New Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sport Medicine, P.C. surgeon, assistant emphasize patient-centric care

New Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sport Medicine, P.C. surgeon, assistant emphasize patient-centric care

For Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, P.C.’s newest orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rich McClain, practicing medicine is an active, engaging, and patient-focused process.

"I like the hands-on aspect of surgery,” Dr. McClain said. “I like being able to put the pieces back together, restore patients' function, and get them back to an active lifestyle."

After working around the region for the past 17 years, Dr. McClain was delighted to find a home within Great Lakes at the beginning of February.

"I enjoy it quite a bit," he said. "People here do a great job taking care of patients and making sure that they are treated like they should be."

Dr. McClain and Great Lakes’ founder Dr. Keith Pitchford have talked for years about joining efforts in practice, but circumstances only recently aligned for it to happen. They were originally introduced through a mutual orthopedic product rep who recognized their similar approaches to medical care.

"Lo and behold, he and I got along right off the get go,” Dr. McClain said. “We were able to exchange ideas easily. It's all very friendly– there's a lot of camaraderie.”

“I think we both are really concerned about how patients are treated. We try to make them feel welcome and comfortable,” he said.

Both orthopedic surgeons focus much of their efforts on major joints like the knees, shoulders, and hips. Dr. McClain leverages a lifelong passion for learning to offer patients advanced techniques that reduce surgical impact.

"I'm also doing anterior hip replacements, which is a newer way of treating hip arthritis,” he said. “People tend to bounce back a little bit faster."

Dr. McClain’s interest in the procedure was inspired by several of his older patients. They had their hip replacements and were out golfing within two to three weeks. Traditionally, hip replacement recovery meant more than a month of down time, so the speedy recoveries left a lasting impression.

His own history as a shoulder and knee patient make Dr. McClain particularly attuned to the challenges of recovery.

"I like being able to see how practices and procedures have evolved," he said. "I enjoy seeing people being able to bounce back."

Physicians’ Assistant Mariah Isaacs, MMSc, PA-C, also joined the Great Lakes’ practice earlier this year and has really enjoyed working alongside their newest surgeon.

"It's been fantastic working with Dr. McClain,” Isaacs said. “Patients love him. They have nothing but good things to say."

"The patients’ response to him says it all,” she continued. “Every post-op patient I see, it's always high praise of him as an individual as well as a surgeon."

One recent experience with a knee replacement patient stood out to Isaacs.

"To be able to see the patient initially, see the pain that she was in, and then to see her get back to doing what brings her joy, riding horses, has been a fantastic experience," she said.

Having recently returned to the Midwest after working in Florida, Isaacs deeply appreciated how hard the Great Lakes team has worked to make her feel at home.

"Everyone's been so welcoming and so warm and so friendly,” she said. “It's made it a smooth transition."

She looked forward to applying her medical training and energy further with Dr. McClain and their new team.

“We're excited to be working alongside Dr. Pitchford and the team at Great Lakes Orthopedics, and excited to meet more of the community and help them get back to what they love," Isaacs said.

To find more information about Great Lakes Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, P.C., and the services they offer, visit them at To schedule an appointment, please call (219) 365-0220.