James A. Knight II, MD, is no stranger to the impact of health challenges on a family: he has seen his father, now a 20-year survivor, bravely face prostate cancer, and he has stood alongside his mother as she cares for his grandmother who has been battling Alzheimer’s disease.

Because of these experiences, health care is personal for Dr. Knight. He knows how important it is for a family to have empathetic physicians. “Those difficult moments in my life helped me learn what it really means to be a good caregiver and the responsibilities that come with that role,” Dr. Knight said.

Now a third-year radiation oncology resident at the UK College of Medicine, Dr. Knight works hard so that through every interaction on the job, his patients and their families feel valued and respected. As a cancer care physician, he helps patients navigate important questions and conducts difficult conversations with care. His colleagues and mentors say he makes the extra effort – and it shows.

“Multiple patients have given feedback saying he is excellent, compassionate, kind, and makes the cancer journey much easier,” said Denise Fabian, MD, associate director of the UK College of Medicine Radiation Medicine Residency Program.

Dr. Fabian said Dr. Knight carries himself professionally, is proactive in research, and goes above and beyond to familiarize himself with patients even when he’s not assigned to a case. For these qualities, she nominated him to contribute to an American Board of Radiology article, through which he shared a heartfelt passage about his gratitude for UK and its radiation medicine team.

“I’ve enjoyed the honor of working alongside incredibly compassionate, motivated colleagues in a constantly evolving field,” Dr. Knight wrote. “I feel this residency has done more than provide us with a deeper understanding of cancer management. It has empowered us to engage with, and serve, our patients, their families, and the community in unique and deeply meaningful ways. The personal and professional growth I’ve experienced through this program has been phenomenal, and I am immensely grateful for the opportunities it continues to provide.”

Dr. Knight initially applied to UK because of its high volume of patients, the variety of acute and chronic conditions and diseases, and the plentiful opportunities for growth in clinical skills and research. “Because of my time at UK, I feel that I’m a better and more well-rounded physician,” he said.

A Fishers, Ind., native, Dr. Knight completed medical school at Indiana University before joining UK. He has a little more than two years left in his residency. When he completes the program, he aspires to offer the same attentiveness and compassion to patients that doctors provided when they cared for his family.

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