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Dr. Terrence Orr (L) and Dr. Jeffrey A. Orr (R)

Drs. Terrence and Jeffrey A. Orr

One of the things that makes the Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness the world-class program it is: its dedicated staff of talented doctors.

Dr. Terrence Orr has been an orthopedic surgeon in South Lake Tahoe since 1988 and recently served as the head physician for the Men’s U.S. Alpine Ski Team. His son, Dr. Jeffrey A. Orr, returned to South Lake Tahoe in September 2017 to practice orthopedic surgery alongside his father.

Q: What brought you to Lake Tahoe to practice?
Dr. Terrence Orr: I was practicing in Chicago and wanted to get more expertise in sports medicine, so I contacted Dr. Keith Swanson here in Tahoe and he invited me to join the team for a sports medicine fellowship. Four months into the fellowship, Dr. Swanson asked me to stay. I’d been a skier since I was young and my wife grew up skiing, so we looked around and compared Tahoe’s mountains to Chicago’s skyscrapers and it was a pretty easy decision.
Dr. Jeffrey A. Orr: It was great growing up in South Lake Tahoe, so my game plan from the beginning was to come back here and specialize in sports medicine orthopedics. It was a ten-year track, but I returned in September 2017.

Q: Why did you choose to specialize in orthopedics?
Dr. Jeffrey A. Orr: I first observed my father when I was about 12, so I could see firsthand that sports medicine isn’t simply about getting people through their day, the goal is to get them back to enjoying an active lifestyle. I always really liked that about the field.

Q: What’s it like working with your father/son?
Dr. Terence Orr: You really can’t ask for much more. It’s nice to think that I’m the mentor, but it’s definitely been a two-way street. Jeff brings something new to the group that we all learn from. It’s been a lot of fun.
Dr. Jeffrey A. Orr: It’s been great. He helps me refine how I look at a patient’s injury and decide on a course of management. With orthopedics you’re always learning, always improving, and working with my dad is a big asset in doing that. 

Q: What was it like being the head physician for the Men’s U.S. Alpine Ski Team?
Dr. Terrence Orr: It was a great run. Being a skier and wanting to be on the sports medicine side of things, I thought being involved with the ski team would be a great opportunity. I started doing ski camps in 1988 and traveled for competitions for 10 years. Then in 1999 they asked me to be the team’s head physician. It was supposed to be a four-year stint but I stayed on for four Olympic Games.

Q: How does the new Center for Orthopedics & Wellness enhance your practice?
Dr. Terrence Orr: The concept of having a center in Tahoe that provides complete musculoskeletal care has been in the works for about 25 years. There are so many things that affect a patient’s outcome: physical therapy, rehabilitation services, athletic training, and having support from other disciplines. The Center has a large orthopedic wellness component, in addition to traditional wellness, that allows our patients to thrive.

Q: What do you enjoy doing here in Tahoe when you’re not working?
Dr. Terrence Orr: There are so many things to do: skiing, running, cycling. I think in my first year here I lost 10 pounds of Chicago weight. Golf is one of my passions, so I’ve been doing a lot of that lately.
Dr. Jeffrey A. Orr: Getting out on the water in the summer and on the snow in the winter. Being outdoors when time allows is always a priority.

An excerpt from "Orthopedics & Wellness" published by Barton Health for the 2018 opening of the Barton Center for Orthopedics & Wellness. Photo & Interview by freelance writer, Joan Wharton.