Dr. Joel Bruce was born in South Hill, Va., and attended Brunswick Senior High school in Lawrenceville, Va. He attended UVA from 1979 to 1983. He was a four-year member of the US Air Force ROTC detachment. He graduated with a degree in chemistry and a US Air Force officer’s commission. He attended UVA School of Medicine from 1983 to 1987. While there, he was a charter member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity graduate chapter at UVa..

He completed his internal medicine residency at the Wright-Patterson USAF Hospital in Dayton, Ohio in 1990. He then completed his nephrology fellowship at Wilford Hall USAF Hospital/ University of Texas at San Antonio in 1992. He remained in the program as a clinical professor and director of dialysis services from 1992 to 1996. His academic responsibilities included teaching medical students, residents, and fellows from the two programs as well as the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences. In 1996 he left the US Air Force with the rank of Major and joined Southeast Renal Associates in Charlotte, NC. He was the president of the group when it merged with Metrolina Nephrology Associates in 2010. He remains in the practice today and is a member of its executive board. He spearheads many of the practice’s home dialysis initiatives. He is on the DaVita Dialysis home therapies national advisory board and is also a past president of the Charlotte, Medical and Pharmaceutical Society. He is an elder at Matthews Murkland Presbyterian Church and remains active in community health education initiatives. He has been a member of the board of the Blessed Assurance Adult Day Care center since its inception in 1998 and he currently mentors medical students at UVa and 2 other medical schools.

Dr. Bruce has served as member of the Medical Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2016. He is the incoming president of the UVa Medical Alumni Association board of directors. He was named the UVa medical alumnus of the year for 2021 for his work with the SMNA chapter and helping plan the inaugural UVa black medical alumni reunion for April 2022.

He met his wife, Faye, an ICU nurse at the time, during his residency. Faye was a battlefield nurse during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. She currently works as a nurse educator with Fresenius Kidney Care. They have two sons. Teyon lives in Richmond and is a graphic artist. Jadarius lives in Charlotte and is a residential real estate adviser.