Meet Dr. Reath
There are two main reasons to consider Dr. Reath for your plastic surgery: his personal approach and his professional qualifications.
His Personal Approach Sets Him Apart.
Dr. Reath’s motto is “The personal approach to personal change.” This is not just a catchphrase. His passion is using his skills and abilities to help his patients best improve the quality of their lives.
During your consultation, Dr. Reath takes the time to listen to you. Then he explains all of your options, answers your questions, and helps you decide if plastic surgery is right for you. Routinely, our patients, who come to us from the Knoxville area, Johnson City, Cookeville, Cleveland, and other Tennessee communities, tell us how nice Dr. Reath is. They are pleasantly surprised they are by the amount of time he spends with them one-on-one — especially if they’ve had consultations with other plastic surgeons. In addition to spending time with patients in the office, Dr. Reath also answers patient emails personally every morning before he starts operating. He even calls his patients the night of their surgery to check on them.
His Plastic Surgery Qualifications Are First-Rate.
Not only is Dr. Reath a Board-certified plastic surgeon, but he also served as member-at-large of the Board of Directors of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Because of his passion for public education, the ASPS asked Dr. Reath to be Chairman of their Public Education Committee. He is the only plastic surgeon in East Tennessee to serve in a leadership position of the country’s foremost authority on plastic surgery. You can read more about Dr. Reath’s professional qualifications on the Awards and Accolades page of our website.
Dr. Reath is a longtime resident of Knoxville, Tennessee. He and his wife have three children who are all married and spread out across the country in South Carolina, Colorado and East Tennessee. When not in the operating room, seeing patients in the office, or writing about plastic surgery education issues, Dr. Reath can usually be found singing baritone in the choir at the Church of the Ascension or riding his Peloton bike.
- 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 was in college, for the first two years I was a drama major and spent most of my time in the theater, 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 a good workout in!
- 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 Thai food. So, I’d probably make some Larb Gai and sticky rice, which is my wife’s favorite. Alternatively, I’d spend the day with the smoker or the Green Egg roasting 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 20 years. We met over 20 years prior to getting married, and have always been good friends. We have three children: Blair, Lindsey and Phillip, and we are blessed that they are all happily married, and gainfully employed. 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 has a great job working for Cherokee Distributing here in Knoxville. Phil is a Physician’s Assistant in Columbia, South Carolina. Our daughter Lindsey is an online editor, so working from home hasn’t been much of a change for her.
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 start the day with a ride on my Peloton bike. Much of my free time is spent trying to figure out when I can fit in time to workout. 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.