Provider Feature: Ryan C. Ollerton, D.O.
Dr. Ollerton is from Springville and attended Brigham Young University, where he met his wife. He graduated from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and continued on to complete his residency at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Between Medical School and residency he served as flight surgeon in the United States Air Force. Dr. Ollerton has been a practicing physician since 2007 and is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. He loves spending time with his wife and 4 children. They enjoy camping, boating, skiing, hiking and listening to country music. He has a few funny stories for you, so don’t stop reading here!
Why did you choose to become an OBGYN?
I went to Medical School to become an ER doctor. While I was doing my third year rotations in the ER, it was terrible and I hated it. I came home to my wife and told her that we had made a terrible mistake! Luckily that was just one of our rotations. The Internal Medicine rotation was almost just as bad. One of our required rotations was Obstetrics and every medical student has to complete it. I was in Ohio at the time and loved it, which kind of threw me off guard. The shifts went by fast even though they were long. An 8-hour shift in the ER felt like 7 days, but a 24-hour shift in Labor and Delivery felt like only 8 hours. It went fast! After that, I went to my wife and said, “Would you be weirded out if I was an OB/GYN?” She responded with a, “I think that would be really cool!”
One funny thing during that third rotation while I was doing Obstetrics is that I was assigned to work with a Second Year Resident for the entire month. That resident was Dr. Bean! He was my Resident and that’s where we met. We both went our separate ways in the Air Force and now we are practicing together!
Do you remember the first time you delivered a baby?
I remember that rotation with Dr. Bean in Ohio. There was a woman and her husband who didn’t speak any English and I didn’t speak any Spanish. I remember sitting in the back of the room observing. She was exhausted and when she finally delivered, everyone was so happy! I was just sitting in the background crying. At that point, I hadn’t seen a delivery other than my own children, which was emotional. In the delivery room with my wife I remember looking at our OB thinking, “This guy is awesome”!
What is your favorite thing about being an OB?
The things that I love the most is the doctor-to-patient relationship. It doesn’t happen in the ER and I didn’t know that. When I decided I wanted to be an ER doctor, it was because I saw the shift work. You come in, check in and check out—you aren’t always tied to the hospital. You get to do “exciting stuff”, or so I thought. My ER rotation was in Detroit, sot he ER was filled with a lot of alcohol or drug related issues and people who were demanding and unappreciative. After they left, you wouldn’t often see them again. In Obstetrics, you have people come back to you again and again. You create lifelong relationships. I think that’s why I ultimately went into medicine. I draw my most satisfaction from seeing patients a lot and getting to know them. You become a little family.
What is the benefit to Valley Women’s Health group practice model?
Having a group of great providers provides so much safety for us and the patients. The biggest advantage to a group practices is better patient care!
First off, you don’t have doctor’s who are too tired. It’s been proven that doctor’s who work beyond the 24-hour mark don’t function or perform as well. In fact, they’ve made laws in Residency that keep a doctor from being up for more than 24 hours. There are other practices in the area where the doctor’s are up for days on end. Safety is important!
Second, no single doctor is as smart as they think they are. When we have complex issues, we are having 3 or 4 sets of different people seeing the same scenario. It’s more cognitive input on all of our patients. Even if something comes up that is beyond us, we sit down and conference about it.
Many people don’t realize that even solo practitioners bring in other doctor’s to back them up if they are out of town, sick or have been on-call for many days. Solo practitioners only make it to 75% of their deliveries. A group practice isn’t that different and keeps everyone more safe.
What is your bedside manner?
I think I’m easy to talk to. It begins in the office before the delivery room. I try to be myself with patients. I don’t try to have a “doctor” personality. My daughter works here as a Medical Assistant and people will ask her how I’m different at work versus at home. She’s tells them I’m the same and that I have the same dumb jokes! One thing that I try to do, especially when I get to Labor & Delivery and regardless of how my day is going, is to think, “This is their special day!”
What do you wish all women could know?
I would like them to know that, especially when it comes to Obstetrics, that everyone is on their team. Some people come in thinking they can’t trust us, especially when they come into Labor & Delivery. I always laugh when I ask someone if they want medicine and they ask me if it’s going to hurt the baby. Why would we give you anything that’s going to hurt your baby? I want your baby to be healthy and I don’t want to cause any problems. It’s kind of a natural thing for a patient to ask, but of course, we’re on the same team! I don’t want you to have a c-section. It’s not that I’m c-section happy. Of course, if that’s the best thing for you and your baby, for whatever reason, I’m going to tell you. We don’t want to put the baby at risk. The concern of the doctor is for the mom and the baby.
Tell us about your family.
I grew up in Springville and my wife grew up in Sandy. We both went to Brigham Young University, which is where we met. My mom actually set us up! My wife was in one of my mom’s dance classes at BYU and had also been in the movie Saturday’s Warrior in the 1989 version. She’s Julie in the movie! My mom asked her if she’d go out with me. We dated for 9 months before getting married. We finished BYU together and graduated on the same day. She graduated in Musical Dance Theater and has taught voice lesson ever since we left.
We went to Des Moines, Iowa for Medical School, which is where I met Scott Rees.we went to school together there. Then I did Residency in Phoenix, Arizona at Banner Good Samaritan. Medical School and Residency were were split up by 3 years in the Air Force. I was a little different than the other guys that did the Air Force. The 4 of them did OB in the Air Force. I finished Medical School and then worked 3 years as a flight surgeon. It was Medical School, an internship at Michigan State, 3 years as a flight surgeon in South Dakota in a B1 Bomber Squadron and deployed to the current war when it first started (stationed in Oman), then came back to complete my Obstetrics Residency in Phoenix and joined Valley Women’s Health in 2007.
We have 4 children—3 boys and 1 girl. We started having children right after we graduated from BYU. My oldest son (Easton) served an LDS mission in Chile and is currently attending school at Utah Valley University. My daughter (Rylie) served an LDS mission in Argentina and is now in Nursing School at BYU. My third child (Sawyer) just returned from his LDS mission in Mexico. And my youngest son (Landon) is a in high school. We live in Alpine. We lived in Highland for 9 years and then built a home in Alpine a couple year ago. Between Medical School, Residency and the Air Force, we’ve lived in 7 different states.
What are your hobbies?
We have a lot of hobbies! That’s one thing that is nice about having a group practice is that Obstetrics doesn’t dominate everything. We’re involved in church. I’m in a Bishopric down at BYU right now. That’s been really fun. I love it!
We do a lot of things with family. We go down to Lake Powell every year. That’s our favorite thing to do. We go down with 2 other families and have been doing that for about 15 years now. We have a week on a houseboat in July and another week on a houseboat in August. We go down there with two high school buddies of mine.
I like to hike. I like to hunt. One of my son’s and I recently got into that.I like to camp. We like to travel. We love the outdoors. We ski. I like to camp. I go to musical’s with my wife. Utah is perfect!
What are your favorite treats?
Diet Mountain Dew with coconut is my current thing. I like candy (not sour) and chocolate. Black and brown Licorice are may favorite!
What is your favorite music to listen to?
I love country music. That’s probably what I listen to the most. Camping with a cowboy hat and boots and country music is just the best! I grew up on old country music like Alabama and Garth Brooks. That’s what got me started liking it. I currently listen to a lot of Brad Paisley, Toby Keith and Carrie Underwood. My youngest son grew up during my Toby Keith phase. When he was in 5th grade, he had to do a report on a famous American. He didn’t know who to choose, so he did it on Toby Keith. He had to make posters and give his report in front of his class. We have pictures and the poster had the names of Toby Keith’s songs, which were all probably a little inappropriate for 5th graders. It was so funny! He came home and was so sad that no one knew who Toby Keith was. I was in the Air Force and Toby Keith has a lot of patriotic songs so he thought he was just this really patriotic American.
I also love 80’s music. My kids love my 80’s music too!