Dr. James Purvis offers clinical care and trains pediatric residents and medical students at the Children's of Mississippi North Clinic in Jackson.
Dr. James Purvis offers clinical care and trains pediatric residents and medical students at the Children's of Mississippi North Clinic in Jackson.
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People of the U: James Purvis

Published on Monday, November 4, 2019

By: Annie Oeth,

Dr. James Purvis, assistant professor in ambulatory pediatrics, is teaching a new generation of pediatricians in the institution where he earned his M.D. and did his residency – the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

“I returned in 2012 to UMMC, where it all began,” said the career general pediatrician.

The Enterprise native, a graduate of Jones County Junior College and Millsaps College, completed his medical school training at UMMC in 1991, counting Vice Chancellor Dr. LouAnn Woodward, Pediatrics chair Dr. Mary Taylor, director of UMMC’s Division of Cardiovascular Medicine Dr. Mike McMullen and other current UMMC faculty as classmates.

Purvis then began his residency, training under the likes of Dr. Owen ”Bev” Evans, Dr. James Joransen, Dr. Sandy Feldman, Dr. Joe Donaldson and Dr. John Moffitt in the Children’s Hospital of yesteryear. The facility is now the home of the Pediatric Emergency Department, Children’s Rehabilitation Unit and inpatient Child Psychiatry Unit.

The life of medical residents could be busy, he said, noting that he presented wife Jani with her engagement ring at the old neonatal intensive care unit, which was on the round tower’s fourth floor. 

After residency, the Purvis’s moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, returning to Jackson in 1998. Purvis then joined Children’s Medical Group, serving as a general pediatrician in the Jackson area for fourteen years. 

“When we went to Shreveport, the Children’s Cancer Center had just opened,” Purvis said. “When we returned, Batson Hospital was open, and that was a big, big change for children in Mississippi. It provided a place dedicated solely to the inpatient care of our patients at the level of care that only a children’s hospital could provide.”

Purvis and the team at Children’s North Clinic now guide four or five residents through ambulatory pediatric care each afternoon. Third- and fourth-year medical students also train at the clinic, which serves as a general ambulatory pediatric clinic for patients in the area.

“It is very rewarding to educate young pediatricians,” Purvis said, “especially in the School of Medicine where I trained. I think the future of pediatrics in Mississippi is in good hands.”

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