Medical Memoirs: Dr. Mike Stuart’s practice joins a new family at The Barranco Clinic

WHEN OTOLARYNGOLOGIST Dr. Mike Stuart considers his life and practice, the term “family” comes to mind, especially since he joined The Barranco Clinic this past fall, a leading group of specialists treating ear, nose, throat and neck diseases and conditions in Polk County. Born and raised in London, England, he came to the U.S. in his teens — to New York, specifically, to pursue his education. Going back through the U.S. school system “from the ground up,” Stuart recalls, “was a success story for opportunity in the United States.”

After earning his GED, he went on to college at Queensborough Community College and then, after meeting his wife, transferred to Boca Raton’s Florida Atlantic University in South Florida. Medicine was not his first area of study. Initially a music major, he subsequently developed a passion for the sciences. It was then, during classes like Organic Chemistry, that he decided to pursue medicine. “It allowed me to explore my interest and passion for science, but in a meaningful way,” he explains. “That is what led me to medicine. I enjoy working with and helping people. So, to me, it seemed like the perfect marriage of my scientific research interests, my passion for working with people, and doing something meaningful.”

He was then accepted to Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, for medical school. After about two years in the program, he and his wife welcomed a daughter. However, Hurricane Katrina struck when their baby was just five weeks old, forcing them out of The Big Easy with so many others. The new family moved to Washington University in St. Louis so Dr. Stuart could continue medical school. It was right around this time that Dr. Stuart’s passion for medicine coalesced into a practice philosophy: “Being a father and having kids has shaped my view of practicing medicine … it is my driving motivation … I treat my patients as I would want my own family treated.”

After completing his five-year residency at the University of Virginia, Dr. Stuart and his family moved to Davenport, and he opened a private practice, Central Florida Otolaryngology. There, Dr. Stuart enjoyed the multiplicity offered by the field of otolaryngology. “As a specialty, otolaryngology offers considerable diversity, managing patients both medically and surgically,” he continues, “treating all ages from young infants to geriatric patients, with a very diverse set of pathologies. The head and neck presents some of the most complex anatomy within the human body, and its functions involve many intricate facets of daily living.” But, perhaps the most fascinating aspect to him is that “the head and neck, and the face, are the most identifiably personal parts of who we are; it really is a privilege to have the trust of my patients to help them with problems that are often of such an intimate and personal nature.”

He recently joined his solo practice with that of The Barranco Clinic. They have “a fantastic reputation in the community,” he maintains, “and it will allow me to spend more focused time treating and managing patients.” Looking to the future, Dr. Stuart shares, “I plan to continue to grow my practice, to care for my patients, and to continue providing excellent care for the community.” No doubt, Barranco Clinic patients can be confident that they are in such good hands as part of Dr. Stuart’s new medical family.



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