Growing up in a small town in South Georgia, Dr. Jared Harris knows first-hand the medical inequalities facing rural areas, which is what ultimately led him to a career in medicine. That, and the kindness shown to him by a nurse while dealing with a medical condition.
“I chose a career in medicine because I wanted to help people,” said Harris. “I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and experienced some incredible health care workers. I wanted to be able to help people in that same way while also pursuing my passion for science, math, and research.”
A native of Dublin, Georgia, Harris received his undergraduate degree from Valdosta State University and his medical degree from The Howard University School of Medicine.
“I went to medical school in Washington, D.C., and during those four years I realized that the city wasn’t for me,” said Harris. “I am a small-town boy, and I always will be. I am thrilled to be back in South Georgia, specifically in Moultrie, with the Georgia South team to help alleviate the medical disparities in rural Georgia.”
As it became time to choose a residency, Harris had his mind set on a program that would be instrumental in bringing care to those in need, and that is exactly what led him to Georgia South.
“I researched Georgia South, and my wife saw my excitement from knowing that there was potentially a spot for me in Family Medicine in South Georgia,” said Harris. “I submitted my application, and I am grateful that Dr. Smith and Dr. Weeks gave me the opportunity to be a part of this growing and much-needed program in Moultrie.”
Harris said one of the biggest reasons he chose family medicine as his specialty is because of the diversity of patients that he will get to serve on a daily basis.
“In family medicine, I get the opportunity to work with people as young as newborns all the way to geriatrics,” said Harris. “I value building relationships. Also, the wide range of procedures done in family medicine will allow me to be a well-rounded physician. I am not bound to one practice; I get a variety of experiences.”
Fluent in American Sign Language, Harris is looking forward to providing quality care to the deaf and hard-of hearing population.
“The scarcity of medical interpreters makes it challenging for the deaf community to get immediate care or basic follow-up procedures,” said Harris. “There’s a need for doctors to also be knowledgeable in sign language to show that they are willing to take the extra step in providing care until there are more resources to help remove language barriers.”
While Harris is only in his first year of residency, his long-term goals include teaching as a faculty member to prepare the next generation of physicians, along with possibly becoming a program director for a residency one day.
When not practicing medicine, Harris enjoys drawing, listening to music or playing video games. Harris lives in Moultrie with his wife Crystal, who serves as the director of student financial services at Gallaudet University.