Was it God or naivety that led seven-year-old Charles, a Jew, to “walk the aisle” at the First Baptist Church revival in Forrest City? Dr. Charles Barg, a respected family practitioner in Little Rock, AR, looks back on his life and some of the decisions he made that shaped him into the man he is today.
In the mid-1970’s, Charles D. Barg, MD, a young primary care physician from east Arkansas with a family that included four young children, then anxious to practice a full spectrum of office based health care, full service hospital care, that included elements of Internal Medicine, pediatrics, neurology, and office surgery was just out of medical school having trained locally at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine. He was “moonlighting” as an Emergency Room physician at the time, as well as at various other smaller hospitals around the state during training. Baptist Hospital’s Emergency Room facility was his primary extra-curricular time investment.
While there, Dr. Barg saw the need for an “on-campus” full service office based practice in close proximity to a well equipped, well staffed hospital to meet a growing need of the community. With more doctors on staff at the hospital, there was immediate need for primary doctors to help manage sick patients admitted through the ER, pre- and post operative patients, and take responsibility for post hospitalization follow up. There was also a need for a primary physician to practice some of the newer science skills, not totally yet acquired by the busy, older, practicing primary doctors in the Little Rock community. It was a pioneer age.
In 1980, Dr Barg embraced the Christian faith, from an orthodox Jewish background, and began to see the practice of medicine in somewhat of a different light. The fact that a doctor could combine his professional attention to also help to engage the spiritual needs of suffering people, was fairly novel at that time. Dr. Barg saw no conflict in so adjusting his practice, to be personally aware to do just that, whenever there was need. As a result of that change in philosophy, there are many, good human “stories” to tell attributable to that change in “tack” back in 1980, almost too numerous to count, but let it be known that after that time, Dr. Barg saw his personal medical practice as a ministry to others, and not merely a profession.
Dr. Barg and his wife, Linda, live in Little Rock, Arkansas.