Family medicine

June 6, 2022

Alumni

As a radiation oncologist working in team-oriented medical care, Dr. David Randolph II values all his colleagues. But there’s one he maybe cherishes the most. That would be his dad, Dr. David Randolph Sr.

The younger Randolph, a 2007 graduate, works alongside his father at the Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Johnston-Willis Hospital, carrying on a family tradition of helping those in need. The two physicians share the same technical specialty. But more than that, Randolph says, each is committed to providing compassionate, patient-first health care.

Randolph believes his path toward this style of medicine was first set in childhood when his grandfather died of lung cancer.

“He was a very physically commanding person and seeing the effects of the cancer was a very powerful memory in my life,” Randolph says. “I realized then the impact that the physician can have either for good or for bad. Just the compassion, the bedside care.”

Randolph credits his father’s patient-first approach to medicine for guiding him along that path.

“As I've gotten older and started working with him, it's helped mold me into the physician that ultimately I want to be.”

Randolph also believes that there is great value in having Black doctors providing direct patient care in a hospital that treats people of all different backgrounds.

“When you're being treated by somebody that looks like you, there's more of an inherent trust, and this is especially true in the African American community,” Randolph says. “It’s in the data, too. When a patient can identify with the doctor, outcomes are improved.”

Randolph is committed to paying his experience forward by helping students navigate the complicated world of medicine. He participates in several mentoring programs at the University of Richmond and gives guest lectures on cancer in undergraduate biology courses.

Working shoulder-to-shoulder with his dad every day has been deeply rewarding.

“It really is a team approach with radiation oncology, so we’re always reviewing each other’s cases,” Randolph says. “He’ll come into my office with a case and ask, ‘What would you do here?’ As a son, that is one of the most validating things I could have ever hoped for.

“We share this deep and profound respect and love for one another. It just makes working together an absolute pleasure.”