Washington People: Charles Goldfarb

Hand specialist treats kids with birth differences, athletes with hand injuries, other ailments

Charles Goldfarb with young patient
Charles A. Goldfarb, MD, examines patient Chloe Mullins during a recent appointment at the St. Louis Children's Specialty Care Center in west St. Louis County. (Photo: Robert Boston/School of Medicine)

Growing up in Birmingham, Ala., Charles A. Goldfarb was the youngest son of a head and neck surgeon. Although his older brother and sister became lawyers, Goldfarb initially thought he might follow his father’s path, but when he was exposed to orthopedics, he knew he’d found his calling.

“What had attracted me to head and neck surgery was the intricacy of the anatomy,” said Goldfarb, director of the Division of Pediatric and Adolescent Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “But the area around the hand also is very intricate, and from my perspective, those are the two most interesting anatomical areas of the body.”

Another attraction was the link between orthopedics and sports. Goldfarb was a history major and a varsity college soccer player at Williams College in Massachusetts, proudly representing the school that gave the world Stephen Sondheim, John Sayles and perhaps the best mascot name in all of athletics: Ephelia the Purple Cow.

Sports have remained part of his professional life. When athletes need hand surgery, his phone rings.

Read the full profile on the School of Medicine site.

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