Picture of Dr. Tara Burgher standing in a hospital room smiling
Mount Jefferson Family Medicine physician connects with patients through compassionate communication
Dr. Tara Burgher has always been compelled to listen.
Whether she's taking care of a small child with a hearing disorder or helping a new mom navigate her pregnancy, the Mount Jefferson Family Medicine physician uses every opportunity to connect with her patients and gain a better understanding of their individual needs.
Communication is the key to a successful relationship, and the doctor-patient relationship is one that Dr. Burgher has been perfecting since she first began working as a pediatric audiologist.
"While I was an audiologist, I have several patients who stole my heart, and I wanted to be able to offer more to them than only hearing healthcare," says Dr. Burgher. "While hearing to a little one is extremely important, I found myself wanting to know more about their medical conditions and trying to figure out why some children had certain delays and others did not."
Hearing is one of our most important senses, particularly for a young child; but for Dr. Burgher, the ability to listen to possibility ultimately led her on a path toward a career she hadn't ever really considered and her new home at Mount Jefferson Family Medicine.
Listening to the words of a mentor who emphatically told her "Tara, you should just go to medical school," Dr. Burgher took a leap of faith and decided to become a physician.
Dr. Burgher earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Des Moines University in 2015 before completing a family medicine residency at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines, Iowa. She then went on to complete the Obstetrics Rural Expanded Surgical Skills Track (RESST) Fellowship at Wayne County Hospital in Corydon, Iowa.
In June 2020, Dr. Burgher joined Mount Jefferson Family Medicine. Since then, she has been working to guide her patients through all phases of care from women's health needs and delivering babies to pediatrics and family medicine.
"Dr. Wonisck and I have extra training to take care of many of your healthcare needs," says Dr. Burgher. "This allows us to develop relationships and truly understand what a patient needs or wants. With that said, MJFM offers a warm atmosphere with friendly caring people from check in to check out. I think this is why people keep coming back."
A native of Norwood, N.C., Dr. Burgher attended Appalachian State University where she envisioned teaching French after falling in love with the region on a school trip. Although it didn't take long for Dr. Burgher to realize that teaching wasn't her true calling. She earned a bachelor's degree in communication disorders in 2004 before moving on to the University of Louisville where she earned her Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) in 2008.
Following a post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric neuro-audiology in Birmingham, Ala., Dr. Burgher spent nearly three years working as a pediatric audiologist, but there was still something missing. She wanted to do more.
Dr. Burgher ultimately found what she was looking for in family medicine with an emphasis on obstetrics.
Through her yearlong RESST fellowship, Dr. Burgher was able to hone her procedural and surgical skills, training in high risk obstetrics, including performing Cesarean sections, LEEP procedures, endometrial ablations, tubal ligations, contraception methods, colposcopy, colonoscopy and vasectomy.
Now, she's hoping to develop and grow the practice's women's health and pediatric health offerings while also growing its obstetrics department.
"I love developing a relationship with 'mom' for nine months and then following that through with her on her delivery journey," says Dr. Burgher. Typically, after delivery, I am also able to care for mom and baby, which I think is very special. I jokingly tell moms that I deliver, 'Their baby is my baby too -- sort of.'
"Thankfully, my job has a ton of variety," adds Dr. Burgher. "This is what draws me to rural family medicine. Some days are harder than others emotionally and mentally, but all days are rewarding."
Sixteen years after saying goodbye to the High Country, Dr. Burgher is happy to call the Coolest Corner of North Carolina home. When she's not hard at work, Dr. Burgher enjoys spending time outdoors and exploring the woods around her Crumpler home with her husband Mike and their children Hank, 3, and Etta, 2.