Neither Ryan Unger nor Chris Bowlin intended to become physicians, but life has a way of changing plans.
Unger, who grew up in South Knoxville, started out selling college meal packages and then lab supplies before deciding he wanted to challenge himself with medical school. He is now a family practice physician.
Bowlin, who spent much of his childhood in West Knoxville, intended to follow his father on an engineering career path then switched to pre-med, ultimately pursuing podiatry thanks to the influence of a family friend.
Both came back home to launch their practices, found each other and have recently opened Faculty Physicians, a new medical office affiliated with Healthstar Physicians, on the Provision campus.
“What both of us offer is a good approach to medicine and a good understanding of patients,” says Unger. “Chris and I both agreed, we want to build an old-fashioned medical practice here in Knoxville. We want this to be our first practice and our last practice.”
Bowlin offers comprehensive foot and ankle care and specializes in surgery that can range from orthopedics to reconstruction for adult and pediatric patients. He also treats any other issues associated with foot health. Unger practices family medicine for patients of all ages. Both are certified wound care specialists.
The doctors say their practices complement each other, as foot and ankle problems are often symptomatic of chronic diseases that require the management of a primary care physician and vice versa. Their styles of practice are compatible as well, as they share the common goal of providing patient-centric, innovative, lifestyle-oriented health care.
“We both want to be able to take time talking with and listening to our patients.” Bowlin says. “In addition to treating patients’ immediate medical needs, we want to teach them to be good stewards of their health.”