The surgeon, identified as Dr Benjamin Mauck, was killed in front of patients and employees at Campbell Clinic Orthopedics in Collierville, a city about 30 miles east of Memphis, Police Chief Dale Lane told reporters on Tuesday night.
A suspect, who has not been identified, fired a handgun before running from the clinic and was apprehended by police about five minutes later without incident, Mr Lane said.
Witnesses told WREG that a patient had been threatening to harm a clinic employee for the past week.
“This appears to be a one-on-one interaction,” Mr Lane said during a press conference.
“It was in an exam room … It was a health care worker and he was a patient.”
Mr Lane said the gunman spared the “many” patients and employees who were in the clinic at the time.
Police are yet to reveal a motive for the shooting, which Mr Lane described as “horrific”.
Dr Mauck was a specialist hand, wrist and elbow surgeon who was named on Memphis Magazine’s 2023 Top Doctors List last week.
In a statement, Cambell Clinic Orthopedics confirmed they had “experienced a single shooter event” at their Collierville health centre.
“We are shocked and heartbroken to confirm the incident resulted in the tragic loss of one of our highly respected and beloved physicians, Dr Ben Mauck. We ask that you please lift his family in prayer.
“We appreciate our local law enforcement officers who responded within minutes. We will continue to work closely with authorities as this remains an active investigation.”
The health centre has closed all of its clinics on 12 July.
Tennessee Senate Minority Leader Raumesh Akbari called for stricter gun regulations in the wake of the shooting.
“Tragedies like this underscore the urgent need for common sense — like reinstating background checks and gun licenses, and establishing new reforms like an order of protection so police can remove firearms from a person who is threatening others,” she said in a statement.
Dr Mauck had previously worked as a surgeon at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, and completed his medical school training at the University of Tennessee-Memphis.
The tragic incident comes two years after a gunman opened fire at a Kroger grocery store in Collierville.
Uk Thang, a disgruntled contractor, killed one employee and injured more than a dozen before taking his own life.
This article was amended on 12 July to correct the location of Collierville.