Growing up, brothers Dr. K. Robert Williams and Dr. Kristopher B. Williams of Knoxville, never imagined they would one day both be physicians, must less – that they would be General surgeons working in the same practice and occasionally in the same Operating Room.
“When we were little kids, I was going to be a football player and Kris was going to be a diesel mechanic,” laughs Rob.
The brothers, who are three years apart, were raised in Knoxville and Virginia, alternating summer vacations and the school year in both states after their parents divorced. It wasn’t until they both attended college at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, that they lived in the same town.
“I was a senior when he was a freshman and we were in the same fraternity. We got to spend more time together in college and medical school than we did as kids in grade school,” explains Rob.
Kris agrees and says watching first hand what Rob experienced during medical school at the University of Virginia influenced his own decision to pursue a medical career.
“I think sometimes people idealize what medical school is going to be like, but seeing the hard training Rob went through – like being so sleep deprived he’d fall asleep during family dinners – gave me a realistic view of what I wanted to do,” says Kris.
Rob says it’s not surprising that they chose the same career. “We’re a lot a like and both like working with our hands. With surgery, you’re able to help someone immediately.”
Rob earned a medical degree from the University of Virginia, and a few years later Kris graduated from the East TN State University Quillen College of Medicine. Both completed General Surgery residencies at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. Rob joined Premier Surgical Associates in Knoxville in 2006. In 2014, as Kris was finishing his Fellowship in Minimally Invasive Surgery at Carolina Medical Center, a Premier Surgical surgeon left the practice become a missionary in Kenya.
“It was a unique opportunity that a slot opened in our practice at the right time,” says Rob. “I was impressed with the high quality of the Premier Surgical surgeons and knew Kris would fit in well here.”
Kris joined Premier Surgical in August of 2014. “This was an ideal situation for our families,” says Kris. The brothers, their wives and children now live within five miles of each other and their mother, in Knoxville. “It’s great. Mom loves to cook, so we try to get together every Sunday for a big family dinner,” smiles Kris.
And, the brothers are spending time together in the Operating Room, assisting each other on cases. “It’s neat to be able to consult with each other on complicated cases,” says Rob. “Kris specializes in complex hernia and I specialize in bariatrics, so we can bounce ideas off each other,” says Rob.
“I’m very glad to be here with Rob. I hope we’re working together for our whole careers,” smiles Kris.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Robert Williams, call New Life Center for Bariatric Surgery at 865- 694-9676. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kris Williams call Premier Surgical Parkwest at 865-690-5263.