When I finished my residency in Madison in 1978, I thought that when I left Wisconsin it would be for good. I spent a year doing a Cornea Fellowship in Houston with Danny Jones and Dave Paton before refractive surgery was invented. I practiced in Philadelphia for the next 25 years. I was fortunate to marry Kay Rutlin, who grew up on a cranberry farm 2 hours north of Madison. And so the pieces were now in place for the circle to close! In 2006, I accepted a permanent position in the Davis Duehr Dean system in Portage, WI.
I grew up in New York City, went to college at the University of Rochester and received my MD at St Louis University School of Medicine. After an internship at Albany Medical Center in NY, I arrived in Madison for my Ophthalmology residency.
My good fortune is that I began my residency in Madison at a very propitious time. Matt Davis was the chief with a ‘vision’ who brought together the right group of recently trained faculty members for the residency. Harry Roth trained in San Francisco in glaucoma, Fred Brightbill trained in Gainsville in Cornea, Rich Appen came from Boston trained in neuro-ophthalmology, Burt Kushner trained in Miami in peds; in addition there was Ingof Wallow, Suresh Chandra and Tom Stevens in retina, Paul Kaufman in glaucoma and Dick Dortzbach in plastics. And I remember a retina fellow, Ron Klein, who also spent time with the residents education.
There were noon retina conferences with Dr Davis; monthly grand rounds with live patients, regularly attended by Dr Peter Duehr. It was a heady time when the original Diabetic Retinopathy Study was still running and the Retina reading center was Dr Davis and his staff in a small office; a time when the eye bank began in a tiny office at the old hospital building. I remember journal club at the homes of the faculty, Saturday presentations by the residents and the first orbital dissection course run by Dortz. What I remember the most about my residency was the way my teachers taught me the compassionate care of patients.
Since 1995 I made a dozen surgery trips to Guil deVenecia’s eye clinic in the Philippines. I have been an Associate Examiner with the American Board of Ophthalmology since 1981. In 2002, I completed an MBA with a major in health administration. I joined Davis Duehr Dean in 2006 and chair the Medical Quality Improvement Committee for the Regional Eye Network. Last year I became Chief of Surgery of Divine Savior Hospital in Portage, WI.
My son Mike lives in NJ with his son Dante, my daughter Amanda lives in Paris and my youngest, Phil, works for a UW vaccine lab. My wife Kay is a registered dietitian. We travel regularly between Portage and Madison and the Jersey shore.
Rob can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 608-617-6940. If you have any questions concerning the Alumni Association, feel free to contact him.