want to know that everything else was tried before going to surgery,” he said. “You want to have trust in your doctor and know that they tried everything. I think that’s morally responsible.”
Goldberg also stressed the importance of taking care of your feet.
“I think its important to seek treatment for any issue you may be having with your foot or ankle early, as not addressing this could lead to problems with gait and balance, which is something I see every day having an effect on patients’ knees, hips, and back.”
Another key component is Optim’s ambulatory surgery center in Savannah. Goldberg says that allows the surgeons to operate in the best possible outpatient surgery environment.
“It allows us to get things done efficiently, with a lower risk of infection,” he said. “People have a better experience there.”
That’s the goal for all doctors working within the Optim system. Especially for Goldberg, who grew up in the region, it’s critically important to offer top quality care to those he treats.
While he dedicates his days to helping patients, his free time is filled with family.
“I have a wife and two young children; an 11-month-old boy and a three-year-old girl. I love spending time with them,” he said.
“And I love being on the water fishing, so that’s my biggest hobby.”
Goldberg is grateful for his family, as well as getting back to his roots. He is also thankful for the opportunity to offer care to those in his community.
“I’m really glad to be back in south coastal Georgia, taking care of the people I was around when I grew up,” he said. “It’s good to be home.”