Richard Wearing
Medical Director, Surgeon DVM, DABVP

Dr. Rick Wearing was born in middle Georgia, but he bleeds Tennessee orange. He was raised in Covington, Georgia where he grew up watching the filming of The Dukes of Hazard and then later In the Heat of the Night. Covington would later be designated the "Hollywood of the South". Unable to get a gig as a stunt double jumping the car dubbed the General Lee, he decided to move deeper south to work on his southern accent. He moved to Charleston, South Carolina to attend the College of Charleston. While working on his South of Broad accent and studying Biochemistry on the side, he decided one day while getting his hair cut to try out veterinary medicine (true story). He went to work for two University of Tennessee doctors who steered him towards the hills of Tennessee.

While studying at UTCVM, he met this cute, little, curly headed girl who stole his heart. She was also studying veterinary medicine and was two years ahead of him. Dr. Wearing graduated UTCVM in 1995. He followed that cute girl and eventually convinced her to marry him. They landed in Cookeville, Tennessee, where he went to work for two brilliant veterinarians, Don Ragland (valedictorian, class of 1982) and Tom Riley (class of 1980). Together they created a seven doctor general practice and referral center for the Upper Cumberland. As the practice grew, Dr. Wearing decided he wasn't patient enough to do internal medicine, thereby focusing primarily on surgery.

In 2012, Dr. Wearing became board certified through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in canine and feline practice. He re-certified in 2022 and became a founding fellow of the ER fellowship. In 2018, at a VCA conference, he was asked to "fill in" at VCA Regional Institute for Vet Emergencies and Referrals as a surgeon. He foolishly obliged and in 2021 became the Medical Director. Dr. Wearing is still chasing that cute, little, curly headed girl around the hills of Tennessee and enjoys spending time with her and their four adult children. When not placating his cat, Thea, you can find him pedaling his bicycle for miles and miles with his friends.