Augusta Oncology is excited to welcome Dr. Jeremy Wells to our team of board-certified physicians. At Augusta Oncology, we provide the most effective, convenient and compassionate care for people with cancer and blood disorders in a community-based setting. We offer a coordinated team approach in order to help you navigate the clinical, financial and emotional challenges of a cancer diagnosis so that you can focus on healing and live your life.
With the addition of an esteemed oncologist to our Augusta Oncology family, we wanted our Augusta and Aiken patients to be able to get to know Dr. Wells through a short Q&A session. Read on to discover more about Dr. Wells including his professional medical experience, why he chose Augusta Oncology, his family and hobbies, and what inspires and drives him each day.
What inspired you to be a doctor? If not a doctor, what did you think you wanted to be when you grew up?
“Entering college, I was not sure what I wanted to do. Being from a small town, I was not sure how competitive different professions would be or how I would do in college. I had excelled in school to that point, but I was not sure how challenging college would be. Initially, I was a chemistry/pre-pharmacy major. I was interested in doing something in the field of medicine. However, I realized rather quickly that I wanted more opportunity to get to know patients and be able to coordinate all aspects of their care. I changed my major to chemistry/pre-med. Towards the end of college I struggled with the decision of going to medical school or seminary. Ultimately, I felt called to go to medical school and have never doubted that call.”
What was your life like growing up in the small rural town of Alamo?
“I would not trade it for anything. I love taking my family there now so that my own children can get a glimpse of life in a small town. Family is very important to me. My parents worked hard to provide for my brother, sister, and me. We are still very close now, even taking large, extended family vacations together when we can. Growing up, I enjoyed playing baseball, singing, hunting, fishing, swimming, playing ping-pong, and jogging to name a few. Some of my fondest memories include going to my grandmother’s (Nanny’s) to hunt, or just visit, on Saturdays followed by her home cooked, made from scratch, delicious breakfast.”
What inspired you to focus specifically on oncology?
My mother, a very healthy nonsmoker, was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer between my second and third year of medical school. I took a year off from school to move back home and help take care of her. I often say I learned more that year about taking care of patients than I did in school. That year was very difficult for me and my family. As I said earlier, we are all close. My mom died after a 14-month battle, and I lived at home, walking with my parents through the entire journey. When I went back to school for 3rd year rotations, I was not sure if I would be able to emotionally handle my oncology rotation. However, I found that I could understand what patients and families were going through better than most. I was not afraid to have honest and difficult conversations with patients. I also found my oncology training exciting because new therapies were constantly emerging.
What did you opt to practice in Augusta?
“I began medical school in Augusta in 2002. I met my wife Marcey here and we got married in 2007. We decided to stay here for training. Ultimately, every time the decision has arrived to stay here or move, we have always been called to stay. We have family in the area, a wonderful church, and many friends here. We are also a short drive from where both of us grew up. Augusta is our home.”
Can you share a little bit about the differences for you personally between an academic oncology setting and community-based oncology at a private practice?
“Since finishing training, I have really only practiced in the community-based oncology setting. I think academic oncology and community-based oncology are each vitally important in the fight against cancer. I am so thankful for the academic oncologists and scientists that continue to produce cutting edge research. I have always felt my calling in this fight against cancer is to devote more of my time to the direct care of patients. I decided to join Augusta Oncology this year as I felt this organization has that mission in mind.”
Talk a little about your family life.
“Marcey and I have been married 13 years. I have been very blessed to have her as my wife. We love spending time together. We continue to try to go on dates as often as we can. We have been blessed with 4 beautiful children, 3 boys and 1 little girl, with ages ranging 3 to 10. We love being together. Of course, life is very busy, but husband and father are my most important titles. I truly am a blessed man.”
What are your hobbies? What do you enjoy most about those activities?
“I love being with my family. I enjoy seeing them having fun. We enjoy traveling whenever we can. When we are home, we swim and play outside mostly. We also enjoy home projects, especially those in the yard. I particularly like any project that improves our landscaping. I also enjoy most sports. I played baseball in high school and enjoy playing baseball with my kids. I have coached them as well. I also like to sing and enjoy being part of the worship team at our church when I can.”
What’s your favorite thing to eat or drink?
“I enjoy a wide variety of foods. I do confess I enjoy a good steak, and I have a sweet tooth for pretty much anything you call dessert. I enjoy a good cup of coffee, diet Sunkist, and Cran-grape light more than any other drinks.”
What travels have you taken or impactful exposures to other cultures have you had?
“Medical mission trips have given me opportunities to travel to other countries and experience other cultures. I always gain more from those experiences than what I provide for the patients. I have had the opportunity to do medical mission work in Kenya, Bangladesh, and Trinidad. Those experiences were life changing for me. As our children get a little older, I hope to be able to take each of them on a mission trip as well.”
What’s a life quote or motto you’ve tried to live by?
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot, Christian missionary killed in service
“Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,” James 1:19b
Who was your biggest influence growing up and why?
“My parents are my heroes. I am blessed to have had two loving parents. Losing my mother to cancer was extremely difficult, but watching my dad take care of her was inspiring. He was selfless throughout the entire time. He continues to show absolute dedication to his family and devotes his time to caring for people in his community and visiting his grandchildren in 3 different cities. Our children love and admire their “Papa.”
What’s the most rewarding part about being a medical professional – or, more specifically, an oncologist?
“Being an oncologist is quite challenging emotionally and academically. There are new therapies emerging daily. I do enjoy learning about the continued advancements. However, I find the time spent with patients each day to be the most rewarding part of what I do. There are certainly days that I have to sit in silence for a brief time to decompress. However, choosing to enter into what is often the most difficult time in a person’s life, to listen to the struggles, to empathize in the pain, to celebrate the victories, and to be open and real when someone is near the end of this life – that is why I am an oncologist.”
Augusta Oncology is honored to have such a dedicated oncologist join our team, one who is committed to helping patients through compassionate care in our offices.
Dr. Wells is available for appointments at our downtown Augusta location on Mondays and Fridays, our Wheeler Road office in Augusta on Thursdays, and the Aiken Oncology location on Tuesdays.