David M. James, MD
Visitation: No prior visitation
Service: THURSDAY, August 22, 2019: A Celebration of Life will be held at 4 pm at the 5th Floor Atrium at Gates Vascular Clinic, 875 Ellicott St., Buffalo NY 14203 David James, MD
“Have no fear. He who dares, wins.”
David was born on May 6, 1958 and grew up in Toronto, Canada. David received his Bachelor of Science with honors in Zoology, Masters of Health Science and Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University of Toronto in 1985. Being dual Board Certified in Family and Emergency Medicine, managed his own private family practice and worked in emergency departments in Ontario, from 1987-1995.
While working his way through school he had jobs as elephant keeper at the Toronto Zoo and a home telephone installer for Bell Canada. He was both a water-taxi driver and a line chef at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, which sparked his lifelong passions for sailing and cooking. He raced on 8-meter yachts from Toronto to Niagara-on -the-Lake at that time. After moving to Buffalo, he helmed (and directed foredeck, to the consternation of his crew) in the Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club’s Wednesday night series. He also organized local sailing crews for the Caribbean circuit including the 2004 Heineken Regatta in St. Martin and multiple BVI Spring Regattas.
His culinary instincts flourished into a skill admired and enjoyed by everyone invited to his home. He could reproduce favorite menu items from restaurants he found during his far-flung travels. Those fortunate enough to experience one of his dinners often wondered if he shouldn’t quit medicine and open a restaurant instead.
David moved to Clarence, NY, in 1995 and became Board Certified in both Family Practice and Emergency Medicine in the United States. At that time, he joined the Department of Family Medicine as an Associate Professor at the University of Buffalo and Medical Director and Attending Physician of the Deaconess Family Medicine and Immediate Treatment Center. He also acted as the Medical Director of the Outpatient Alcohol Treatment Clinics at Buffalo General Hospital.
In 2001, he joined Professional Emergency
Services and staffed the Emergency Departments at Millard Fillmore Gates and Suburban Hospitals. While a partner of professional Emergency
Services, he served as the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital from 2002-2008. David was also an owner, partner and Attending Physician of MASH Urgent Care. Since 2016, he worked with University Emergency
Services in the Emergency Department at Brooks Memorial Hospital.
While working and living in the US, David always maintained his Canadian Medical license and continued to practice Emergency Medicine in Ontario. He was named Chief of Emergency Medicine for the Niagara Health System from 2013-2016, covering hospitals in Welland, St. Catherines, Niagara Falls, Fort Erie and Port Colborne. In the Emergency Department, he was known for his signature style. He always wore baby blue scrubs, a t-shirt from one of his recent adventures, fancy socks and his ubiquitous clogs.
David was a published medical author who wrote various journal articles, book chapters and a reference book entitled, “Field guide to Urgent and Ambulatory Care Procedures”. He loved teaching procedures and techniques to medical students, residents, fellows and any nurses or medical staff who were willing to learn. David also educated doctors around the US by training them in bedside ultrasound through the National Procedures Institute, Texas Academy of Family Practice. He was fearless when faced with difficult cases. A legend in the ER community, David was the only emergency doctor that trained with neurosurgery to insert intracranial pressure monitors for stroke patients.
David possessed an encyclopedic memory and a wit that lifted the spirits of many of his colleagues, co-workers and patients. He could easily shift from medicine to politics, world religions or racing cars. Many of his medical colleagues would call him for personal advice, as they knew he would know the answer to any question. In addition to his mind, David had an amazing compassionate way about him. You could count on him to glide into patients’ rooms and quickly ease suffering and anxiety. His confidence instilled confidence, and his gentle way, mixed with the right amount of humor, made the tough times a little more tolerable.
One of David’s proudest moments was the day in 2004, when he became a United States citizen.
Although David was accomplished in his medical career, he also accomplished many milestones in his hobbies. David became a private airplane pilot in 1988. Having flown planes ever since, he purchased a Mooney in 2007 which he kept at the Akron, NY Airport. He attained his instrument rating in 2007 and was working toward his commercial license at the time of his passing.
Soon after moving to the US, David joined the Buffalo Squash community. He was a member of the Saturn Club, the Buffalo Squash Racquets Association and most recently The Buffalo Tennis Squash Club. David competed in both singles and doubles local squash events. In 2014, he won the Buffalo City Class B Squash Doubles Title and most recently competed in the US National Squash Doubles Championship in 2016. David continued to play squash into the early months of 2019, as he loved the competition and camaraderie of the game.
David took up open wheel racing in 2008 in the Formula F class with SCCA. As with anything he turned his mind to, he excelled. From Rookie of the year, to Driver of the year and finally Northeast Champion of the Majors Tour in 2017. He was a true gentleman driver, fierce competitor, and someone who would do anything he could to help another driver in need. His home track was Watkins Glen.
David died at home, after a courageous two-year battle with sarcoma, holding hands with the two loves of his life, his wife, Laurie and his son, Rhys. Of all his accomplishments, he was most proud of the love he shared with his wife and his son and every moment they spent together.
A Celebration of David’s life will be held on August 22, 2019, from 4-8pm, at the 5th Floor Atrium of the Gates Vascular Clinic, 875 Ellicott Street, Buffalo, NY, 14203. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the DAVID M. JAMES SARCOMA RESEARCH TRUST, 455 Cayuga R. Suite 600, Buffalo, NY 14225.
JAMES – David M., M.D.
August 4, 2019. David died peacefully at
home with his wife, Laurie L. Menzies,
and his son, Rhys H. James, holding
his hands. Dear son of Isabella (Nisbet)
James and the late Donald James, of
Toronto, Canada; much-loved brother
of Montana James, of Vancouver, BC.
A Celebration of David’s amazing life
will be held on Thursday, August 22nd
at 4 PM at the 5th Floor Atrium at the
Gates Vascular Clinic, 875 Ellicott
St., Buffalo, NY 14213. Donations, in
lieu of flowers, may be made to the
David M. James Sarcoma Research
Trust at 455 Cayuga Rd., Suite 600,
Buffalo, NY 14225. Arrangements by
the DIETRICH FUNERAL HOME, INC.
Online condolences may be made at