Katie Harris, PA-C
Katie Harris, Physician Assistant, graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2006 with a degree in Biology. She continued her education at Trevecca Nazarene University and earned a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies in 2012. Katie is an active member of the following organizations:
• American Academy of Physician Assistants
• Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants
• Physician Assistants in Orthopaedic Surgery
Katie’s day is spent primarily at Maury Regional Medical Center assisting our surgeons at the hospital. For many patients, their stay in the hospital is due to a traumatic injury and can be a frightening experience. Being able to take the time to talk with patients and family to discuss peri-operative management is very important. She understands that taking the time to explain an injury and subsequent treatment can truly help to alleviate some of a patient’s anxiety during their admission.
Most days for Katie begin around 6:30am. She is responsible for assisting the on-call surgeon with any new admissions from the previous night. Her duties include consulting with the hospitalist group to ensure patients are medically stable for surgery, ordering pre-op tests, obtaining consent, and coordinating the patient’s surgery time with staff and available surgeons. The rest of her day is spent assisting with patient discharge orders, acting as first assist in the operating room, and taking call for hospital consults and ER calls.
Since becoming a provider at MTBJ, Katie has seen many advances in orthopedic technology, medicine, and surgical practices. In that time, our clinic has also successfully transitioned to complete electronic medical records for patients. She has also seen the use of new peri-operative medications that have improved patients’ post-operative outcomes.
Katie and her husband, Chris, have lived in Middle Tennessee all their lives and relocated to Spring Hill, TN, in May 2013. In June 2014 they welcomed their first child, Abbi. Shortly after the age of one, Abbi was diagnosed with profound hearing loss and received bilateral cochlear implants. She has progressed wonderfully and now attends the Mama Lere School for the Hearing at Vanderbilt.
Caitlin Clemmer, PA-C
Caitlin Clemmer, Physician Assistant, graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 2006 with a degree in Psychology. She continued her education to obtain a Master of Health Sciences in Physician Assistant Studies from South College in 2009. Caitlin is a member of the following organizations:
• American Academy of Physician Assistants
• Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants
• National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
Caitlin is originally from Columbia and decided to move back home to start her career. She worked for a short time in Knoxville, but when the opportunity came available at MTBJ she couldn’t pass it up. Caitlin previously worked at MTBJ as a clinical assistant in 2007 before joining the clinic as a full time employee in 2010.
Caitlin notes that the biggest changes in orthopedics have been the expansion of surgery options for several of the MTBJ surgeons, including total ankles, total elbows, and different types of total knees. Additionally, new injections like Synvisc One and Gel One have evolved over the last few years, in addition to expanded treatments for osteoporosis. The biggest change in the clinic has been the introduction of electronic health records to the practice.
Professionally, Caitlin is most proud of completing her studies to become a PA. She describes the long hours spent studying to pass the certification exams as the hardest, most time consuming part of her life. She is proud of many things – for surviving the exams, for her husband who pushed her and supported her all the way through, and she is also proud to work at MTBJ! Caitlin also has pride for her amazing husband and for God for sending him to her, and for her amazing and supportive family.
Caitlin and her husband Wyatt live in Spring Hill with their two children, Max and Catherine. Caitlin loves to run and water ski, and also loves to attend UT football games.
Overuse Injuries in High School Sports
Every year, millions of teenagers participate in high school sports. An injury to a high school athlete can be a significant disappointment for the teen, the family, and the coaches. The pressure to play can lead to decisions that may lead to additional injury with long-term effects. High school sports injuries can cause problems that require surgery as an adult, and may lead to arthritis later in life.
When a sports injury occurs, it is important to quickly seek proper treatment. To ensure the best possible recovery, athletes, coaches, and parents must follow safe guidelines for returning to the game.
Continue reading at AAOS.org – High School Sports Injuries
Dr. Kenneth Sykes
Dr. Kenneth Sykes joined Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint in fall of 2015 to lead our new Interventional Pain Management focus. Dr. Sykes takes an active role in treating patients whose chronic pain cannot be managed through surgery, physical therapy, or traditional medications. He offers advanced treatment options for patients who are living in pain caused by a variety of medical conditions.
Dr. Sykes has been in practice for three years, after having completed his anesthesiology residency and a sub-specialty fellowship training in pain medicine. Before coming to MTBJ, Dr. Sykes knew Dr. Scott McCall from childhood when they both participated in competitive gymnastics. His medical career took him to St. Louis and Ohio, and after Dr. Sykes and his wife had their second child, they realized they wanted to live a little closer to family. Dr. McCall contacted Dr. Sykes about the Clinic’s desire to add interventional pain management to the practice. Dr. Sykes was thrilled after visiting MTBJ and says it has been a joy living in the community.
Dr. Sykes’ professional accolades include his time as a resident anesthesiologist in St. Louis when he was awarded a research grant through the Federation for Anesthesia Education and Research (FAER). This grant allowed him to study a specific type of protein receptor suggested to play a significant role in the detection and processing of acute inflammatory pain. Personally, Dr. Sykes is most proud of being named as a member of the United States National Team for men’s gymnastics in 1997.
While Dr. Sykes and his family are still relatively new to the area, they’re already looking for ways to get involved in their community. They are currently in the process of looking for and joining a church, through which they hope to get more involved in local events and activities. They are particularly interested in working with at-risk youth, serving as mentors, and working with international students.
Dr. Sykes has already seen significant changes in the field of pain management. First is the recognition that certain interventional procedures historically used in acute perioperative pain management (pain due to surgery) may be useful in the chronic pain management field. Previously, severe pain tied to surgery that is controllable with pain medication has been approached differently than pain that is long term and often does not respond to pain medication.
Second, Dr. Sykes explains the finding that chronic opioid use may not have been the great solution to the chronic pain problem that we initially thought it was. In fact, in some ways chronic opioid use may have caused far more harm than good. This recognition has caused professionals in the pain management field to reexamine whether or not these medications are actually helpful, and to apply increased scrutiny regarding how and when these medications should be used in the context of chronic pain management.
In his free time, Dr. Sykes likes to exercise and workout. He likes to listen to and play a variety of instruments: piano, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and drums. Many of Dr. Sykes’ favorite extracurricular activities involve hanging out with his family. He and his lovely wife, Sun Jeong, have three young children.
Dr. Erion Qamirani
Dr. Erion Qamirani – or Dr. Q, as he is casually known to his patients – joined the practice in October 2013. Before landing in Middle Tennessee, he spent time in Texas, Toronto, and California to complete his studies. He received his undergraduate degree from McMurry University in Abilene, TX, and his PhD and MD from Texas A&M. His orthopedic surgery residency was completed at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada, and his spine surgery fellowship was completed at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Qamirani’s main focus will be back pain and spine surgery. We are thrilled to have a dedicated spine surgeon as a convenience for all of our patients.
At the completion of his spine surgery fellowship, Dr. Qamirani sought out many different locations to begin his practice. In the end, MTBJ offered the best opportunity for him and his family. He was very impressed with our physicians and the practice opportunity at the clinic. Our core belief of providing great orthopedic care in a conservative manner exactly matched Dr. Qamirani’s views, and we have seen firsthand that he is a wonderful match for our clinic.
He noted that the greatest change he has seen in Orthopedics is the focus on cost savings within the practice without having to sacrifice care. He says these are difficult times for the practice of orthopedics and medicine in general, but he fully believes that by placing the patient first we will succeed. Just recently, Dr. Qamirani was the first to perform a cervical total disc arthroplasty as an outpatient in the Surgery Center of Middle Tennessee, located downstairs in our office building.
Professionally, Dr. Qamirani is most proud of receiving the Lawson Senior Award for Highest Academic Achievement of Graduating Residents at the completion of his residency training in Toronto, and also finishing his spine surgery fellowship at one of the best programs in the country.
Personally, he is most proud of his amazing wife who supported him through the many years of medical training and of his two kids. He is also very proud to have been raised in a great family with two wonderful parents and a loving sister.
When he’s not at the clinic, he appreciates being able to spend time with his family. He also enjoys playing soccer, mountain biking, basketball, canoeing and watching college football (Gig ‘em Aggies!!). Dr. Qamirani has been married to his wife Joana for 10 years, and they are blessed to have a son, Mason, who is eight, and a daughter, Gina, who is four. They spend a lot of time together, and they especially like traveling to different areas of the country.
Dr. Cason Shirley
Dr. Cason Shirley received his undergraduate degree with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from Lipscomb University in Nashville in 2004. He received his Doctorate with Highest Honors from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2008 and completed his orthopedic residency at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis in 2013. Dr. Shirley’s care focuses on joint replacements and sports medicine. Dr. Shirley and his family were drawn to Columbia for multiple reasons, but primarily due to the fact that he was raised in Middle Tennessee. The opportunity to move back to the Middle Tennessee area and be an active part of the community in Columbia was very appealing to him and his family. Dr. Shirley also credits the family-type atmosphere at the clinic in helping him make the decision that MTBJ was the right place for him.
Following the trend of a number of our other physicians, he has already taken on the volunteer job of team physician with the Mt. Pleasant High School football team. In this role, Dr. Shirley consults with the coaches and trainers whenever a player is hurt and conducts quick assessments of their condition to determine whether they can continue playing that evening. While in medical school in Memphis, Dr. Shirley volunteered with the local Soles for Souls program providing foot care to the homeless population. He also volunteered at the Grizzlies Academy providing free tutoring to underprivileged youths in the downtown area. He is looking forward to giving back even more to the Maury County community.
The greatest change Dr. Shirley has seen in Orthopedics is how rapidly the technology and knowledge base expands. As the profession’s knowledge base and technology continue to improve, doctors are able to return people to function more efficiently, whether that means sports or everyday activity. Orthopedics continues to become more specialized each year.
Professionally, Dr. Shirley is most proud of being elected chief resident at the Campbell Clinic by his peers. Personally, he is most proud of his beautiful and supportive wife, Randi, and his four wonderful kids. He describes his family as an amazing blessing. He has been married to Randi for 13 years, and they have four children. Their son, Parker, is a fifth grader at Columbia Academy. Their daughters are Reese, eight years old and a CA third grader, Ryan who is four years old, and Mayer who is three years old.
Dr. Scott McCall
Dr. Scott McCall earned his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in 2001. He joined Mid-Tennessee Bone & Joint in August of 2006 after completing his residency at the Campbell Clinic in Memphis.
Dr. McCall chose orthopedics as a career partly due to his interest in sports. As a student at The College of William and Mary, he was a three-year captain of the men’s gymnastics team. He was an All-American and won several national championships, including the 1996 NCAA National Rings title. During his senior year, he was on one of the eight finalists for the Nissen Award, the equivalent of the Heisman Trophy of Men’s Collegiate Gymnastics.
At The College of William and Mary, Dr. McCall earned an NCAA post-graduate scholarship and went to medical school with the intention of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. He chose to join MTBJ because it proved to be a great opportunity to practice with a quality group of doctors. Dr. McCall is fond of the small town community feel that the Columbia area offers.
When asked about what he is most proud of professionally and personally, Dr. McCall pointed to the fact that he is able to provide quality outcomes to patients in the Middle Tennessee area. “It is rewarding to help people with orthopedic problems and give them a new lease on life.” He introduced new technologies to the Middle Tennessee area such as the MRI guidance of total knee replacements and cutting edge trauma products. “Patients in our community receive high quality orthopedic care with the most advanced technologies our field has to offer.”
Giving back to the community is the MTBJ way and Dr. McCall is no different. He has served as the team physician for the Spring Hill High School football team since the 2006 season. He also serves on several committees at his church and volunteers his time by giving free sports physicals to athletes in Maury and surrounding counties.
Dr. McCall’s hobbies include playing golf and he loves watching college football, making fall his favorite time of year. He especially enjoys going to University of Tennessee football games and has been attending them almost his entire life with his dad.
Dr. McCall and his wife, Krisi, were married in May 2004 and reside in Franklin with their son Miles.
Dr. Jonathan Pettit
Dr. Jonathan Pettit is no stranger to the business of Sports Medicine. In fact, that segment of Orthopedics is what takes up most of his time each day here at the Clinic. Dr. Pettit sees athletes of all ages and abilities who have been sidelined by ACL tears, bone fractures, and various overuse injuries.
Dr. Pettit received his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University, and completed his medical degree at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. His residency was completed at Baroness Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, which is the same hospital where Dr. Doug Wilburn trained. During his residency in Chattanooga, Dr. Pettit got to know a few physicians who were friends of Dr. Wilburn and they recommended he look at our clinic in Columbia. Dr. Pettit was very impressed with the quality of our surgeons and their ability to work together. He and his family also loved the idea of life in a smaller town where they could get to know so many people.
Dr. Pettit offers many services with his focus in Sports Medicine, including a few advanced procedures such as a complex knee ligament reconstruction. This injury happens as a result of a car accident, severe sports injury, or a fall from a significant height. Another operation Dr. Pettit performs is an all-arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. The option to do the surgery solely with arthroscopy results in less tissue damage and a smaller incision. Dr. Pettit’s main goal with any of his procedures is to get his patients back into the activity they love with as little down time as possible.
Since beginning his practice ten years ago, Dr. Pettit has noted a few substantial changes in orthopedics. One change is the trend in how sports injuries are treated in the 4o + age bracket. In the last five to 10 years, surgery to fix a torn ACL has become more common place. Previously, patients in that age range who presented with an ACL injury were given a knee brace and instructed to do physical therapy to help with healing. The belief now is what patients in that age range likely knew all along – they still have many more active years left in which to benefit from this surgery. The surgical treatment of a torn ACL reduces knee instability and allows the patient the option to one day return to sports.
Dr. Pettit and his family are highly involved in the community. Dr. Pettit serves as the current president of the Board of Trustees at Agathos Classical School, and has served on the board for eight years. He is on the Utilization Review Board at NHC Columbia and serves on a variety of committees at Maury Regional Medical Center. Additionally, Dr. Pettit is continuing our long tradition of providing team physician coverage at Columbia Central High School.
Dr. Pettit is very proud that his family actively serves in the community. He has been married 19 years and has four children from age three to 15. All of his school age children attend Agathos Classical School, and the family worships at Maury Hills Church. In his free time, Dr. Pettit enjoys snowboarding and hiking.
Walk Your Way to Fitness
With these beautiful temperatures, it’s a great time to get outside and enjoy a walk around the neighborhood! Our friends at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommend safe tips to get started on a walking regimen. With a comfortable and supportive pair of shoes, walking is a simple and affordable way to get in shape. It also yields lasting benefits to the bones and joints, including toning muscles, maintaining bone mass, and slowing the development of arthritis.
Read more about this often overlooked form of exercise! AAOS.org – Walk your way to fitness this summer
Dr. Lee Hunter
Dr. Lee Hunter received his undergraduate education from Vanderbilt University where he received a B.A. in Anthropology. He attended medical school at the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences in Memphis. Upon graduating medical school, he attended orthopedic surgery residency at the Campbell Clinic, ﬁnishing his training in 1997. He became affiliated with Mid-Tennessee Bone and Joint Clinic in 2002. Dr. Hunter received an MBA from the University of Tennessee in 2009. Dr. Hunter specializes in surgery of the hand and upper extremities.
Dr. Hunter is from Selmer, TN, and his wife, Mary, is from Jackson. They have two children and reside in Columbia. Dr. Hunter’s interests include spending time with his family and being in the outdoors. He has worked as a medical missionary in Zimbabwe and St. Lucia.
Dr. Hunter is past President of the Tennessee Orthopedic Society, and has served as a Councilor to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons representing the state of Tennessee.
Dr. Hunter’s professional accomplishments include the invention and commercialization of a proprietary surgical arm positioner, used exclusively for surgery on and around the elbow. The ElbowLOC® Arm Positioning System simpliﬁes patient positioning for elbow surgery and lessens the time the patient is required to be under anesthesia for their given procedure. The device is used by orthopedic surgeons throughout the world and is featured in surgical textbooks and journals. Dr. Hunter holds multiple U.S. patents for his medical device inventions.