Want to know more about the physicians who make up Associates in Gastroenterology?
Read more about them in their biographies below.
G. Whit James, MD
Dr. Whit James chose medicine because it blends his favorite subject, science, and the art of communication. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina and his medical degree from Wake Forest University, both in his home state of North Carolina. He completed his internal medicine residency at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, then completed his fellowship at Rush Presbyterian in Chicago where he became board-certified in gastroenterology.
Dr. James was one of the founding partners of Associates in Gastroenterology in 1995. He and Dr. Sue Lee led the practice by building a strong and successful medical group of physicians. Dr. James was a leader in the development of the outpatient endoscopy center and in bringing GI research opportunities to our practice. He previously served as the Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Summit Medical Center and serves on the board of the TN Chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Dr. James is very involved in medical missions and enjoys biking, gardening, and traveling in his free time.
Sue Lee, MD
Dr. Lee is a native of Korea. She received her medical degree from Emory University in Atlanta, where she also completed her fellowship in gastroenterology. Dr. Lee credits Dr. Jonas Shulman as one of her many influencers during her training. She describes him as “an excellent clinician: intelligent, caring, with a no-nonsense approach, and lots of common sense.” Before starting private practice, Dr. Lee served on the academic staff at Emory University and Vanderbilt University.
She is one of the founding partners of our medical group and a leader in the development of the outpatient endoscopy center. She is board-certified in gastroenterology and previously served as the Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Summit Medical Center. Dr. Lee’s husband is a cardiologist in Nashville and, in their free time, they enjoy traveling and spending time with family.
Donald Lazas, MD
Dr. Lazas is a native of Washington, DC and board-certified in gastroenterology. He is a physician leader specializing in the care of digestive diseases with over 20 years experience in patient care, healthcare management and delivery, clinical research, and entrepreneurial innovation, both in and outside the medical practice setting. Dr. Lazas is an owner/operator of Associates in Gastroenterology and our outpatient endoscopy surgery center. His expertise includes training and education of medical sales forces and strategic business consulting. He is a seasoned investor and consultant in medical technology businesses and has focused expertise in realizing the impact and opportunity of technology as it pertains to the physician-patient encounter.
Dr. Lazas graduated from George Washington University School of Medicine and received post-graduate and fellowship training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He served as a physician in the Army Medical Corps and was honorably discharged with a rank of Major. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association. Dr. Lazas enjoys athletics, music, and spending time with his family and close friends.
S. Raj Patil, MD
As a native Tennessean, Dr. Raj Patil has lived in the Middle Tennessee area most of his life, growing up in Cookeville. He received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville before relocating to Memphis where he continued his medical education. He then moved to Chicago where he completed his fellowship in gastroenterology at Rush Presbyterian.
Dr. Patil is board-certified in gastroenterology and previously served as the Chief of Internal Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Summit Medical Center. In his spare time, he enjoys cycling, traveling, and spending time with his family.
Kevin Finnegan, MD
Dr. Kevin Finnegan received his medical degree from Indiana University and completed his residency and fellowship in gastroenterology at Vanderbilt University. He is a board-certified gastroenterologist and joined our practice in 2010 after being in private practice for three years in Indiana.
Dr. Finnegan is a member of the the American Gastroenterological Association, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, and the Tennessee Medical Association. His interests include all areas of digestive and liver diseases. He enjoys coaching little league ball, traveling and spending time with his wife and three children.
Jocelyne Miller, MD
Dr. Jocelyne Miller is a board-certified gastroenterologist based in our Lebanon and Mount Juliet offices. She completed medical school at New York University and her GI fellowship and masters degree at the University of Pennsylvania. She has over 15 years of experience treating patients in academic and community settings.
Dr. Miller brings expertise in all areas of gastroenterology, with a special interest in the prevention of colon cancer, treatment of women’s issues in GI, as well as utilizing nutrition and positive lifestyle changes to impact GI health. She lives in Lebanon with her husband, three children and small “farm” of dogs, cats and chickens. She enjoys her busy family life, participating with multiple community activities in Lebanon and Wilson County and serving at her church.
Kim Carver, FNP
Kim is a Nurse Practitioner specializing in gastroenterology. She is a graduate of Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University. Kim has been practicing in the Lebanon/Mt. Juliet area for over 20 years and has a special interest in treating and managing liver diseases, including chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and fatty liver disease.
In her free time, she enjoys scuba diving, boating, spending time with family, and eating at cool new restaurants.
Joni Vastola, FNP
Joni is a nurse practitioner and excited to be a part of our specialty gastroenterology clinic providing care to your digestive healthcare needs. She completed her undergraduate degree in nursing at Harding University, her master’s degree at Vanderbilt University, and family medicine in a rural primary care clinic before coming to Associates in Gastroenterology.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.