Dr. James Whiteside

Published 11:00 pm Monday, January 14, 2013

Although he began his medical practice as a board certified pediatrician in Coral Gables, Florida in 1958, Dr. James Whiteside’s professional passion and area of significant expertise was the care of high school, college, and professional athletes, as well as the advancement of knowledge about sports-related injuries, their prevention, and treatment.

Dr. Whiteside, 86, died January 12 in an assisted living facility in Pensacola, FL, where he had been suffering from dementia.

An only child, Dr. Whiteside was born in Lowes, KY and grew up in Gary, IN and Birmingham, AL where his father worked in the steel mills. After serving as a pharmacist’s mate in the Navy, Dr. Whiteside graduated from Auburn University with a pre-medicine degree. He completed his master’s degree in physiology from the University of Wisconsin and then earned a medical degree from the University of Alabama Medical School in Birmingham. He then completed a fellowship in pediatric oncology at Sloan Kettering Cornell Medical Center in New York City.

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Dr. Whiteside helped establish a more dedicated focus on the year-round care of athletes when he became the senior medical team physician for The Pennsylvania State University—one of the first full-time university team physicians in the country at the time.

After 13 years at Penn State, he joined the Alabama Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham in 1987, and after its dissolution joined Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center as Physician Emeritus. Dr. Whiteside helped train primary care sports medicine fellows and mentored residents in internal medicine, family practice, and pediatrics. During his tenure at Alabama Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center, he provided sports medicine coverage for the athletes of Samford University and Troy University.

Dr. Whiteside held the Richard Scrushy Endowed Chair as Eminent Scholar in Sports Medicine at Troy University. His prior teaching experience includes service as an associate clinical professor of orthopaedics and sports medicine at The University of Virginia School of Medicine and as an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at The University of Miami Medical School.

In addition to training sports medicine professionals—including several NFL trainers—Dr. Whiteside was published extensively, often collaborating with Dr. James Andrews. His chapter “Team Physician” was published in the Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine in 2010. The onset of dementia made this his last publication.

Dr. Whiteside was a member of the American Medical Association, Southern Medical Association, Medical Association of the State of Alabama, National Athletic Trainers Association, American Medical Association of Sports Medicine, American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine, and American College of Sports Medicine. Among many honors, the Southeast Athletic Trainers Association named Dr. Whiteside as Sports Medicine Person of the Year in 2003.

Dr. Whiteside was also active in several Presbyterian churches. He served as an Elder, a Sunday School and Bible study teacher, and choir member. His preparation for teaching a Sunday School class was equal to researching any of his academic articles, and he continued to lead singing—and to sing solos—in weekly Bible studies until very recently when he could no longer remember the words to hymns he had sung for decades.

Funeral services for Dr. Whiteside will be held Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 2:00 pm in the chapel of Dillard Funeral Home in Troy with the Reverend Craig Boden and the Reverend Bill Hay officiating. Interment will follow in Green Hills Cemetery with Dillard Funeral Home of Troy directing. Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 16, 2013 from 5:00 pm until 8:00 pm at Dillard Funeral Home in Troy.

Dr. Whiteside and his wife of 61 years, Edith, are the parents of five children. Alan and his wife, Mary, live in Plano, TX. Alan’s daughters Lisa May and Abby Kwis live in Toms River, NJ and Moscow, ID respectively. Randy and his wife, Ann, along with their children, Daniel and Katie, are in Galena, IL. Jon, wife Wendy, and sons Justin and Hunter, recently moved to Orlando, FL. Sue and her children, Maya and Kyle, live in San Diego, CA. Janet and her husband, Kemp Wilson, along with their children, Kemper Wilson and Rebecca and Christina Hyde, live in Pensacola, FL.

Dr. Whiteside’s family wishes to extend special thanks to the staff at The Blake at Gulf Breeze and Emerald Coast Hospice. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Troy Football or Troy Athletic Training Education programs or to your favorite charity.

To sign the online guest register book please visit our website at www.dillardfh.com