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J. Michael Wattenbarger, M.D., is a board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeon who has served as chief of staff at Shriners Children's Greenville in South Carolina since February, 2015.

Dr. Wattenbarger initially pursued a career as a petroleum engineer, following the footsteps of his father and grandfather. He enjoyed engineering, but soon realized that he wanted a career where there was more immediate impact on people's lives. He made the decision to pursue a career in medicine.

Dr. Wattenbarger received his medical degree from University of Texas Southwestern, completed his residency at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, and his Fellowship with Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.

In 1994, he moved to Charlotte, North Carolina where he was the first fellowship-trained pediatric orthopedist in the area. There, he helped develop the pediatric specialty care for the region. When he left Charlotte, there were six fellowship-trained pediatric orthopedic surgeons caring for children of the region.

In Charlotte, Dr. Wattenbarger was part of Miller Orthopedic Clinic, where he served in many leadership roles, including treasurer and president. He also served as administrative chief of orthopedics at Carolinas Medical Center, as well as academic subsection chief of pediatric orthopedics at Carolinas Medical Center.

Dr. Wattenbarger's research interests include basic science work on physeal fractures and the formation of physeal bars. He received a POSNA grant for work in this area and has published numerous papers on the topic. He also has a strong interest in clinical research in scoliosis of children and adolescents,

Dr. Wattenbarger's special interests are in pediatric scoliosis and spinal reconstructive surgery. He has performed over 1,500 spine surgeries across his more than 25-year career in pediatric orthopedics. He also practices general pediatric orthopedics including cerebral palsy, clubfoot, myelomeningocele, skeletal dysplasia and other congenital deformities. Before his arrival at Shriners Children's Greenville, Dr. Wattenbarger was included in Charlotte Business Magazine's Top Doctors list consecutively from 2008-2013.

Dr. Wattenbarger is passionate about the mission of Shriners Children's and feels lucky to be able to practice in such a special place.

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