James Long, MD
In college, I started out as a physics major but realized I didn’t want to spend my whole life in a lab. I wanted to spend my life helping people. That’s how I got into medicine.
When I went to medical school, my friends thought it was depressing that I was picking oncology as my specialty. But I didn’t see it that way at all. There’s a hidden secret in oncology: It’s a very uplifting specialty. Even though you’re working with people with a serious illness, there’s a lot of hope — especially when you can give people good news.
As the medical director of the NorthBay Cancer Center Department of Medical Oncology, I believe in providing patients with the latest medical science has to offer, along with compassion and caring. A cancer diagnosis is very frightening to anyone. My job is not only to provide them with as many clinical choices as possible, but also be there to listen if they have a question, a fear, or just need someone to talk to.
I see patients age 18 and older. Not every patient I see is dealing with an oncology issue. Some are dealing with a hematology issue, which can be anything from leukemia to blood clots. I have ongoing relationships with each of my patients. With oncology, you don’t just perform a surgery and never see someone again. You’re there with them for the rest of their lives.
I’m upbeat, interested and willing to spend time answering questions my patients have. When I explain a diagnosis to patients, I want to give them choices on their treatment, but also give my recommendation as to which one might be their best option. I don’t want patients to feel like they have to figure out everything by themselves. I want them to be engaged with their care. I want them to feel empowered and like they’re part of the team, not a victim.
Sometimes, I see patients up until 9:30 p.m. Even though this can be a long day, my career is so rewarding because I know that people are being taken care of. We’re managing their problems. It’s very satisfying. That’s what being a doctor is all about.
Medical Degree, University of Texas Medical Branch Hospitals, Galveston, TX
Residency in Internal Medicine, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, Lackland AFB, TX
Fellowship in Hematology and Medical Oncology, University of Texas Science Center - Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, TX
Board Certified in Medical Oncology
Board Certified in Hematology