Dr. Gregory Harris joins Medical Oncology Rome

Dr. Gregory Harris is always on the alert for fresh, game-changing discoveries when it comes to cancer care.

By masterfully combining cutting-edge oncological research with compassionate medicine, he makes sure he leaves no stone unturned when it comes to structuring his patients’ treatment plans.

“Oncology is absolutely fascinating because it constantly changes,” explains Dr. Harris. “You start with chemotherapy and suddenly a study comes out that says you should consider immunotherapy. It’s becoming so specific and so targeted and that makes it exciting.”

Dr. Harris joins Dr. Melissa Dillmon and Dr. Dilawar Khan at Harbin Clinic Medical Oncology Rome.

“Dr. Harris’ zeal for medical oncology and cancer care is contagious and we’re pleased he’s joining us,” says Dr. Dillmon. “He’s a great addition to the team we’ve assembled here because of his excellent training and his focus on patients and their families.”

From his first meeting with the Harbin Clinic Oncology physicians, Dr. Harris knew they shared his passion for medicine.

“This incredible group of physicians with tremendous medical resources have come together to provide top-notch, patient-centered care to Northwest Georgia, making it a destination for complete cancer care,” says Dr. Harris. “Based on my own personality and how I like to prioritize the patient’s desires, Harbin Clinic felt like the perfect fit.”

Patient-centric Medicine

From a very young age, Dr. Harris knew he wanted to become a doctor.

“I’ve always been drawn to medicine,” says Dr. Harris. “It’s not because I have a family tie; I’m the first physician in my family. My mom is a school teacher, and my dad is a retired zoo director.”

With his knack for getting along with anyone, being able to work closely with patients helped to draw Dr. Harris to the medical field.

“I feel like I can relate well with people,” explains Dr. Harris. “In oncology there’s so much going on with patients besides the cancer or the blood problem. I make a point to talk to my patients, to ask them how they’re doing. It could be great or it could be bad, and from there you can make changes to make it better.”

The ever-changing and advancing field of oncology allows him to go the extra mile for his patients by developing personalized treatment plans to meet their specific needs.

“The amount of research in oncology that trickles down and directly translates to patient care is fascinating,” explains Dr. Harris. “I like that about oncology because you can come up with a treatment plan and sit with the patient and their family and explain the science behind it, how it works and what to expect.”

Dr. Harris thrives on the constant innovations of cancer care. He challenges himself to explore each new discovery in the field so that he can offer cutting-edge solutions to his patients.

Detour Before Doctoring

Though drawn to medicine since childhood, Dr. Harris chose a roundabout path to medical school. After completing his undergraduate studies at Mississippi State University, he took time to explore his two other passions—golf and cooking.

Dr. Harris explains, “I deferred immediately going into medical school because I knew if I didn’t take that opportunity, I’d never have time to do it again. I thought the experience was worth it.”

He spent a year travelling with friends and trying his hand at semi-professional golf. He was on the verge of enrolling in a six-year culinary program in Paris, France, when he learned that he had been accepted to medical school.

“That’s where I met my wife,” says Dr. Harris. “I met her the first day of medical school and we ended up getting married between our second and third year. We’ve been going strong ever since.”

Dr. Harris and his wife, emergency medicine physician Dr. Sonbol Shahid-Salles, along with their young son Graham, look forward to getting to know their new Roman community, and are keen for opportunities to give back.  

“It’s one thing to be a physician, but it’s another thing to be a part of the community,” says Dr. Harris. “My wife and I love to support causes when we can. We’re big sponsors of Habitat for Humanity and the Boys and Girls Club and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. We’re always looking for the local nonprofits to give back to, as well.”

More About Dr. Harris

Dr. Harris received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Kentucky College School of Osteopathic Medicine in Pikeville, Kentucky. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Michigan State University Genesys Regional Medical Center in Grand Blanc, Michigan where he also served as Chief Resident. There, he completed his fellowship in Hematology and Oncology and also served as Chief Fellow.

He is accredited in Internal Medicine, Hematology and Oncology by the American Osteopathic Association and is board certified in Hematology and Oncology by the American Osteopathic Board of Internal Medicine. He is a member of the American Society of Hematology, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Osteopathic Association.

Dr. Harris will serve on the American Osteopathic Association Board of Trustees as a New Physician in Practice for 2018-2019.