Dr. Ryan Van Ramshorst ’06 hasn’t slowed down since graduating from Chapman with his B.S. in biological sciences, B.A. in Spanish and minor in chemistry. Currently, he is a staff physician (pediatrician) for University Health System in San Antonio, TX, and he serves as faculty at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine in the Department of Pediatrics.
We recently caught up with him and you can read our Q&A’s below.
What attracted you to your profession?
I became interested in medicine because it was the near-perfect hybrid of science and service.
What are the opportunities you see for students going into medicine and health care?
Medicine and health care are going through extremely challenging times filled with much change and uncertainty. More than ever, we need forward-thinking, service-oriented, and passionate students to enter the field of medicine to serve as leaders in the field. We need future physicians who will serve as advocates for their patients both in the examination room, out in the community, and up to the halls of state and federal legislatures.
What jobs and experiences have led you to your current position?
Some of my most memorable experiences include serving as an intern at the American Academy of Pediatrics Department of Federal Affairs in Washington, DC around the time when the Affordable Care Act was first being discussed and completing numerous research projects in the Dept. of Biological Sciences while I was an undergraduate at Chapman.
What are you passionate about?
I am most passionate about improving the health of underserved communities through evidenced-based practice, community-based research, and legislative advocacy. I am also extremely passionate about teaching – as I feel this is one of the best ways to ensure a continued pipeline of passionate leaders in public health. I currently practice in a predominantly Spanish-speaking community on the south side of San Antonio
I also find time to be an active member of the Texas Pediatric Society, the state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Through this organization, I am able to help advocate for state-level policies that benefit Texas children, such as improving the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), increasing funding for residency programs ensure a continued supply of pediatricians and pediatric sub-specialists, and developing programs to stem the tide of childhood obesity.
Are you celebrating any recent accomplishments?
I recently completed a one-year position as Chief of Residents at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio’s Dept. of Pediatrics Residency Program. It was a great year where I was able to work alongside some of the brightest and youngest minds in the field of pediatrics.
I am also extremely proud to serve in the National Health Service Corps – a program which has placed over 30,000 health care providers in areas where they are needed most since the 1970s.
I am also proud to have recently celebrated our 5-year wedding anniversary with my wife, Christine Van Ramshorst, MD (who is also a physician). We actually met on the first day of medical school at the Baylor College of Medicine, in Houston, TX. My wife recently completed her residency training in obstetrics/gynecology and will be entering private practice later this year.
Any parting advice for Crean College students?
Make sure that you take the time to identify a mentor – someone who can provide you guidance along your educational journey. Recognize that a mentoring relationship is a 2-way street – both for the mentor and the mentee. This relationship requires time and commitment for it to be productive. Some of my best mentors came from my years as an undergraduate student at Chapman!