Dr. Clifford Dale James III, M.D.

My story started September 30, 1969 at 8:00 am in the morning. I remember it being a nice, warm, sleepy experience when I was suddenly awoken to bright lights, loud noises, and someone smacking me on my bootie. It was then that I realized I was naked as a jaybird and have had a fear of public nudity ever since. Some old guy with one foot in the grave was holding me by one foot and as the room came into focus I saw a smiling tired lady with long, dark hair and a dude with a silly smile standing next to her. I guess they didn’t know what to call me so they just started calling me the same thing the guy with the silly smile was called and just slapped another number at the end of the name.

I grew up in the country in the middle of nowhere surrounded by children, not because there were lots of people out there, but because the tired lady and the guy with the silly smile thought they should have a whole lot of kids. For some reason all of the kids they had except me were deformed little boys that were missing some parts, so we called them sisters. My dad, the guy with the silly smile, was a hard worker, mom was making a home (something like that) and five kids were making a lot of messes and a bunch of noise. We didn’t have anything fancy, but we had everything we needed to be a family and be happy.

My grandma told me that I was going to grow up and become a pediatrician. My grandma was pretty scary, so even though I never accomplished growing up I thought I should become a pediatrician. I went away to college to West Texas State University and got a degree in biology. With my new degree I knew that I had to keep going to school or starve to death so it was a great motivator to keep going to school. I then moved to Lubbock, Texas and started medical school at Texas Tech Health Science Center. Somehow a guy from the sticks managed to survive and thrive in medical school in spite of violating all the dress codes and all known stereotypes of medical students. When I finished medical school it was painfully obvious that I was still an idiot so I moved on to the next step of becoming a pediatrician and went to Cleveland, OH (the armpit of America) and spent three years as an indentured servant, but learned a whole lot about pediatrics.

I moved to Knoxville, TN in July of 2000 and started practicing pediatrics in Oak Ridge, TN. It was after about six months in town that I met the best pediatric teacher I have ever had in the form of a baby named Dalton James (I got to be the guy with the silly smile). I am currently married to Kristi James and Dalton now plays with brothers; Tyler and Kaden and I still learn about pediatrics everyday.

I started Kids Central Pediatrics with the idea of having a kid friendly environment where the office looked fun, the staff had fun and I could be the biggest kid in the world’s biggest toy box, while taking care of children. My goal everyday is to treat every child as if they were my own and sometimes that feels awfully close to the truth when they are sick. I pride myself on treating children at the highest standard of care and try and always do what is in the best interest regardless of what insurance companies are trying to force upon us for financial reasons. I am very proud of our clinic and I hope my patients and families are proud to come here.