Richard Dew, MD ’65

Author: UTHSC


Category: Featured | Medicine

2023 Outstanding Alumnus Award Winner

Richard Dew

Richard Dew, MD, began his career in medicine as a student at the College of Medicine in July 1962. His drive for excellence was quickly apparent, as he was ranked second in the class academically at the end of that quarter. His performance improved thereafter. He ranked first in the class in each of the eleven succeeding quarters, which resulted in his induction into Alpha Omega Alpha in his third year and ranking first in the class upon graduation in September 1965.

Following a year of internship in City of Memphis Hospital, he served for two years as a Medical Officer in the U.S. Navy, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam. He then pursued his interest in family medicine in a residency at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kansas. His interest in sharing his enthusiasm and expertise in medicine was evident by his being the recipient of the Resident Teaching Award in both years of his training there.

In 1970, he became a Charter Member of the American Board of Family Practice, where he scored in the 96th percentile on the board exam. He then began pursuing his goal of practicing family medicine in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In 1993, he founded and directed one of the first Hospitalist programs in Tennessee at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge. He later established a Hospitalist program at Covenant Loudon Hospital in Lenoir City, Tennessee.

His humanitarian and altruistic core has been evidenced since 2003 when he began service as medical director at the Mountain Hope Clinic, a faith-based clinic for the uninsured in Sevierville, Tennessee. In that role Richard has also served as a preceptor for medical students from East Tennessee State University’s James Quillen College of Medicine. He served as a guest lecturer for University of Tennessee and Vanderbilt medical schools and continues to do so at Quillen Medical School. He also served as a preceptor for nurse practitioner students from Vanderbilt, Carson-Newman, and Frontier schools of nursing.

Perhaps the best evidence of his compassion for hurting people is his service in The Compassionate Friends, an international support group for families who have experienced the death of a child. His service in that group began in 1992 following the murder of his twenty-one-year-old son Brad at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He served on the national board of that organization from 2001–2004 and he continues service as a chapter leader of the Knoxville Hope chapter.

Richard has authored five books. Medicine with a Human Touch, Putting Patients First deals with his lifelong experiences in practicing compassionate family medicine. Rachel’s Cry is a book of poetry written after his son’s death. Compassionate advice is contained in When Sorrow Comes: What Can God, You, and Others Do to Help Cope with Grief. He has also written two novels, The Other Side of Silence and Tunnel of Light. Now in his eighties, Richard continues to represent the best of graduates of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.