Joined University Eye Specialists: 1989
EDUCATION & CERTIFICATESBA: University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, 1975
MD: University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences, Memphis, Tennessee, 1978
Internship: National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, 1980
Ophthalmology Residency: National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland, 1984
Fellowship: Cornea and External Disease, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, 1987
Board Certification: American Board of Ophthalmology, 1985, 2008
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONHonor Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 1995
Leadership Knoxville, Class of 2003
Excellence in Teaching Award for Volunteer Faculty, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, Tennessee, 2009
Senior Honor Award, American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2009
Volunteer Faculty Award, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, 2015
Cityview Magazine Top Docs, Ophthalmology, 2005-2017
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPSAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology, fellow
American College of Surgeons, fellow
American Medical Association
International Society of Refractive Surgery
Knoxville Academy of Medicine
Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group
Eye Bank Association of America Paton Society
Society of Military Ophthalmologists
Tennessee Academy of Ophthalmology
Tennessee Medical Association
East Tennessee Lions Eye Bank medical director
Scientific journal editorial reviewer for: Cornea, Archives of Ophthalmology, Refractive Surgery
U.S. Navy Medical Corps, retired captain
UNIVERSITY APPOINTMENTSUniversity of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Knoxville, Tennessee, chief, Ophthalmology Division, and clinical associate professor, Department of Surgery
University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee, clinical associate professor, Ophthalmology Department, Hamilton Eye Center
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, assistant professor, Surgery Department (ophthalmology)
Dr. David Harris Jr. is a cornea specialist who pursued his passion for science and optics. Cornea procedures can range from minor corrections to life-changing operations, and Dr. Harris specializes in treatment of the transparent layer that forms the front of the eye and allows it to properly refract light.
He handles cornea operations and transplants, a process that allows the surgeon to restore sight to the living and give profound purpose to the family of the cornea donor at a time of death. Dr. Harris arrived at University Eye Specialists in 1989 in a fortuitous case of UES needing a cornea specialist and Dr. Harris taking the opportunity to return to his hometown.
He grew up in Knoxville and after a lengthy medical career in the U.S. Navy, Dr. Harris entered the private sector. The move home allowed his children to grow up close to their grandparents, and the three siblings all are now in the medical field, including Harris’ daughter, Dr. Lauren Harris, who works at UES.
The affiliation with the University of Tennessee – Dr. Harris earned a bachelor’s degree from UT in 1975 and is chief of ophthalmology and teaches surgery at the UT Graduate School of Medicine – has allowed Harris to remain on the cutting edge of the constantly emerging field of cornea care and treat people both in outpatient and emergency settings.
Dr. Harris enjoys working and living in East Tennessee because of the mountains, lakes and various sports seasons. He appreciates the diversity offered by a city with a major university, the school system and the proximity to the scientific power of Oak Ridge. Dr. Harris also enjoys the arts and entertainment offered in Knoxville and its thriving downtown.
He has been the public address announcer for Bearden High School’s boys’ and girls’ soccer teams for more than 15 years. An avid swimmer, hiker and Vol football fan, Dr. Harris also is an alumnus of the UT Pride of the Southland Band and will play trombone with the alumni band at Tennessee basketball games during the break between semesters when students are away from campus.
He volunteers as the medical director for the East Tennessee Lions Eye Bank, an affiliation Harris has held for more than 20 years. He also offers medical services to the InterFaith Clinic; Knoxville Area Project Access, the philanthropic efforts of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine Foundation; and Remote Area Medical (RAM), which provides care to under-reached areas around the world.
Dr. Harris is married to Dr. Patricia Harris, a pharmacist, and they have three children and two daughters-in-law: Dr. Lauren Harris (ophthalmology); Dr. David Harris III (ophthalmology) and his wife, Dr. Jennifer Whittington Harris; and Dr. Andrew Harris (orthopedics) and his wife, Sarah Lyle Harris. They have two grandchildren, Heidi Harris and Callaway Lyle Harris.