After working in cancer research for five years, Dr. Garvin Lee Chandler knew that he was meant for something different.
“Doing cancer research was unique and very interesting, but there weren’t many opportunities to make connections with people. So, after five years, I started medical school thinking I would become an oncologist,” he said.
Not long after beginning his schooling, he was paired with a family medicine physician for clinical care training. Little did he know that the experience would inspire him to join family medicine, instead of oncology.
“There was one patient this doctor saw four or five times a year, and every time he came in, they picked up the conversation right where they had ended it,” Chandler said. “I just thought it was cool how he knew his patients so well and was able to have friendly conversations with them. I knew then, this is what I want to do.”
Chandler will join Dr. Robert Sullivan at Harbin Clinic Family Medicine Adairsville at 115 N. Central Ave.
Chandler said he is excited to work with Sullivan, who he considers to be a role model both personally and professionally.
“Dr. Sullivan’s practice is amazing,” says Chandler. “He is a fantastic individual, and he has built a wonderful practice. My goal has always been to have a practice like his.”
Enthusiasm has grown in the office, as well, as Sullivan is looking forward to working with Chandler.
“He’s going to be a great addition to our practice,” Sullivan said. “He’s very experienced and kind, and I know he will fit in well in our community.”
Sullivan also pointed out that Chandler is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, meaning his treatment methods are more hands-on for treating symptoms of physical pain.
“He’s expressed his interest in continuing to do osteopathic medicine for those people who are in pain and have muscular and skeletal issues.”
Putting Patients First
Even before becoming a doctor, caring completely for others was something that came naturally for Chandler.
During his time in undergraduate school, Chandler’s younger sister was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a cancer of the body’s lymphatic system. He took time off from his sports training to help take care of her, in turn helping out his parents, as well.
Today, Chandler’s sister is healthy and thriving, but it was those oncology appointments that piqued his interest in healthcare years ago.
“Seeing her doctors work to help her beat cancer really got me interested in the medical field, and that’s when I started to think about doing cancer research, and later, becoming a physician.”
The dedication Chandler has for helping others and his passion for healthcare shines through his practice, as he works hard to do what is best for his patients. One instance in particular reminded him of the importance of caring completely for everyone who walks through his door.
“I had one patient who was very depressed and did not take care of themselves at all. On top of that, they had both thyroid and diabetes problems. So, we started with addressing each health issue one at a time and going from there.”
Despite his patient’s challenges, Chandler was determined to bring them back to a better state of health. Watching their improvement meant the world to Chandler, he said.
“It was an incredible transformation. They went from someone who just came in and didn’t say much to someone who had energy and personality. It was very rewarding.”
From Football to Family Medicine
Chandler studied biology as an undergraduate at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. There, he also played football and was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, where he met his wife, Laura.
After undergrad, he stayed and received his Master of Science in Biology.
Later, he would attend the University of North Texas in Fort Worth and receive his Medical Doctorate degree in osteopathic medicine.
During his time as a research assistant and lab manager at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, he performed research on both Ewing’s Sarcoma and the Testicular Cancer pathway. Four of his research articles were published, as well.
Volunteer work has been an important part of Chandler’s life, including service with the Special Olympics and medical coverage at sporting events.
Currently, Chandler volunteers for Faith & Deeds Community Health in Rome and performs volunteer sports physicals for middle and high school students in and around Rome.
Chandler completed his family medicine residency at Floyd Medical Center. He and his wife are excited to move their family to Rome where they will raise their 4-year-old girl and brand-new baby boy.
“We really love the people, the small-town feel and the geography. There are places to go hiking, rivers for kayaking, and so many other opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. We used to go fishing, and we’re trying to introduce our daughter to sports activities.”
To learn more about Chandler or book an appointment today, visit harbinclinic.com.
Harbin Clinic is Georgia’s largest physician-owned, multi-specialty clinic with more than 220 providers across more than 30 specialties in 17 locations throughout Northwest Georgia. Since 1870, the Harbin family has practiced medicine in the region, founding the Harbin Hospital in 1908 in Rome, Georgia. That hospital grew into the present Harbin Clinic, which cares for thousands of patients each day.
For more information, visit www.harbinclinic.com