“Holding retractors, scrubbing into cases – it’s where I developed my love of surgery. I realized I was looking forward to going to work every day. It’s was pretty telling that this was what I needed and wanted to do,” remembers Dr. Greer. “I considered several other things – law school or business – but I didn’t have the passion or excitement I felt when I was thinking about working in the operating room.”
Several aspects of surgery appealed to Dr. Greer – interacting with staff, the ability to fix a specific problem and make someone better, and the technical aspect of operating. General surgery provided him the opportunity to work with a wide variety of patients who needed a range of surgical care. “I like that general surgery means that I have to be flexible in the care I provide – every day is something different,” says Dr. Greer. “It’s also very gratifying to see a patient who’s sick and needs help and then see the immediate improvement after surgery. I love helping people go home and back to their normal life.”
For Dr. Greer, the most challenging part of his work is around the conversations he has with patients who are very sick and may be at the end of life – especially if their problem or condition can’t be addressed through surgery. “It’s difficult, but important, to talk through options with the patients and family members so they can make the most informed decisions about their care,” he says.
“I value communication, and I want my patients to feel like they fully understand their options – and that they are making the decision that’s best for them. As a physician, my job is to provide information and options that hopefully guides them to the right decision,” says Dr. Greer. “With this information, they have the autonomy to decide the procedure, surgical approach or other course of action that’s right for them.”
Dr. Stephen H. Greer earned his medical degree from The University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, Tennessee. He then completed a general surgery internship and residency at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga. He specializes in general and advanced minimally invasive surgery, including robotic-assisted procedures. Dr. Greer is also an instructor with the Department of Surgery for the University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Chattanooga. He sees patients at USA Surgical Specialties Building in Chattanooga and USA East Ridge. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Greer, call (423) 267-0466.
Dr. Greer with this wife, Rebecca, and his daughters Margaret and Anna.