James O. Ballard, M.D.

Professor of Humanities Medicine and Pathology Penn State College of Medicine

Office Information

Penn State Cancer Institute
500 University Drive, CH46
Hershey, PA 17033
Tel: 800-243-1455 / 717-531-8401 Fax: 717-531-0647


Hematology Internal Medicine

Patient Services Provided

Consultations in benign hematology: hemostasis, thrombosis and cytopenias

Practice Locations

Biographical Information

Dr. James Ballard began his distinguished career in medicine more than 34 years ago; his expertise in the fields of pathology and humanities is nationally renowned. 

Dr. Ballard has been with Penn State Hershey Medical Center and Penn State College of Medicine since 1976, joining the faculty as an Instructor in Medicine at the College of Medicine. He has held numerous academic and administrative positions throughout his tenure at Hershey, including Interim Chair in the Department of Humanities, and currently serves as Professor of Medicine, Pathology and Humanities.

His lifelong dedication has been to ensure that patients receive the caring compassion and expert medical attention they deserve. His gentle and caring bedside manner endears him to his patients and their families. 
The compassion for his patients finds its way into the classroom, where he teaches the medical students that it is not simply knowledge but also compassion that makes a physician excellent. Dr. Ballard has taught and mentored medical students and residents for 34 years.  He has won countless awards for his teaching as presented by the classes and residents over the years.

Dr. Ballard has been elected by his peers for inclusion in Best Doctors in America┬« from 2002 to present.  The Best Doctors database includes more than 40,000 of the best physicians, which translates to the top 3 to 5 percent of specialists in the U.S.

Professional Education

Fellowship, Hematology, Georgetown University Hospital (1973) Residency, Internal Medicine, Medical Center Hospital of Vermont (1972) Residency, Internal Medicine, Georgetown University Hospital (1971) M.D., University of Maryland, School of Medicine (1969)

Academic Interests

Medical Humanities
End-of-life care
Medical Student Education


Ballard, JO
To Bed with Dad.
The Journal of the American Medical Association 2010; 303:1125-1126.
Ballard, JO
More things in heaven and earth.
The Journal of the American Medical Association 2009; 302:723-724.
Ballard, JO
The Journal of the American Medical Association 2009; 301 (2): 140-141.
Dellasega C, Milone-Nuzzo P, Curci K, Ballard J, & Kirch, D
The Humanities of Interface of Nursing and Medicine.
Journal of Professional Nursing 23: 174-179, 2007.
Powell D, Whitener C, Dye C, Ballard J, Shaffer M, Eyster M
Knee and hip arthroplasty infection rates in persons with hemophilia: A 27-year single center experience during the HIV epidemic.
Haemophilia 2005; 11:1-7.

Honors and Awards

Jane W. and Lawrence F. Kienle Chair in Humane Medicine Distinguished Educator Award, Penn State College of Medicine Nominee, 2004 Humanism in Medicine Award, AAMC Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award