Your Neighbor: Meet Dr. David Spencer
Published 12:10 am Thursday, March 2, 2023
By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier
Dr. David Spencer grew up in Danville, Illinois as the oldest of five siblings. Living two hours outside of Chicago, Spencer was encouraged to take advantage of culture, academics and the arts.
“We didn’t have a television in the home. We read lots and lots of books,” said Spencer, who also plays the piano and flute. Realizing his potential and eagerness to learn, Spencer attended Interlochen Arts Academy for high school in Michigan where he ultimately graduated as class valedictorian. “During my high school summers, I would go back home and work in my dad’s office. He was a well-respected dermatologist, and it didn’t take long for me to gain a real interest in the medical profession,” Spencer said.
During high school, Spencer also made some decisions in his faith that were transforming. “The summer between my junior and senior year, I met the Lord. I witnessed a dramatic conversion with a friend of mine, and I became committed to continuing my relationship with God. On Aug. 17, 1973, I was baptized in the Spirit, and it has been amazing since,” Spencer said.
“I went on to study music at the Peabody Conservatory and theology at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and that solidified my experience with God. I seek His presence and feel Him everywhere I’ve been since.”
During his time in his undergraduate studies, Spencer also met his future wife, Donna. “A friend of mine who was a flutist would ask me for advice about this girl after playing in the Vespers Service. She was from Welcome and in special education, and I thought they actually ended up getting married. Luckily, a year and a half later I realized they did not because when I saw her photo, I knew right away that I was going to marry her. At that point, I was already in seminary, but there was something about her that was so special,” Spencer said.
With his personal life going well, Spencer had to determine what his next step would be professionally. “I taught high school for a bit, and then decided to go to medical school,” Spencer said. “My brother had gone back to school and done well in his science classes. He didn’t usually take his academics seriously, but started to and did well, so it made me competitive too,” Spencer said with a laugh.
After attending the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, he received his medical degree and trained in pediatrics from 1987-1990. “Having had such a memorable experience working in my dad’s office, and seeing how he helped patients, I completed my dermatology residence at Ohio State University in Columbus Ohio, from 1990-1993,” Spencer said. Afterwards Spencer went on to to complete a Cosmetic Surgery and Mohs Surgery Fellowship in Arkansas from 1993-1994.
“At that point, Donna had been so understanding of living far from her family because of my studies. We had started having our children in Arkansas (Luke, 35; Isaac, 32; and Seth, 30), and she naturally wanted to live closer to her family in North Carolina,” Spencer said. “When we moved, I knew I wanted to work more with my hands like my dad had done. So, I knew that I wanted to focus on procedures like face lifts, liposuction and removing basal cell carcinoma.”
In 1995, Spencer opened his own practice which included a medical spa, Highland Oaks. “It’s pretty dynamic. We have our own lab to read slides, and I’m able to be under the same roof as the spa so I’m accessible at all times. I think that’s important when meeting with patients is giving them your full attention. I enjoy that interaction, and with supporting staff I don’t have to hassle with the technology simultaneously when learning about their unique situations and needs,” Spencer said. With 18,000 square feet, the Spa at Highland Oaks is one of the most established medical spas in the Forsyth, Davie and Davidson County areas with its cutting-edge technology. “Like my dad, I’m sure I won’t ever retire,” Spencer said with a laugh. “It’s hard to even consider the idea of it when you really love what you do.”
One way that Spencer keeps fun in the office is by keeping a grand piano there. “It’s something I enjoy doing, so I make sure I practice when I’m not seeing patients. I also have started writing regularly, and published a book, ‘The Chronological Gospel of Jesus Christ with Translation and Commentary,’” Spencer said. “I had been teaching at Winston-Salem First Assembly of God for about 25 years. About 5 years ago, they wanted me to cover the Gospels. I didn’t think I was really a Gospel person. I had read them and knew the stories but to really meditate and study them, was different. Ultimately, I said sure let’s try it. I did the translation from the Greek for each of the chapters in the Gospels.”
Spencer would memorize the Gospels first and then meditate before writing down his comments and commentary. “The life lessons were in general terms, and I had help with a talented ghost writer,” Spencer said. “The book was a natural part of my education, especially since I’m very comfortable with the languages.”
Currently, Spencer has several books that are being considered by publishing companies. “I’ll write from 9 p.m. to midnight each day,” Spencer said. “Because the content is something I’m passionate about, I really enjoy those three hours.” Spencer donates all proceeds to charity from his book sales.
Spencer is also enjoying new roles in his life as well. “Our first grandchild is due on May 4 this year, and we can’t wait. With the joy of raising our own children, I’m confident it’s going to be as special as everyone says it is,” Spencer said.
Spencer is also hoping to get back to traveling. “Traveling is something we did as a family when I was a kid. Our parents were world travelers and had us camping and doing trips all over the country in at least 49 states. We could set up a campsite in under 20 minutes. I also want to resume doing medical missions with my team from the office and Winston-Salem First Assembly,” Spencer said. “We have primarily gone to Africa and South Africa.”
Spencer pays for all medical expenses for the mission trips that have had a great impact on many in need. “I think it’s important to give back,” Spencer said. “We are usually there for at least two weeks minimum. You get so much more than you give on each trip.”