Get to Know Ryan Enke, MD

Posted on: March 17th, 2017 by Dr. Ryan C. Enke

When choosing a physician, it’s important to know not only their credentials, but also why they do what they do. You can read our physicians’ bios on our website. However, we thought we’d dig a little deeper to find out what makes them tick. Why did they choose their specialty? When was the moment in their training they realized, “hey, I’m a doctor,”? Or even, what’s their favorite food? We pose these and other questions to our physicians for this monthly series so you can get to know better the physicians at OrthoIllinois.

First up is Ryan Enke, MD. Dr. Enke’s specialties are Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the OrthoIllinois Run Right Running Clinic. Here’s more about Dr. Enke:

When did you realize you wanted to be a doctor?

About halfway through college I had a door close on another career path and doors to a career in medicine started opening. It was a real blessing for me as I really did not consider becoming a doctor until that happened.

What led you to your choice of specialty?

I really enjoy a comprehensive approach to patient care, collaboration, exercise-based treatments, and helping patients reach a higher level of function. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation allows me to do this, with a focus on improving the quality of life of the patients I treat.

During your medical training, what was the moment when you realized, ‘I’m a doctor!’

On one of the first nights on call as an intern, right after medical school, I was paged from the medical floor. On top of the three new admissions from the ER, a previously admitted patient was having new chest pain. It was at that point it kind of hit me on the awesome responsibility you are trusted with as a doctor.

What is the most amazing innovation you’ve seen in your medical career?

The current movement towards more targeted biological injection treatments has remarkable potential. For example, there are many emerging treatments using your body’s stem cells, growth factors, and other concentrated blood plasma, to be injected into damaged tissues and joints. In the future, this could lead to repair of damaged tissue, rather than just a way to control pain with injections.

How do you like to unwind? Do you have any hobbies?

Running is my primary way to unwind. I enjoy anything outdoors, including hiking, biking, gardening and camping. My gardening project this year includes growing a giant pumpkin, which I have always wanted to do. I am a huge Cincinnati Bengals fan as well, which turns out is not always a good way to unwind! I always look forward to spending as much time with my family as I can.

What do you read for fun?

I enjoy reading biographies, history, and non-fiction books.

What is your favorite movie? What kind of music do you listen to?

My favorite movie of all time is Rudy. I love the underdog story, and the persistence and courage to believe in your dreams that Rudy had. I listen to a variety of music including Christian, Country, 80’s and 90’s music, as well as Pop.

What is your favorite restaurant/food?

I love Italian food, pizza, and pasta. Lino’s, Francesco’s, and Panino’s are my favorite spots in Rockford.

Name two of your favorite apps on your phone

Yahoo fantasy football and NFL mobile

What would you say distinguishes you and your practice from others? 

Because I am a runner, I have an understanding of how frustrating an injury can be and how it can affect many aspects of a patient’s life. It allows me to better understand the challenges that injured athletes, workers, or individuals face.

What would you like all your patients to know about the care you provide?

It’s very important to me that my patients are included in treatment decisions. Although standardized treatment protocols provide an outline for high quality patient care, I feel we achieve the highest standard of care when all factors are considered and the patient is part of the process of designing treatment plans for his or her individual needs.

Did you have a mentor during medical school or early on in your career? 

During my residency at Mayo Clinic, Dr. Edward Laskowski was a great role model for me. He had a way of explaining things to patients in an easy to understand yet highly informative manner. He was an outstanding teacher and even better person to know and work with.

Why should a patient choose you as their doctor?

A positive doctor/patient relationship is critical for success. Both sides need to trust each other and be on the same page. When patients choose me as their physician, they get a doctor who takes a comprehensive approach, listens to their concerns and develops the best possible treatment plan for whatever injury, pain, or health challenge being faced.

It is my goal to help my patients achieve more than just pain management. I work with them, using a variety of treatment and rehabilitation methods to optimize their functionality and quality of life.


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