James E. Goodnight Jr., M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Director of the Practice Management Board
James E. Goodnight, Jr., Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs and Director of the Practice Management Board, is responsible for designing the structure, rules, responsibilities, funding needs and physician medical practice goals for UC Davis.
A member of the UC Davis faculty since 1980, Goodnight is recognized as a skilled leader and a compassionate, dedicated clinician. Before attaining his current position, he served as the first director of UC Davis Cancer Center and for 12 years as chair of the Department of Surgery.
Goodnight’s accomplishments as chair of the Department of Surgery were extensive, including the number of faculty increased from 20 to more than 50; a National Institutes of Health-funded vascular research unit was established; the surgical residency program grew to include U.S. Air Force trainees; the Department of Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System was incorporated into the training program; the F. William Blaisdell, M.D., Medical Library was established; a partnership with Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California and world-class burn service were created; surgical services expanded to include pediatric cardiac surgery, bariatric surgery, robotic surgery and endovascular surgery; a vascular center was launched; the cancer center received National Cancer Institute designation; and all surgical clinical services increased their impact in the Sacramento region.
Prior to taking on administrative responsibilities for clinical affairs, Goodnight specialized in treating malignant melanoma, breast cancer, pelvic tumors and bone and soft-tissue cancers. He earned national recognition for the use and refinement of limb-sparing procedures in the treatment of sarcoma. His medical research focused on early cancer detection and the use of minimally invasive surgical procedures, as well as finding new ways to improve cancer patient survival, individualize patient care and reduce cancer treatment disparities.
During his tenure as cancer center director, Goodnight established a broad multi-disciplinary oncology practice that served the needs of the growing Sacramento region for well-organized, center-based cancer care. The Cancer Clinical Trials Program was established, bringing numerous new experimental cancer therapies to the region. Development of the core clinical program and organization in the cancer center set the stage for the ongoing work that led to recognition as an NCI-designated treatment and research facility.
Among Goodnight’s many honors are the Golden Scalpel Award for Teaching Excellence from UCLA, Outstanding Teacher Award (four times), the Putah Creek Award for most caring and thoughtful faculty member from the UC Davis Department of Surgery, a “Physician of the Year” nomination from Sacramento Magazine and national recognition as one of “America’s Best Doctors.”