Catch up with Dr. Philip Kladar, Utah surgery resident (1992-1997)
My name is Dr Philip Kladar, a Utah surgery resident from 1992-1997. My story starts in a small blue-collar town in southern Illinois. My father worked in the same refinery as his father, a Slavic immigrant.
I was fortunate enough to attend the University of Illinois in Champaign to study biology and then onto medical school at Southern Illinois University in Springfield. When it became clear that I was interested in surgery, my faculty in Springfield suggested I consider the University of Utah. Southern Illinois Medical School had two recent graduates attending the surgery program at Utah and I was able to contact both of them. At that time Dr. Bill Faught was just finishing his residency, and Dr. Glenn Winslow was an intern in his first year. Both were very gracious to me and had very good things to say about their training in Salt Lake City. After matching at the Utah program, I joined Glenn in the summer 1992.
Moving West to the mountains of Utah was quite the adventure. I was captivated by the wild places and the abundance of outdoor opportunities. My time in Salt Lake City was well spent, and my training prepared me for the job ahead. I had many good friends during my time there, and was fortunate enough to meet my future wife, Katie. Although I considered many different fellowships, I decided to be a community-based general surgeon with my first job landing in Belleville, Illinois. The group that I joined did a wide variety of general and vascular procedures, and even in 1997, they were doing endovascular procedures. During my first two years, I did additional training in endovascular procedures and through proctors and courses, I was eventually credentialed for wide variety of endoluminal vascular procedures.
Katie and I started our family in the St. Louis area having our first three children before deciding to relocate. At that time, we made the decision to head back out west to raise our family in the mountains. My good friend Dr. Ted Ellison who was a urology resident at the University of Utah during my time in Salt Lake City had settled in Coeur d'Alene Idaho to practice urology. Through his connections with the general surgery group, I interviewed and eventually joined the practice in 2002. Later we were able to add Dr. Marcus Torgenson and Dr. Heidi Jackson, both surgeons from the University Utah. Our group has provided a broad variety of general surgery, trauma care. My arrival marked the first surgeon to perform endovascular procedures. With the addition of a new heart program, the vascular surgery service became busier with a significant amount of growth. In 2014, we started the first full-time vascular surgery practice in North Idaho. At that time, I no longer took general surgery or trauma call focusing only on vascular. With the unrelenting growth in our community, we now have four full-time vascular surgery partners.
During my 20 years here in Idaho, the family has grown to a total of five children. Our youngest 2 are still in high school. We have stayed busy with sports, outdoor activities such as hiking, golf, fly-fishing, and skiing. My beautiful and talented wife Katie has made it possible for me to keep such a busy life while she navigates the hectic schedule of raising five children. I have continued to play guitar and perform live regularly with my friends here in a group known as "Dr. Phil and the Enablers”.
The University of Utah surgery program has had such an enormous impact on many aspects of my life. I have been influenced by dozens of talented attendings, and their knowledge and advise continue to echo through my practice and my younger partners. I have been lucky enough to maintain numerous friendships from fellow residents and they provide a wealth of support and encouragement. And perhaps, most importantly, my family has embraced the healthy and adventurous lifestyle of living in these beautiful mountains.