David Whitten, M.D., Ph.D.
Physiologist, Cosmetic Surgeon, Scientist
Dr. David Whitten is more than a physician. He is also a Ph.D. physiologist, cosmetic surgeon, weight loss specialist, and scientist. He and his wife, Susan, own and operate the Beauty and Wellness Center in Texarkana. They focus on helping patients improve their health and mindset and achieve greater joy and confidence through improving themselves. “I love seeing our patients feel better, look better, and have more spirit and confidence. For example, we have a very successful self-improvement and weight-loss program. It is thrilling to see someone who has struggled unsuccessfully for years achieve goals they never thought possible,” Dr. Whitten says. “We also do a lot of procedures and surgeries that restore a more youthful appearance, and I love to see smiles and expressions of happiness.”
Dr. Whitten’s journey into the medical field began when he was only thirteen years old. He was traveling with his dad, who got sick. “It was nighttime, and we were in a motel far from home. I was pretty worried, but the motel had a number for medical emergencies, and Dad called it,” Dr. Whitten says. “A doctor came to the room pretty quickly, and immediately upon his entry, everything was better. I knew we were going to be okay, and I knew that I wanted to be able to help people like that. I wanted to make some type of difference.”
For Dr. Whitten, healthcare professions are critical because they help people find a healthy balance that allows them to live life to the fullest. “Humans are fearfully and wonderfully made. The workings of the human organism are so complex, and the balance of the millions of interconnected mechanisms that allow a healthy existence is fragile. When that balance exists harmoniously, humans experience wellness and can achieve joy and happiness. When that balance is off in any way, our experience is not so good or terribly bad, often unto death and despair,” Dr. Whitten says. “Healthcare professionals spend their careers helping fine-tune that balance, helping to understand the workings of the many interactive mechanisms underlying that balance, and working to allow more of us to experience the joy and happiness that comes with good health.”
Since completing medical school, Dr. Whitten has achieved many academic milestones, including earning board certification. He credits his training and preparedness for successfully helping him resolve many life-or-death moments. However, Dr. Whitten’s biggest and most difficult academic accomplishment was earning his Ph.D. at the University of California. The program was so rigorous that it made earning his M.D. “pale in comparison.” In addition, Dr. Whitten has been recognized as a teacher, both academically at the University of California–San Francisco and as a National Faculty in the American College of Emergency Physicians. Furthermore, he has written scholarly articles published in learned journals and published a book with his co-author, Martin Lipp, M.D. “To join the ranks of true research scientists and to be welcomed into the research fraternity was truly a high point,” Dr. Whitten says. “My life has been blessed with many such moments.”
However, Dr. Whitten says that his most important personal accomplishment is having such a beautiful family. “Susan is not just my wife. She is my business partner, surgical assistant, skin care specialist, and my very best friend,” Dr. Whitten says. “I am also blessed with four children, two bonus children, and eight awesome grandchildren.”
The couple is very proud of their family. Scott, Susan’s younger son, lives with the couple, and Parker, Susan’s older son, lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and often works with them. They also have David’s children: Laura, Emily, Sarah, and David. Laura is an ER nurse living in San Francisco; Emily is living in Portland, Oregon, with her kids, Eva and April; Sarah is living in St. Louis with her twins, Jacob and Avalene (named after David’s mom, who passed away at age 95 in 2021); and David Domingo Whitten, who lives with his wife Crystal and their “tribe” – Moses, Naomi, Judah, and Zion– in Texarkana. “There’s nothing more important in life than having a supportive and loving family, without which no academic or professional accomplishment would have meaning,” Dr. Whitten says.
Above all, Dr. Whitten wants to look back on his career and know that he made a difference and was able to live by faith and love. “My Christian faith and devotion to the teachings of Jesus is my foundation, and I owe everything I am to His influence in my life,” Dr. Whitten says. “People inspire me. My family and wife inspire me. The desire to want to make a difference inspires and drives me.”
1. I am passionate about my wife and my family. I am passionate about life! I love the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers. I love soccer, and I am passionate about wine.
2. I am largely involved in the Texarkana Community through my wife, Susan, and her involvement with HandsOn Texarkana and Runnin’ WJ Ranch. She volunteers on our behalf in so many ways. She’s a difference-maker by herself, but we are much more together. We have also been involved in Special Olympics, Temple Memorial, and many other nonprofits through participation in volunteering, silent auctions, etc.
3. My best tip for staying healthy is to eat real, non-processed food, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and have at least one glass of wine a day.
4. If I could create a magical prescription drug, it would make people choose happiness because we are all healthier when we are happy.
5. Most people don’t know I am very tender-hearted and kind. I wish they knew how much I love and adore my wife and that I am not just Dr. Whitten.