A Welcome to Ryan McAdams, MD

The Department of Pediatrics is proud to welcome Ryan McAdams, MD, as the new chief of its Division of Neonatology and Newborn Nursery.

An Eau Claire native, Dr. McAdams returns to Wisconsin after serving as an assistant and associate professor at the University of Washington Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology. He joined our department on December 1, 2016.

Above: Dr. McAdams’ painting The Orphans honors AIDS orphans in Zambia. It and an accompanying poem “Baby Cephas” were published in the September 2014 issue of Academic Medicine.
Dr. McAdams’ painting The Orphans honors AIDS
orphans in Zambia. It and an accompanying poem
“Baby Cephas” were published in the September
2014 issue of Academic Medicine.

Professional Interests

Dr. McAdams earned his medical degree in 1998 from the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed a residency in pediatrics in 2002 at David Grant Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California, and a fellowship in neonatology in 2005 at Wilford Hall Medical Center at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

He then served as an attending physician and the neonatology director of education at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Okinawa, Japan. In 2008, he joined the University of Washington faculty.

Dr. McAdams has a deep interest in using evidence-based teamwork systems to optimize patient outcomes. “We want to deliver the best possible care to every newborn and family that we take care of,” he explained. “We do that through models and algorithms that are based on evidence-based medicine and well thought-out approaches, and by doing research that will inform our clinical practice.”

His research has focused on understanding early epigenetic mechanisms that may alter long-term lung and brain development, and determining the potential neurodevelopmental impact of pain and sedation medicines used in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Global Vision

Throughout his career, Dr. McAdams has also worked to improve neonatal outcomes globally through medical humanitarianism in Mongolia, Zambia, Cambodia, Uganda and other developing countries.

Those experiences have influenced him far beyond his professional career. An accomplished painter and poet, Dr. McAdams’ artistic work tells the stories of children and families he’s cared for overseas.

“It’s art with an intention,” he explained. “There’s an element of coping to it, but the real reason I do it is to create something that strikes a chord in someone, makes them aware and motivates them to engage.”

His paintings and poems have been published in the journals Academic Medicine, Obstetrics & Gynecology, JAMA Pediatrics, Medical Humanities and MS/JAMA.

Above: Dr. McAdams’ painting The Girl in Blue and Her Dying Newborn honors a teenaged Ugandan mother and her baby boy, who died the day after Dr. McAdams cared for him. It and an accompanying poem “Girl Mother Blue” were published in the May 2016 issue of Academic Medicine.
Dr. McAdams’ painting The Girl in Blue and
Her Dying Newborn honors a teenaged Ugandan
mother and her baby boy, who died the day
after Dr. McAdams cared for him. It and an
accompanying poem “Girl Mother Blue” were
published in the May 2016 issue of Academic
Medicine.

Servant Leadership

Dr. McAdams is happy to be back among family in Wisconsin, and looks forward to the challenge of being a “servant leader” for his division.

He noted that there is considerable talent among division faculty and staff, and intends to listen, guide and inspire them.

“That opportunity is so much greater than what I could do on my own,” he reflected. “It’s great to be part of a team here, striving to deliver the best care for babies and families in the community, region and state.”