UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center Magazine Spring 2017 - Page 14

center profile “Part of what led me into academic medicine was that teaching aspect that I saw growing up. My parents were always instilling their gifts into others, and I thought that would be a great way to keep the job interesting forever.” 12 U A B Growing up in Kentucky as the youngest of three boys, Jeffrey Nix, M.D., spent a great deal of time playing sports. As a result, he heard many motivational quotes from various coaches over the years. One of those quotes is a philosophy that he brings to his role as a urologic oncologist at the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center, and that is: “Mindset is everything.” “As a junior faculty or cancer surgeon, you can get beat down a bit,” Dr. Nix explains. “If I’m not centered and stable, I can’t provide good care for my patients. Everything that happens can be a positive or a negative, depending on how you look at it. The reality is that the mindset we come in with is everything to me.” Dr. Nix did not grow up wanting to be a doctor necessarily. He describes himself as being a good student who made good grades, but was mostly focused on his athletics and extracurricular activities. His parents, however, provided an inspiration and direction for him. “I’d always wanted to be in a service industry,” he says. “My parents were both teachers, and I saw the joy they got from serving others. Getting to do that as a vocation – and getting paid for it – was intriguing to me.” Dr. Nix left Kentucky to attend the University of Alabama, where he enrolled in a pre-medicine program, and upon doing so, knew immediately that he had made the right decision. The next question, though, was to determine what aspect of medi