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Texas Oncology–The Woodlands Radiation Center Welcomes Dr. James Zhu

July 17, 2020

James Zhu, M.D., Ph.D., is now seeing patients at Texas Oncology–The Woodlands Radiation Center. He discusses what inspired him to specialize in cancer care and, specifically, radiation oncology.

What is the most important thing you want your patients to know about you?
As an oncologist, first and foremost, I am a patient advocate. Cancer care can be complex, but it should always be about the patient, not just about the disease itself. I support my patients in advocating for their own care. My goal is that my patients find comfort, courage, and dignity throughout their cancer journey.

What inspired you to specialize in radiation oncology?
I have an extensive background in engineering, and it has always been my dream to bring my passion for patient care and technology together. Radiation oncology was a natural choice for me, and I have enjoyed every moment of my career.

Where did you complete your residency?
I initially started medical college in China at age 16 but had to come to the U.S. with my family before I finished. I then went to the University of California, Berkeley to study electrical engineering and computer science. I was particularly interested in innovation in medical technology, which led me to pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering. My ultimate goal was to use my engineering skills to help patients with advanced medical equipment. With that in mind, I went back to medical school, attended the University of California, San Diego, and then went through rigorous medical residency training in radiation oncology at the University of Florida.

A career in medicine is an incredibly rewarding lifelong commitment ... you will never stop learning, from your mentors and peers, and most importantly, from your patients."

What advice would you give someone aspiring to be a doctor?
A career in medicine is an incredibly rewarding lifelong commitment. It may take several years in school and in training to become a doctor, but you will never stop learning, from your mentors and peers, and most importantly, from your patients. If you have this passion and persistence, then you will succeed.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
I wish I could record and preserve all the memories of joy and happiness for anyone who may have lost them during a difficult time when they are sick or weak – especially for those with brain tumors or other cancer-related cognitive impairment.

For upcoming webinars visit www.TexasOncologyFoundation.org.