Meet the 2016-2017 First Year Residents

News // Residents // Aug 25 2016

The 2016-17 academic year is currently underway and three individuals have arrived to begin their three-year residency with the University of Wisconsin Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. We are pleased to introduce you to each of these new residents.

R. Christopher Bowen, MD, MS

Hometown: I was born in Brigham City, Utah and grew up in Mendon, Utah, a small farming community outside of Logan. Education: I received my undergraduate degree from Utah State University, a master’s degree from the University of Utah and my medical degree from the University of Utah School of Medicine. Hobbies: I enjoy the outdoors, biking (especially in Moab, Utah), videography, learning 3-D animation and undertaking new adventures with my wife. Family status: My wife Karisa is doing her pharmacy residency (PGY-1) at the VA in general Medicine.

What was your attraction to University of Wisconsin Ophthalmology Residency Program?
I was impressed with the leadership by practitioners who believe in innovation and clinical/surgical competency for their residents. UW Health facilitates clinical and basic science research through seasoned academic mentors, as well as dedicated research time for residents. Additionally, there appears to be translational bench-to-bedside opportunity that attracted me here.

What are your first impressions of the department and residency program after your first weeks here?
I feel like the people here want us to succeed. Although there is respect for my seniors and attendings, it feels more like horizontal leadership rather than vertical. This is awesome and I think it helps create the unity I feel here.

What do you enjoy about life in Madison so far?
Madison is a beautiful, safe location with a robust community and is a great place for my wife to explore new adventure and hobbies. Biking has become our primary transportation around Madison because it is so easy.

Nathan Mathews, MD

Hometown: I was born here in Madison and grew up in Spring Lake, Michigan. Education: My undergraduate degree is from the University of Michigan and my medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin. Hobbies: My hobbies include playing soccer and backpacking, and I have a strong interest in astrophotography. Family status: My significant other Christina and I are the proud parents of Tots, our pug.

What was your attraction to University of Wisconsin Ophthalmology Residency Program?
Two things stood out to me. The first was the culture of the program and how everyone treated each other like family. This was especially evident to me during my experience and conversations at the pre-interview dinner hosted by the residents. The second thing was the feeling I had that this was a program that really wanted to coach me toward becoming a great ophthalmologist.

What are your first impressions of the department and residency program after your first weeks here?
I feel that the communication within the department has been great. Everyone that I have met so far is very understanding of how green we are, but yet willing to give us responsibilities to get some experience under our belts.

What do you enjoy about life in Madison so far?
I find that the drivers here are courteous. The restaurants in Madison are great, and the weather has been phenomenal. I am looking forward to exploring more of the many things life in Madison has to offer.

Christopher Spearman, MD

Hometown: I was born in Saint Louis, Missouri but grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Education: I earned my undergraduate degree from the Pennsylvania State University and medical degree from Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University. Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, running (especially trail running), traveling, scuba diving and snowboarding. Family status: My beautiful wife Christina and I have a wonderful dog named Zoey, a Rhodesian Ridgeback mix.

What was your attraction to University of Wisconsin Ophthalmology Residency Program?
The University of Wisconsin provides an extremely strong curriculum that made me feel confident that I will graduate as an exceptionally well-trained ophthalmologist. Residents are consistently placed in top fellowship programs throughout the country, and graduates have been extremely successful in both academia and private practice. The combination of friendly faculty who are enthusiastic about teaching, co-residents that I enjoy spending time with both inside and outside of the hospital, and state-of-the-art facilities/equipment (EyeSi, femtosecond laser, etc.) makes the UW an absolutely incredible ophthalmology residency program.

What are your first impressions of the department and residency program after your first weeks here?
I am so happy to have matched at the University of Wisconsin and I am reminded of this each and every day I come to work. The faculty are extremely helpful and kind, always going out of their way to teach and help further resident training. The patients are also really great to work with and always seem so grateful for everything we are able to offer them. The program really strives to make the transition from intern year to ophthalmology as easy and stress-free as possible. I am truly looking forward to spending the next three years of my residency training here.

What do you enjoy about life in Madison so far?
Some of my favorite things about Madison so far include the Farmers Market on the Square every Saturday, Union Terrace on Lake Mendota, free music concerts and the fact that Madison is extremely bike-friendly. Madison also has a great cost of living compared to many other larger cities. People here are extremely friendly, which makes life in Madison even that much more enjoyable.