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New Orthopedic Surgeon Joins Lompoc Health

New Orthopedic Surgeon Joins Lompoc Health

Dr. Justin Chang has spent his life in big cities. He was raised in Miami, went to Medical School in Boston and did his orthopedic surgery residency in Denver. His most recent address was in Houston, where he completed a sports fellowship that had him treating employees of NASA and professional sports teams, including the Houston Astros, Houston Texans and also Rice University. 

But as he began his post-fellowship career, Dr. Chang wanted a change – and he found it in Lompoc. 

“The thing I’m most excited about is to really just join a community and be a part of a smaller town where I can get to know people and truly feel like I’m contributing and helping,” Dr. Chang explained. 

In a big city, he added, “It is hard to feel like you are a part of a community. I am extremely excited to join Lompoc, where I can contribute and help build up a community. There are workers and laborers going out and putting in a hard day’s work, and unfortunately, they injure themselves. They can see me, and I can get them back out and working. That is what is genuinely rewarding.” 

Dr. Chang will perform arthroscopic and open orthopedic surgeries at Lompoc Valley Medical Center, including arthroscopic “scoping” of shoulders, elbows and knees. He will repair meniscus tears and ACL injuries, as well as rotator cuff tears, shoulder and labrum tears and perform total shoulder replacements, for example. He will also perform Anterior Total Hip replacement surgery. Dr. Chang will also provide medical assessments for sporting events at local high schools and help care for high school student athletes. 

He is also certified in the Stryker Mako Robotic total knee and total hip replacement surgeries and hopes to bring this technology to Lompoc Health in the future. 

Dr. Chang said he has been interested in medicine throughout his life. His parents, though not physicians, both worked at a hospital. His sister is currently a radiation oncologist in Fresno. 

“I grew up around the hospital,” he recalls. “I knew going into college I wanted to go into medicine. There is value you can provide as a physician through directly helping people with their quality of life. That really stimulates me.” 

Dr. Chang earned his undergraduate degree in microbiology and cell science, with a business administration minor. He continued on to earn a Master of Biomedical Science from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and his Doctor of Medicine from Tufts. 

Dr. Chang has moved to the area with his wife, Josephine, who is a Physician Assistant in Pathology. They have a 3-year-old daughter, Jacqueline, or “Jackie,” and a 19-month-old son, Jayden, or “JJ.” Another child is due in January 2024. 

With concentrating on orthopedics, Dr. Chang said the specialty allows him to see how he improves the quality of life of a patient. 

When injured or suffering patients come to see him, they let him know they cannot do the things they want to do, such as hiking or working in the garden, because of pain in their knees or other joints. 

“I delight in seeing that I could do something to help them get back to doing those things they love,” Dr. Chang said. “And in high school sports, seeing kids who regrettably tear their ACL, and I am able to do their surgery; and the next year you see them score a touchdown or goal. That is the gratification I really love.”