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The one hundred honoree: Fred G. Barker II, MD

Profile in Medicine

The one hundred honoree: Fred G. Barker II, MD

Mass General Giving

Fred G. Barker II, MD, an attending neurosurgeon at Massachusetts General Hospital, is an expert on the special characteristics of brain tumors and the appropriate course –and timing—of treatment for each type.

During his 20-year career, Dr. Barker has become renowned for his skills treating benign and malignant brain tumors, as well as acoustic neuromas, meningiomas and von Hippel-Lindau disease, a rare hereditary condition.

When Dr. Barker first diagnosed Edith Garrett with a brain tumor, he recommended a treatment plan of what she calls “watchful waiting.”

“Dr. Barker assured me it was not time to remove any tumors,” says Edith, not yet 30 years old at the time. “He was more concerned with my quality of life than operating on a slow-growing tumor. His thoughtful and conservative approach to treating me was reassuring. “

Dr. Barker closely monitored Edith for two years before advising her it was time for surgery.

“Despite the tense moments of listening to the cold, hard facts about brain surgery, Dr. Barker’s demeanor was confident and compassionate,” Edith says. “He has a well-deserved reputation as a surgeon, but I have seen how his skills stretch well beyond the operating room. I am a high school teacher and people often ask me what I do over the summer. I tell them I have spent the last two out of three summers at a place I have come to call home with a truly incredible person, Dr. Barker.”