Randolph James, MD, ABFM, IFMCP
Growing up part of a medical and military family, I learned a lot of the values and passion that characterize my practice today. Entering my collegiate years, I watched my physician father start to practice medicine a new way, before it became more acceptable to treat patients with an “alternative” thought process. Considering a career in medicine myself, it took me a while to make up my mind considering I had a lot of other interests to pursue. I first received my bachelor’s degree in History and Foreign Service from Baylor University and went on to an intensive language program earning a Master’s in German through Middlebury College. After finishing those studies at the University of Mainz in Germany and discovering that I definitely didn’t want to be a professor after all, I decided to go back to the original pursuit of medical school and earned my MD from the University of Kansas in 1998.
It was inspiring to watch my dad (an ENT surgeon and allergy specialist) recognize that surgery wasn’t always the necessary or best treatment for many of his patients, many who started to get better by changing the way they thought about food, environment, and overall lifestyle. Hearing the stories of how he was changing the health and lives of his patients with this approach, and seeing their gratitude because their lives (vs just symptoms) had been improved with his guidance, inspired me to study and apply medicine in the same way. I especially remember a hiking trip to Mt. St. Helens together. On the way to the trailhead he was asked by a fellow bus passenger about a medical issue, and after a few short minutes, many people were craning their necks to hear more about how they could be empowered to take charge of their own health. That settled it! Still young and early in my medical training, I knew that I would practice the kind of medicine that captured the heart of people in this way.