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Ryan Gamlin, 34, is among the new crop of incoming medical students in the College of Medicine. He and his wife, Jenna, and their 4-month-old son, Soren, moved to Cincinnati from San Francisco in July. They call Hyde Park home.
You have been in Cincinnati for little more than month. How are things going?
Very well. Any place is different when compared to San Francisco, but Cincinnati is in the midst of a renaissance. I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be here. Our neighborhood, Hyde Park, has a lot of what we value in terms of walkability and community, and as far as favorite restaurants, we’ve come to love a place right around the corner from us; it's a combination Argentine-Italian place (Alfio’s Buon Cibo).
Tell us about yourself
I was born in Lexington, Kentucky, though I lived there for a grand total of something like eight days—my dad was finishing a graduate degree—I grew up in a few places around Chicago. After High School I joined the Chicago-Oxford migration as many do and moved to Miami University, where I studied economics. After graduating I was recruited into a large managed care company, and my entire professional career since then was spent in various facets of the health care economy. I’ve consulted for and worked within managed care companies, helped doctors to start facilities, worked with providers to help them understand process and workflow, and have been involved in medical technology startups in financing and business development capacities.
When did you decide you wanted to go to medical school?
It ends up sounding trite and cliché, but it was because of an emergency, or rather a series of emergencies. I have climbed and skied all around the world and I've seen people get hurt in places where it is unequivocally a really bad idea to be hurt. It only took me a time or two of standing there going, "I think we should do this or do that” to realize that I needed some medical training. So ultimately it was this avocation—the outdoors—that made me go out and enroll in an EMT (emergency medical technician) class. I found that I really enjoyed it and I decided as interesting as it was, I wanted to know more. I found a course that allowed me to train as a paramedic on the weekends, loved it, and it was about halfway through that training that I enrolled in a post baccalaureate program to complete the typical pre-medical courses that I’d avoided so completely as an undergraduate.
What did your wife think of this decision to do go medical school?
First, I married really well. My wife married one guy and ended up getting another; it was literally a month after our wedding that I began thinking I wanted to leave the business of medicine and pursue the clinical side of healthcare as a doctor. My wife has always stood with me, and I’m grateful for that every day.
What kind of doctor do you want to be?
To put it simply: A good one. I can't think of any other field where you get to try before you buy. The beauty of medical school is it forces you to start as a generalist and gives you exposure to specialties, and my goal is to take full advantage of the opportunity to experience the depth and breadth of specialties while I can.
What do you do for fun?
I have always been an endurance athlete, though as I get older I sometimes can’t believe I used to be able to do the things that I did. Now I focus more on running and climbing when I’m able, and still love to spend time in the world’s great mountain ranges whenever I can. My other passion is music, and I’m fortunate to have played and recorded with both great friends and some exceptionally talented professionals.