Ryann Cowart, MD
I grew up in the beautiful hostess city of the south, Savannah, GA, before moving to the Great Smoky mountains in Murphy, NC for my high school years. I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC (Go Catamounts!). After that, I moved to Winston Salem to attend medical school at Wake Forest University.
When I began interviewing for residency, I knew what I was hoping to find in a program and a place: a teaching hospital, caring family doctors, beautiful city, great places to eat, lots of outdoor activities and dog friendly. From the moment I interviewed at UVA, I knew I had found the right fit! The Family Medicine program at UVA is unbelievably strong, and on a daily basis I feel so privileged to be a part of it. My co-residents are some of the most amazing, interesting and talented people I have ever met. They serve as both my friends and mentors. Additionally, our faculty is in a league of its own. They are all incredibly smart and gifted teachers while also being compassionate and caring people. Everyone in the UVA Family Medicine department is invested in us academically as well as in helping us maintain our physical and emotional health. For me, the hardest part about residency is being 8+ hours away from my family. Thankfully, both my co-residents and faculty have become my extended family and they make every day here fun and interesting.
Of the many things that make UVA Family Medicine stand out, one of the most unique is our experience with refugee patients. Charlottesville is one of a limited number of refugee resettlement locations in the US. Through our International Family Medicine Clinic and partnership with the International Rescue Committee we have the unique opportunity to work with both brand new refugees just arriving in the US as well as refugees who have lived in the US for some time. This is by far one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of residency for me so far! Furthermore, the Global Health Leadership Track offers interested residents the opportunity to delve more deeply into global health issues and experiences. As part of this track we have the opportunity to attend quarterly dinners with guest speakers, monthly journal clubs, annual two-week courses in global health policy and month-long international rotations during second and third year. If you are interested in making global health a part of your career in medicine long-term or if you are just interested in a one-of-a-kind learning opportunity during residency, then this is a truly amazing program.
In my spare time, I love to spend time with my growing brood of four legged companions (I’m up to 2 dogs and 1 cat at last count). I am a huge advocate for animal rescue! At some point you will hear me on my soap box preaching: 1) Adopt Don’t Shop 2) Spay and Neuter your animals. J I also really enjoy eating, trying new restaurants, exploring local breweries/vineyards, hiking, live music, sports (especially Nascar and Football) and catching up with friends or family as much as possible. Charlottesville has no shortage of fun things to do and no matter what you are interested in, there is something for everyone.
Making the decision about where to go for residency is a difficult one. For me, UVA Family Medicine and Charlottesville were absolutely the right fit and I can’t imagine having landed anywhere else. I wish you all the best of luck! If you have any questions about anything at all, feel free to email me. I look forward to meeting you during interview season.