General Surgeon James Flaig, DO, is devoted to providing quality and compassionate surgical care to Effingham area residents.
After 13 years in private practice, Dr. Flaig is joining Sarah Bush Lincoln’s medical team and will begin caring for people at the newly established SBL Evergreen Clinic, 1104 W. Evergreen St., Effingham, beginning April 15. He and fellow surgeon Kevin Malone, MD, will continue to offer a wide range of services at the new clinic and perform surgeries at the Effingham Surgery Center.
“My philosophy has always been to take care of my patients the very best that I can. I don’t give VIP treatment to specific people; everyone gets VIP treatment. If I were giving someone better treatment, then I wouldn’t be giving somebody else my best, and I just don’t do that,” he said.
Dr. Flaig has interest and expertise across a broad range of surgical services including gallbladder removal, hernia repair, thyroid biopsy and removal, appendectomy, colon surgery and more. He is specially trained in laparoscopic surgery – which enables him to perform operations through smaller incisions resulting in faster recover times. “The goal is always to get people back to feeling better and home to their families as quickly as possible.”
Dr. Flaig grew up on a farm in rural Maryland and was the first in his family to go to college. “My mom worked for a local pediatrician’s office and I found it very interesting, and that’s what inspired me to pursue medicine,” he said. Upon starting college, “I was actually looking into podiatry. I had surgery on a toe that became infected and I thought it was the coolest thing. It evolved from there into general surgery.”
Dr. Flaig completed a bachelor’s degree in biology at Salisbury State University, Maryland, before earning his medical degree at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2001. He then completed his surgical internship and residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He is certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Surgery.
Dr. Flaig said his goal is simply to be the best surgeon he can be, while educating people and helping them decide the best course of treatment. “It’s important to help people understand their options in order for them to make decisions that they are comfortable with— what’s best for them,” he said.
Since surgery can be a stressful experience, Dr. Flaig takes the time to comfort each patient and their families to help ease their fears. “The biggest thing is sitting down with people, whether it’s sitting on a bed or sitting in a chair next to them, and having a conversation. That goes so far in making that connection. You just have to sit down with them and talk them through it,” he said.
“As a surgeon, you can make very drastic and immediate changes in people’s lives,” he adds. “I love the relationships that I am able to develop with my patients, and I like seeing them come back with a smile on their faces after their problems have been fixed.
During his time off, Dr. Flaig enjoys competing in the professional barbeque circuit, playing golf and spending time with his three sons. He is engaged to be married this summer.
For more information, or to make an appointment with Dr. Flaig, call the SBL Evergreen Clinic at 217 347-2500.