I have always been fascinated by the mind and brain. I grew up in Beloit Wisconsin, and after high school I attended Carroll College, majoring in Biology and Psychology. I then moved to Rochester NY, where I trained in medicine and research as part of the Medical Scientist Training Program, a program offered by the National Institutes of Health to only 500 scholars nationwide. I earned my PhD in Neuroscience at the Center for Brain Research, and graduated first in my class in medical school at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. After completing an Ivy League residency in Phildadelphia, I left the fast-paced East-coast lifestyle for family-friendly Fond du Lac. I worked for ten years as an anesthesiologist and pain treatment physician at St. Agnes Hospital, serving as Chief of Anesthesia during most of that time. But with all of my successes, I felt that something was missing. I began to realize that my performance in school and career were the result of searching for that something… but in the wrong places.
2001 was a rough year for me, as it was for our country. As I struggled with illness, my friend Commander Dan Shanower was killed at the Pentagon in the attacks of 9/11. I reflected on my friendship with Dan as I worked as a medical consultant for the Transportation Security Administration. I found new appreciation for life as I remembered his determination to serve God and country using all of his ability. Months later, a local physician and friend committed suicide. With recognition that I should follow my interests and insights, I decided to return to my earlier studies of the mind and brain. I entered residency in Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, and for three years commuted daily between Fond du Lac and Milwaukee. No longer content to sit in the audience, I became involved in community theater. I began teaching residents and medical students at the Medical College of Wisconsin and writing for Psychiatric Times, an international publication for psychiatrists.
I became Chief Resident in 2005, and I completed psychiatric training in June of 2006. I accepted an appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical College, where I continue to teach residents and medical students. In 2008 I passed written and oral examinations to become Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
My experiences have increased my empathy for those with mental pain. I now recognize that years of one’s life can slip away unappreciated, while he or she puts off finding appropriate help. I know first-hand of the stigma and isolation that can result from minor or major psychiatric conditions. My sincere goal is to create an understanding and supportive environment while providing up-to-date, evidence-based psychiatric care.
One of the prouder moments of my life. Maybe not the haircut…
The lowest would come 20 years later, when I was treated for opioid use disorder that developed after treating a cold with codeine cough syrup. But the experience led to psychatric residency, and eventually piqued my interest in addiction medicine. l was an early proponent of treatment of OUD using buprenorphine. See links below for further information:
About the forum… in the middle of my other challenges this month, the SSL certificate for the forum hit the expiration date. You will get a security warning if you try to go to that page, but the site can still be accessed. I’ll get that fixed up when I’m back in town!