Dr. John Shelton Reed
1999 George L. Carter Award
Dr. John Shelton Reed's love of medicine developed at his father's side. Traveling with his father throughout the Kingsport area during the 1930s, Reed watched and learned as his father attended to patients. With this early beginning, Reed began what would become a long career in medicine.
A 1933 graduate from Dobyns-Bennett High School in Kingsport, Reed went on to the University of Rochester, New York, on a scholarship from George Eastman. A member of Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Upsilon fraternities, he graduated cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree. From there he had formal medical training and graduated in 1940 with honors from Harvard Medical School, where he was also a member of Nu Sigma Nu fraternity.
Reed's residency at Roosevelt Hospital in New York was interrupted by World War II. He joined the U.S. Army Medical Corp in 1944 and began serving at a hospital in Wyoming. From there, he was sent to the North Atlantic with the British Merchant Marines as a convoy surgeon escorting liberty ships to Scotland. In England Reed rejoined his hospital unit, but was detached to other hospital units, including a field hospital. At the Panama Canal at the end of the war, Reed was then assigned to the Walter Reed General Hospital where he was chief of surgery at the U.S. Soldiers Home in Washington, D.C. In 1947 Reed and his family returned to his home in Kingsport where he rejoined his father in surgery.
For more than 40 years, Dr. Reed practiced medicine in Kingsport. He founded the Surgical Associates of Kingsport. He was appointed as clinical professor of surgery at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine. Upon his retirement at age 70 he became interested in working more with the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine. At first he was not sure if he fully supported the Quillen College of Medicine, but after careful consideration, Dr. Reed understood the medical school was in high demand. A member of the admissions committee for six years, Dr. Reed saw firsthand the fine quality of doctors graduating from the school. He also has had an active role in the ETSU Foundation, watching as it developed into a solid, profitable extension of East Tennessee State University. Today, he still serves on the investment committee of the Foundation board of directors.
Reed's greatest display of affection for the Quillen College of Medicine came with the creation of the Reed Chair of Surgery. The endowed chair was established by Dr. Reed and the Quillen College of Medicine, Department of Surgery. This is the first fully endowed chair at ETSU utilizing entirely private funding with gifts totaling in excess of $1 million. Funds for the gift are used to support the teaching and enhanced research activities of the Quillen College of Medicine's Department of Surgery. The newly dedicated chair is named for his father, Dr. William Henry Reed, one of the first practicing surgeons in the Kingsport area who was known for performing innovative surgical procedures and providing primary care for hundreds of patients throughout the region. Dr. William Browder is the first and only holder of the Reed Chair of Surgery.
Outside of medicine, Reed has many activities. His hobbies include golf and tennis, and he has been active with the National Ski Patrol Association as an honorary member. For many years, Reed was a director of the First American National Bank, and still serves as a director of the bank's investment committee. He is also a member of the Episcopal Church and is a director of the Symphony Orchestra board. Currently, Reed is enjoying retirement with his wife of over 57 years, Alice. They have five children, three of whom are physicians. His son John Shelton Reed, Jr., Ph.D., resides in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; daughter Lisa Alther lives in New York; son William Henry Reed II, M.D., practices in California; son Michael F. Reed, M.D., resides in Pennsylvania; and daughter Jane Reed Shaw, M.D., lives in Virginia.