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James M. Isbell, M.D.

Dr. Isbell
Charlottesville, VA

Dr. James M. Isbell

Thoracic Surgeon

University of Virginia Cancer Center

Cardiac Surgery Clinic
1215 Lee Street, 2nd Fl.
Charlottesville, VA 22908
(434) 243-6443

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University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, Dallas, TX - 2003

Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN

University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA


Graduating first in his class, Dr. James M. Isbell received his medical degree in 2003 from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School located in Dallas, Texas. He then went on to complete a residency in general surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee during which time he also received a Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation (M.S.C.I.) from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. Dr. Isbell completed dual fellowships in cardiothoracic surgery and surgical critical care at the University of Virginia (UVA) in Charlottesville.

Upon completion of his fellowships, Dr. Isbell was recruited to join the faculty at UVA in 2013 where he holds both academic and clinical posts today. Dr. Isbell currently serves as an assistant professor of surgery in the division of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery, director of adult extracorporeal life support, and co-director of thoracic and cardiovascular critical care for the UVA Health System. Dr. Isbell cites his reason for staying at UVA following his fellowships as, in addition to personal growth, “the opportunity to work with a strong multidisciplinary team with considerable expertise in the care of patients with lung, esophageal and other cancers of the chest cavity.” Dr. Isbell notes that his colleagues are all highly-trained and motivated towards the same goal—to design “comprehensive treatment plans that are personalized to the individual patient.”

Professional Highlights

Board-certified in both general and thoracic surgery, Dr. Isbell’s clinical practice focuses on the surgical management of the following diseases:

When appropriate for a patient, Dr. Isbell employs minimally invasive surgical techniques that allow his patients to return to their normal activities much sooner than traditional surgical procedures. Dr. Isbell is a member of several professional medical organizations, including the American Medical Association (AMA), the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the Society of Critical Care Medicine (SCCM), and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS).

Clinical Research and Publications

Dr. Isbell has authored or coauthored several textbook chapters and scientific articles that have been published in such peer-reviewed journals as The Annals of Thoracic Surgery and The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, among others. Dr. Isbell’s research interests focus on cardiothoracic critical care, extracorporeal life support, and lung and esophageal cancer.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari

Reviewer: Annette Charlevois

Patient Support Coordinator

Annette Charlevois


University of Virginia School of Medicine

University of Virginia Health System

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