Richard Gillespie, MDA, was born in Coeburn, Virginia, on July 24, 1933. He received his Bachelor of Science from Lincoln Memorial University in 1955 and his Doctor of Medicine form the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, Memphis, Tennessee, in 1959. His rotating internship was served at Mobile General Hospital, Mobile, Alabama, in 1959-1960. Then he did a residency in anesthesia at Duke University Medical School and VA Hospital, Durham, North Carolina, in 1961-62. He was an associate in anesthesia, Duke University from 1963-64 and assistant chief, Division of Anesthesiology from 1963-64, VA Hospital, Durham, NC.
Dr. Gillespie had a very successful private practice of anesthesia in Knoxville, Tennessee, from 1964-1981 at Fort Sanders Hospital and East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.
In 1981, he opened the Sullins Surgical Center, the first free-standing center in the area and one of the first in the country. This was a pioneering position and was a real threat to hospitals. He ruffled many feathers, but in spite of numerous obstacles he made Sullins a great success. Dr. Gillespie presented patients with the option of having surgery and being released the same day for home. He was in the vanguard of what is now an accepted practice.
From 1981-83 he was the medical director and president of Sullins Surgical Center, Inc. Then in 1983 he became a founder and member of the board of directors of Alternacare Corporation, Los Angeles, California. Later this corporation was merged with Hospital Corporation of America.
Dr. Gillespie is a member of the American Board of Anesthesiology, American College of Anesthesiology-Fellow, American Medical Association, Tennessee Medical Associate, Tennessee Society of Anesthesiology-President 1984, American Society of Anesthesiology – Alternate Director District 10 – 1984-1985, Knoxville Academy of Medicine, 1986, Board – F.A.S.A., Second Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Tennessee and the Lincoln Memorial University Board of Trustees.