DeKalb Orthopedics and Sports Medicine welcomes Commander Robert O. Boatwright, M.D.

Pictured above is Dr. Robert O. Boatwright, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with over 12 years of experience. 

DeKalb Orthopedics and Sports Medicine welcomes Dr. Robert O. Boatwright to their team. Boatwright is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and has been practicing medicine for over 12 years. He is a graduate of Mercer University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia. Dr. Boatwright is a former Commander in the U.S. Navy, where he served for 13 years.

Boatwright joins a fast-expanding team of five Orthopedic and Sports Medicine specialists at DeKalb Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Clinic in Fort Payne, including Dr. Andrew Hester who joined the practice in 2018, fulfilling the need for a full-time orthopedic surgeon at DeKalb Regional Medical Center. Since that time, the clinic has expanded to include four additional specialists, including double board-certified sports medicine physician Dr. Ginger Medders, and they have become the face of the healthcare heroes for local Friday night football injuries with their late-night sports medicine clinics.

Hester said DeKalb Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is honored to have Boatwright join the family. “Always striving to provide excellent care to our community, we are proud to announce the addition of Dr. Robert Boatwright,” Dr. Hester said. “Dr. Boatwright will further our ability to provide quality orthopedic care to DeKalb and the surrounding area right here at home. We are honored to have him join us and continue to help us grow in our ability to service our community.”

Specializing in musculoskeletal system maladies, Boatwright most commonly treats broken bones, ligament tears and cartilage loss, among other things, but enjoys the operative treatment of orthopedic injuries. “The most rewarding part of my job is helping patients return to a high functioning level following acute musculoskeletal injuries,” he said. “I love learning about my patients, listening to their concerns and working hard to ease tensions and calm fears.”

After 13 years of living near beaches as part of the Navy, Boatwright and his family are looking forward to the mountain views of northeastern Alabama and a bit of a return to small-town living. Boatwright is originally from Willacoochee, Georgia, a place he describes as “a small town with not even one red light,” about 30 miles east of Tifton, Georgia.

After overcoming his own injuries as a teenager, Boatwright decided he wanted to help other people overcome physical challenges of their own to improve their function and quality of life. He attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA, then Shorter College in Rome, Georgia, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor in chemistry.

Boatwright then attended medical school at Mercer University School of Medicine utilizing the Navy’s Health Professions Scholarship Program. Following medical school, he reported for active duty and completed an internship in orthopedic surgery at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, followed by a 3-year utilization tour as a Dive Medical Officer at the Naval School for Explosive Ordnance Disposal. He completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the Naval Medical Center Portsmouth, after which, he reported to Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune, and during his tour he spent seven months deployed as part of the Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force, Crisis Response Team for Africa.

Boatwright said his time with the Navy allowed him to work with and learn from some incredible people. “My military involvement helped to reinforce the value of hard work and teamwork,” he said. “Everybody may have a different job to do, but we all have the same goal and work together to get the job done.”

Though Boatwright is a board certified general orthopedic surgeon, he enjoys helping athletes overcome sports-related injuries and said that his time in the Navy prepared him well to help athletes succeed after an injury. From sports-related fracture care to arthroscopic ligament reconstruction and stabilization or arthroplasty for the aging athlete, Boatwright enjoys all aspects of orthopedic surgery. “After a significant injury that could take an athlete out of a sport that they enjoy, my ability to help them return to the sport that they love following surgery is incredibly rewarding.”

Boatwright and his wife Megan have one son, Colton, and they currently make their home in Rainsville where they enjoy all things outdoors such as hunting, camping and hiking.

Dr. Boatwright is currently accepting new patients. DeKalb Orthopedics & Sports Medicine is located at 2605 Gault Ave. N Suite 200, Fort Payne. To make an appointment with Dr. Boatwright, call 256-979-1550 or visit

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