2018 Top Doctor: Matt Barcellona

Editorial StaffApril 1, 2018
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2018 Top Doctor: Matt Barcellona with pediatric patient Jaxon Wells
2018 Top Doctor: Matt Barcellona with pediatric patient Jaxon Wells

Med School/Year Graduated: Pennsylvania State University, 2004
Years in Practice: 14

What drew you to working with kids?
Kids love new experiences, learning, laughing and being silly. I share these qualities, so I’m sort of a big kid at heart. My hope is a potentially scary doctor visit turns out to be surprisingly fun.

On one hand, working with kids seems vastly rewarding. On the other, it seems that much more difficult to work with young people who cannot fully communicate their symptoms, pain levels, etc.
It would be nice if babies had “colic” or “ear infection” stamped on their foreheads, but therein lies the art of pediatrics. By gathering important history from parents and nonverbal clues from the baby, you piece together the story.

If you could change one thing about childhood in America right now, what would you change?
Wow, tough question. Our kids face many challenges today – exposure to violence, internet bullying, addiction. But the number of single-parent households is staggering. One of the manliest things a man can do is be a rock-solid dad. As men, we’ve got to step up.

Tell us about your musical group, Champagne Tap. What was your favorite rock band to cover?
Oh, The Tap. Ha ha! Well, a few doctors and a couple computer nerds turned a garage jam into a bona fide rock ’n roll cover band. For over a decade we played gigs around town. I was the front man. My favorite: old-school Aerosmith!

You’re a baseball nut who grew up in Huntington Beach, California. Are you a Mike Trout guy or do you root for the D-backs?
I root for the D-backs… when they aren’t playing against the Dodgers or Angels. While my home is now Arizona, my baseball roots run deep in SoCal. But I cheer for the football Cardinals all day long!

Your online bio mentions your love for desert photography. Do you have a favorite subject or location to shoot?
I have this dream of collecting images of the nearby desert landscape and wildlife, and selling my photography to the locals at farmers’ markets.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
My wife and I have recently been blessed with the arrival of our son. God gave us the perfect baby, as he loves adventure – hiking, traveling, music, laughing and being downright silly! Time well spent.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be…”
A high school baseball coach and science teacher.


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