Radiologist Spotlight: James Dean Sprinkle, Jr. MD

In 2013, Newsletter, Physician Spotlight, Sprinkle, Volume 5 Issue 1 by Addison Clark

A native Virginian, Dr. James Dean Sprinkle, Jr., a board-certified radiologist at Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg (RAF), grew up in Danville with three older sisters. He likes to clarify that he was named after his father, a thoracic surgeon, rather than the legendary actor James Dean.

At the University of Virginia, Dr. Sprinkle started as a chemistry major but switched over to psychobiology, his first introduction to the neurosciences. He went on to the Medical College of Virginia (MCV), receiving his medical degree in 1991, graduating with honors. Completing his radiology residency and subsequent fellowship in neuroradiology at MCV, he joined RAF in 1996 as the group’s first fellowship-trained neuroradiologist.

For 17 years, Dr. Sprinkle has served as RAF’s physician director of neuroradiology, today leading a team of five neuroradiologists whose focus is diagnosing abnormalities of the central and peripheral nervous system, spine, head, and neck.

Dr. Sprinkle’s education and career have been marked by a series of recognitions, from collegiate awards to professional honors, including election to Alpha Omega Alpha (AOA) Honor Society in his third year of medical school. In 1996, he earned the Silver Medal Award from the American Roentgen Ray Society; in 1997, additional board certification in neuroradiology; and in 1999, the distinction of being the first doctor in Fredericksburg to perform a vertebroplasty, or spinal augmentation. Dr. Sprinkle is a senior member of the American Society of Neuroradiology and a director of the Michael R. Pascucci Lung Cancer Association. At Mary Washington Healthcare he has served on the stroke team, stereotactic radiosurgery clinical team, the Neuroscience Center of Excellence, as well as trauma services.

“Radiology has changed so much over  the past 15 years,” Dr. Sprinkle noted. “Our diagnostic firepower, and the technology that supports it, have intensified.” How does RAF stay in step with the changes? “With every new staff member, our knowledge base, and ability to better serve our referring physicians and their patients, grows exponentially.”

While at MCV, Dr. Sprinkle met his wife, Whitney, who today is a pediatrician with Preferred Pediatrics in Fredericksburg. Together, they are parents to 11-year-old triplets: two girls, Carter and Grace, and a boy, MacKeon. Rounding out the family is Millie, whom Dr. Sprinkle describes as a “Labrador Non-retriever.”

When asked about his passions beyond medicine and family, he is quick to answer: music (trumpet and guitar), golf (single-digit handicap), and the Great Outdoors (kayak fishing, hunting, backpacking). But it is music that consumes most of his leisure time.

Before college, he toured the northeast U.S., Germany, and Switzerland as a trumpet player and later on taught himself guitar. Although classically trained, he has played with various jazz, blues, and rock bands over the years and has journeyed to points near and far to take in the live music scene. He is a primary sponsor of a music festival in Richmond (Scuccifest) that benefits lung cancer research, and was an associate producer for a 2006 documentary titled “Live From. . .the Hook,” profiling Charlottesville’s music scene.