Dr. Jeffrey A. Frazier, a board-certified diagnostic radiologist with Radiologic Associates of Fredericksburg (RAF), didn’t start out to be a physician. After graduating from Clemson University with a degree in finance, he worked for four years as a commercial lender. “I went into banking because I wasn’t sure what kind of career I wanted to pursue,” he said. “Commercial lending offered a way to interact with a lot of different business people and figure out where I wanted to go next.”
In his fourth year of banking, one customer changed his perspective. “This customer was completing his family practice residency. He had six children and a seventh on the way, was a competitive marathon runner, would moonlight like crazy to make ends meet, and was as happy as anyone I knew. I asked him why a 29-year biology teacher would decide to change course and go to medical school, and he answered simply, ‘I wanted to do more with my life.’”
“That got me thinking,” Dr. Frazier said. “I wanted to do more with my life, too. There was a symmetry in transitioning from helping people with their fiscal health to helping people with their physical health.”
After taking his pre-med classes at North Carolina State University, he went on to pursue medical school at East Carolina University. It was his last rotation in medical school, in radiology, that changed his direction in medicine. “I fell in love with radiology,” he explained. “It just felt like a good fit for my personality. It’s a field that tries to answer questions, and we were all taught as residents ‘the answer is on the film.’ My job is to go find it. It’s a privilege to have referring physicians send patients to us and ask us to help them either figure out what is going on or confirm what they already suspect is going on.”
His medical degree was followed by an internship in combined medicine and pediatrics at Akron General Hospital in Ohio. He went on to finish his radiology residency at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA, and his fellowship at the University of Virginia, with a specialty in thoraco-abdominal imaging.
Along with his medical training, Dr. Frazier puts his financial background to work in multiple roles. “For better or worse, physicians are more engaged with the business aspects of medicine now than we ever have had to be. We can either get engaged and in the trenches to direct the change of health care delivery or stand by idly as we are swept up in the changes implemented by those who are engaged.” He is a member of the Board of Trustees for Mary Washington Healthcare (MWHC), a former Mary Washington Hospital medical staff president, the medical director at Medical Imaging of Fredericksburg, and a member of the Board of Managers for the Mary Washington Health Alliance, where he serves as chairman of the Finance and Contracting Committee.
The Alliance was formed to facilitate clinical integration efforts between MWHC and physicians in the region. The ultimate goal, he explained, is to achieve the triple aim of improving the patient experience, raising the quality of health care, and reducing health care costs. “We have a unique opportunity in this market to work collectively to improve the care our patients receive, while at the same time retaining our independent practice model.”
Dr. Frazier met his wife, Wendy, a business analyst with an undergraduate degree from the University of Mary Washington and MBA from Penn State University, when both were living and working in Greenville, SC. “Wendy has always been the rock of this family. When we started dating, I told her I was thinking about going back to get an MBA, with one to two years of grad school. Then as we got engaged, I told her I had changed to med school, an investment of four years plus a three-year primary care fellowship. By the time I had completed my pre-med classes, med school, internship, radiology residency, and then a fellowship, it turned out to be 13 years. Throughout it all, to include six moves in the 13 years, she never wavered.” They have three daughters: Blair, 22, a senior at Virginia’s College of William & Mary (W&M) and aspiring physician assistant; Mary Grace,18, a freshman at W&M and aspiring veterinarian; and Ashley,15, a high school sophomore. A dog named Lady and a cat named Fritz complete the Frazier household.
In his time away from work, Dr. Frazier reads, plays golf, cheers on the Washington Capitals, and enjoys observing family milestones.
“At William and Mary, the Christopher Wren Building is home to a time-honored tradition,” he said. “It’s the oldest school building in the country and marked by an arch between the college campus and colonial Williamsburg. In the fall, the seniors welcome the freshmen through the arch and onto the campus, while in the spring, the freshmen send the seniors out into the world. In August, we watched Blair welcome Mary Grace through the arch. In May, Mary Grace will send off Blair. Those kinds of moments are golden.”