Radiologist Spotlight: James J. Schuster, MD

In 2013, Newsletter, Physician Spotlight, Schuster, Volume 5 Issue 2 by Addison Clark

Dr. James Schuster has been with Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg (RAF) for 12 years. A board-certified diagnostic radiologist, he has additional fellowship training in neuroradiology.

Dr. Schuster grew up in suburban Philadelphia. His early plans were to follow his father’s career path and become an engineer. But undergraduate courses in biology and chemistry at Villanova University led to a change of heart and a burgeoning interest in medicine. He went on to Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine in Hershey, graduating in 1986 with a degree in medicine. He completed his internship in internal medicine at York Hospital, followed by a radiology residency at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

“I was energized by the challenge of looking at a diagnostic image, finding the source of a patient’s presenting problem, and then providing insights that help in clinical decision-making,” he said when asked about why he chose radiology as a medical specialty.

Toward the end of his residency, he decided to specialize in neuroradiology and pursued a fellowship at the University of Virginia (UVA) Medical School. In 1992, while at UVA, Dr. Schuster introduced himself to RAF.

“I knew instinctively this was the right group for me, but at the time, no positions were available,” he said. He returned to Pennsylvania, where he practiced for eight years. The prospect of one day working with RAF, however, was never far from mind. When RAF doctors contacted him in 2001 and asked him if he was still interested in working with the group, Dr. Schuster enthusiastically accepted. In July of that year, he joined the group as RAF’s second neuroradiologist, following Dr. Sprinkle and preceding Drs. Darden, Bindal and Hwang.

“For me, RAF offers the ideal working environment,” Dr. Schuster noted. “It’s a highly collegial, collaborative atmosphere. Together, our physicians bring a ‘patient-first’ mindset to all that we do.”

“RAF is committed to providing subspecialty radiology services, superior quality diagnostic imaging and 24-hour, seven-day-a week on-site radiologist coverage at Mary Washington Hospital,” he went on to say. “It has been my privilege to contribute to RAF’s professional legacy that was initially established by radiologists who have now retired, including Drs. Kenneweg Southworth, Scott and Allen.”

Online continuing medical education has played a key role in Dr. Schuster’s professional growth. “Nearly every time I access the presentations made available by our radiology professional societies, I learn something that is relevant to the challenges of my day-to-day practice,” he said. “It allows me to stay current on the technological advancements in MRI and CT that lead to greater applications in  neuroradiology.”

Dr. Schuster met his wife, Dana, during the summer of 1981 while working at the beach in Stone Harbor, NJ. “From our first date to the present day, she has always been able to make me smile and laugh,” he said. “We were married in 1984 and eventually blessed with three children.” Chelsea recently graduated from her dad’s alma mater, Villanova. Maddie is a third- year student at UVA. Son Blaise is a junior at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA, and an exceptional tennis player. A 13-year-old Airedale Terrier, Tilly, rounds out the family.

A sports enthusiast who as a teen played soccer, baseball, basketball and ultimate frisbee, Dr. Schuster enjoys leisure time at the Fredericksburg Country Club, where he is an avid tennis player and an aspiring recreational golfer. He and Dana also enjoy rooting on the Cavaliers at UVA. Other pursuits include cruising on the Potomac River in their motorboat, sailing on their catamaran in Stone Harbor, skiing in Vermont, and snorkeling through the emerald waters of the Caribbean.

But even more than distant destinations, the Schusters appreciate their life at home near the banks of the Rappahannock River, as well as all that Fredericksburg has to offer. “It’s a lovely city and has taught us the true meaning of community,” Dr. Schuster said. “We cherish the warm friendships that we have developed during our years in Fredericksburg.”


Pictured above is Dr. Schuster (far right) relaxes with his family.