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 with nutritional and supplemental changes to their lifestyle instead. 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 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. 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.
After completing my Internship and Family Practice Residency with the USAF at Womack Army Medical Center, I was pleased to serve my country and the military community for 9 years of active duty. During this time I was a “regular” doctor, treating patients to the best of my ability in the traditional western manner. It did not take long to realize that my dad was right – treating illness once it sets in just doesn’t seem like the best approach to manage and maintain health. Functional Medicine’s approach (developed by the Institute for Functional Medicine, IFM) finally offered the evidence-based curriculum and teaching necessary to recognize root-causes of illness along with the methods for prevention or healing. For me, this approach to medicine has been much more successful and fulfilling. I completed my board certification with IFM last year, and I am able to offer my patients an elevated level of care that focuses on the individual, not limited by a reactive treatment approach.
Developing True Life Medicine (TLM) is something my family has been a part of as well. My wife is a nurse, and we are raising 3 energetic young boys, ages 4-9. Being active and protecting our health is something we value; we know wellness is earned. It allows us to pursue our interests and tackle life’s demands, whether it’s hiking our beautiful Rocky Mountains or meeting deadlines and building relationships.
It hasn’t been easy raising kids (potty-training, food allergies, and too many spelling tests come to mind) while also pursuing the additional training for Functional Medicine and developing a private practice unlike any current models; however, I’m enjoying the response I’ve received from my patients. When we connect in a real way it reminds me that this is what I am compelled to do – that people need and desire to develop a plan for their wellness. That is why I am devoted to partnering my skills with the interests of my patients by offering specialized time and discernment, as well as advanced diagnostic testing and analysis, utilizing the most current research and referrals available in our area. My goal is to be available to you in practical ways like email, virtual appointments, and quick responses to basic inquiries to better serve you outside the standard office visits.
When it comes to the relationships with my patients, I want to help define what “True Life” is for them. I am honored to be invited into your lives in such a significant way!