Growing up, James Williams, MD, was interested in medicine, but he also had dreams of being an athlete, a coach or maybe a teacher. Then as a senior in high school, he tore his ACL and had to have surgery.
“That whole experience changed my life—and not just due to the injury,” Dr. Williams says. “Being around so many doctors and surgeons made me realize that medicine just seemed like something that I would really enjoy doing.”
After attending Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, followed by a residency in general surgery at LSU Health Science Center, Dr. Williams joined Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group General Surgery – Ascension.
“This is a job for me, but it’s also a calling,” Dr. Williams says. “I like being able to take care of people in their worst times and their worst situations. I just find that very rewarding.”
A Dedication to Regional Service
Dr. Williams’ parents were Methodist ministers who moved the family all around the state of Louisiana during his childhood.
“But Baton Rouge was my favorite place that we lived when I was growing up, so I always knew that this was the area that I wanted to come back to,” Dr. Williams says. “I love how the city also feels like a small town. It’s a great place to raise a family.”
A childhood spent in such close proximity to church instilled Dr. Williams at a young age with the importance of serving others.
“While it’s true I’m at a Catholic hospital and not a Methodist one, my parents are proud that I work for an institution that does have a Christian mission and underlying core principles,” Dr. Williams says.
Robotic Surgery Makes a Difference
Dr. Williams is committed to advancing newer technologies for the benefit of patients.
“It’s definitely one of the reasons I became a surgeon,” Dr. Williams said. “Using robotic surgery is beneficial for the patients due to smaller incisions, faster healing times and lower risk for wound infection. But also because of the technology of the wristed instruments, you’re able to perform procedures more like you would if you were doing them [traditionally]. So it’s kind of getting the best of both worlds.”
While Dr. Williams is a general surgeon, he loves that Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group integrates physicians across multiple specialties.
“Having that kind of close camaraderie across so many specialties is rewarding for me as a physician, but it also means better care for our patients,” Dr. Williams says. “We can take care of basically any condition right here within our own system.”
An Affinity for Rural Care
Dr. Williams also really enjoys his practice in Gonzales.
“While it is more rural, we are still able to offer pretty much anything that you could find in a larger community in terms of our access to technology and our health system,” Dr. Williams says. “So, if there’s something that we can’t do or don’t have available, it’s right around the corner.”
Sports, Fantasy and More
Dr. Williams has season tickets to both LSU football and baseball. He played both sports in high school, and played baseball in college.
“Unfortunately, I wasn’t good enough to play at LSU,” Dr. Williams says. “But as much as I love watching baseball, who doesn’t love an LSU football game on Saturday night?”
However, Dr. Williams isn’t just a sports fan. He loves Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although his favorite books and movies of all time are The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.