Ryan Ludwig, M.D.
What attracted you to Family Medicine?
I truly enjoy taking care of people at all stages of life and love the enormous variety within the profession. I learned so much in medical school and I wanted a discipline that encompassed as much of that as possible. I don't mind that I am not an expert in one specific area of medicine. To me it is the everyday care I provide that often makes the biggest differences in the lives of those I serve. Also, my specialty provides me the opportunity to get to know my patients personally over time. I am a firm believer in continuity of care.
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for residency training?
So many factors went into my decision to train here. Truthfully, Mayo Clinic was not the first place that came to mind when I was looking for a place to train in primary care. I think some people might feel it would be hard to receive a comprehensive generalist training in the "land of the specialists." Really nothing could be further from the truth. With a surrounding population of greater than 100,000 people needing medical care, there is ample opportunity to become proficient in treating the everyday diseases that makeup the breadth of my specialty. Combine this with the tremendous educational recourses of the Mayo Clinic, and you have the opportunity to receive top notch training in nearly every area of medicine.
What makes the Mayo Clinic Family Medicine Residency unique?
I think what makes this program unique is how well the training is balanced. To me it is the perfect combination of the benefits of a large academic institution and the strengths of an unopposed community program. The curriculum is geared toward providing excellent specialty rotations at Mayo Clinic itself, while allowing plenty of opportunity for more "one on one" training at many of the smaller Mayo-affiliated hospitals outside of Rochester. For example, during the cardiology rotation you will work with world renowned cardiologists in Rochester and function as a member of the team while receiving top notch daily teaching. The way you are scheduled means you never have to "compete" with other residents or fellows for procedures or patients. The next month you could be working with a rural general surgeon getting individualized training relevant to family medicine. It is the best of both worlds.
Anything surprise you about Mayo's program?
I was very surprised by the amount of teamwork and camaraderie between departments. Some people might think of Mayo as a very hierarchical institution where it would be difficult to approach some specialties with patient care questions. I have never found this to be the case. Everyone is extremely approachable and willing to work together for the benefit of the patient. It is truly one of the things that make training here so great.
What is living in Rochester like for you?
Rochester is a wonderful town. As a husband and father, I was looking for a safe, medium-sized community with a reasonable cost of living and good schools. I grew up in northern Wyoming and personally enjoy the outdoors. From hiking to biking to fishing and hunting, I can find it all here in Rochester. There is even a small ski area just down the road! For people who appreciate more cosmopolitan activities there is always something going on like concerts, plays and sporting events. Minneapolis and St. Paul are just a little over an hour up the road if you can't find what you're looking for here.
What does your future look like right now?
This is an exciting time to be in primary care. The current need for well trained primary care doctors is enormous and it feels good to be part of the solution. Personally, my heart will always been geared toward small town medicine and I plan on practicing full spectrum family medicine when my training is complete. My preparation here at Mayo has been outstanding and I feel extremely well prepared to meet any challenges.