- When was the first moment you knew that you wanted to be a doctor? Was there any point in your journey that you had doubts about working in the field of medicine?
I know it’s kind of sick, but I decided that I wanted to be a doctor when I was three years old. I needed to have a series of chest x-rays when I was that age, and the radiologist that I went to had his office attached to his house. When he did my chest x-rays, he always made sure that my belt buckle was in the x-ray, and he always showed me this. I thought what he did was pretty cool, and decided that I wanted to be a doctor.
When I as in college, for the first two years I was a drama major and spent most of my time in the theatre, as well as being pre-med. After my second semester of organic chemistry, I decided that I could only do one of these, and chose pre-med. A good choice, and one that my parents really appreciated.
- I know you don't necessarily keep the traditional 9 to 5 work hours. Can you walk us through a typical day in the life of David Reath?
Well it’s a little different depending upon the day of the week, but let me walk you through Monday. I usually get up between 5 and 5:30, have a cup of tea, and sit down at my desk and answer a few e-mails. I’m usually out of the house by 6:30 and on my way to the surgery center. If I have patients to round on in the hospital, I’ll leave earlier. Usually I operate from 7 to noon, or just before. This can involve anywhere from one to four cases. Then I’ll grab lunch and head to the office where I will see patients from 1 to 5. Most of the time, with dictation and office work, I won’t get home until about 6:30 or 7. Tuesdays and Thursdays are a little different because I operate all day. I try to get done by 3 or 4, so that I can get down to Oak Ridge to row!
- I understand you're a man who can cook! What meal would you make to show off your culinary skills? Anything Iron Chef worthy?
Well, although I am certainly not Iron Chef worthy, I do like cooking Chinese. So, I’d probably cook Hot and Sour soup, spicy cucumbers, and Kung Pao Chicken. Alternatively, I’d spend the day with the smoker doing a brisket or chickens.
- If you could have any other job in the world, what would you be doing?
Either a Broadway actor, or an architect.
- Would you ever consider getting plastic surgery?
Yes, I’ve thought about it. But I’m not going to tell you what! I have had CoolSculpting, however.
- What are some of the perks of being a plastic surgeon? Is it true you can talk your way out of a speeding ticket by saying you're a doctor?
With regards to the ticket, it didn’t work last time, although it has helped before. The perks of being a plastic surgeon are related to plastic surgery itself. Most of the time, we are truly making things better for our patients and they really want to have surgery. The spectrum of what I do is quite broad so that no two days are alike. And since every patient is different, the same operation on two different people can be quite different. And the field is stimulating in terms of finding new solutions to problems, and keeping up with evolving technologies. But the biggest perk is a happy patient!
- Tell us a little bit about your family. Who are the members of the Reath household? Do you have any special traditions?
My wife and I have been married for over 16 years. We met over 20 years prior to getting married, and have always been good friends. We have three children: Blair, Lindsey and Phillip. No dogs or pets, though. Lisa is my partner in many ways. She is the business manager for our practice. She is responsible for our website and the “Your Beauty” magazine is her idea. Blair graduated from Wofford College and has a great job working for RJ Rockers, a microbrewery in South Carolina (he could sell ice to Eskimos). Phil is studying to be a Physician’s Assistant. While it is too soon to know where he will end up in this field, critical care is definitely not out of the question. Our daughter Lindsey works for Mullen, a prominent marketing agency in Boston. Her interest is in social media and public relations, but she also has a real talent in writing and editing which is why she was the associate editor for the magazine. Most of our traditions center around the holidays. The most special of which is Thanksgiving because that’s when we were all first together. We also have great family trips.
- Finally, it's Saturday and you're not on call! How do you celebrate?
I’ll get out to row in the morning. Much of my free time is spent trying to figure out when we can get out on the water. After that, lunch at home and generally relaxing. Lisa and I both like to cook, so we’ll spend some time together in the kitchen creating something for friends or just for us. But, my weeks are pretty full, so I try and recharge the batteries on the weekends.
- What has been your most memorable accomplishment in the last ten years?
Definitely building and growing our practice. Building the team we have in the office is one our biggest achievements.
- Rumor has it that you're quite the athlete. How many marathons have you completed in your lifetime?
Two. I ran one in 1982, I was a surgical resident at the time. The other one was a rowing marathon (yes, 26.2 miles) which I did in 2006 with my wife in our double. I ran faster than we rowed.
- Who would play David Reath in the movie of your life?
My body double, Jim Carrey.
- Say I'm considering entering the medical field. What advice would you give me?
Medicine is a great field with more challenges with each passing year. If you go into medicine, it must be because you love medicine, not that you want to help people or make the world a better place. There are lots of ways to do that. But medicine, however rewarding, is still a tough job. So, you need to like it.