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Dr. Barbara J. Pettitt, MD, FACS, FAAP

Dr. Pettitt attended Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, completed her General Surgery residency at Los Angeles County – University of Southern California Medical Center and completed a Pediatric Surgery fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She has been a pediatric surgeon at Emory University in Atlanta since 1985, 25 of those as Chief of Pediatric Surgery for the Grady Health System. She is currently Professor of Surgery and Director of Medical Student Education in the Emory Department of Surgery where she directs the Junior Medical Student Surgery Clerkship, the Senior Surgery Sub-Internship, 16 Senior Surgery Electives, the annual month-long Surgical Anatomy, Embryology and Operative Techniques Course (an intense prep course for senior students going into surgery residencies), the senior student Applicant Prep Program, and the Senior Capstone “Residents as Teachers” module. She is a member of the American College of Surgeons Board of Governors and serves on several ACS national education task forces. She serves on the National Board of Medical Examiners’ Children’s Health Test Material Development and Step 3 Item Review Committees. She serves on the boards of several Atlanta non-profits as well as her alma mater, Central College in Iowa, sings in a community chorus, is active in her church and enjoys spending time with her children.


  • Surgery

Board Certifications

  • American Board of Surgery


  • Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh


  • Emory

Education & Training

  • Medical School: Northwestern University The Feinberg School of Medicine
  • Internship: University of Southern California (Los Angeles)
  • Residency: LAC-USC Medical Center

Honors & Awards

Association for Surgical Education’s Philip J. Wolfson Outstanding Teacher Award
Association of Women Surgeons’ Olga Jonasson Distinguished Member Award
Emory University School of Medicine Dean’s Teaching Award


Pettitt B, 1976: Surgery of the lower extremity in cerebral palsy: Considerations and approaches. Arch Phys Med & Rehab 57: 443-7.
Deck K, Pettitt B, and Harrison M, 1980: The length-time correlate in appendicitis.