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Where are they now? Andrew Kastenmeier (2010)

Catch up with Andrew Kastenmeier (2010)

Andrew Kastenmeier and family

I trained at the University of Utah from 2004-2010. It has been nearly 20 years since the start of my intern year but the memories remain clear. My first month was on the burn unit, and I was a terrible intern. But the University of Utah general surgery residency produces great surgeons, so there was no other option but to get to work early, stay late, work hard, improve and advance. Our residents were a tight-knit group. I will always have so much love for all my co-residents, especially those in my graduating class: Dinhkim Le, Sarah Vogler, Danielle Adams, and Heidi Jackson. During my chief year of residency, my father became quite ill. My parents were unable to attend my residency graduation, but I remember that Dr. Vargo, Dr. Scaife (Courtney), and Dr. Nelson offered to sit at my table that night as my family. It meant a lot to me. 

After residency I went to Portland, OR for a fellowship in Advanced GI MIS and Endoscopic Surgery at Legacy Health. The draw of family is ultimately what brought me back to Wisconsin and I took my first faculty position at the Medical College of Wisconsin in the Division of Minimally Invasive Gastrointestinal Surgery where I remain today.

My clinical practice includes treatment of benign foregut disorders, therapeutic endoscopy, hernia repair, abdominal wall reconstruction, and a smattering of general surgery. My other interest and my academic focus has been in surgical education. I serve as the Chief of the Division of Education for the Department of Surgery where I provide support and oversight for the medical student programs, the residency program, the fellowship programs, and a variety of different trainee and faculty development programs. I am also the Program Director for the Advanced GI MIS and Bariatric Fellowship, and am involved in a variety of projects through the ACS Division of Education such as the Comprehensive General Surgery Review Course, SESAP, the ACS Core General Surgery Review for Residents, and the ACS/ASE Medical Student Core Curriculum. I have no doubt that my interest in surgical education is a direct result from what was modeled by the faculty and the senior residents who I worked with during residency, and I am forever grateful to them. 

I love being a surgeon; but being a husband, a dad and a son is the best. I met my wife Cathyyen Dang while I was a resident in Salt Lake City. She obtained her PharmD and later completed her critical care pharmacy residency at the University of Utah, and then worked as a critical care pharmacist in the SICU. We had great adventures in Utah, and we both have a special place in our hearts for SLC and the University of Utah. She is now an emergency medicine pharmacist and is the program director for the emergency medicine pharmacy residency program at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee. We have 2 boys: Drew (7) and Van (4). Cathyyen’s parents still live in SLC and we visit once or twice each year. The boys love snowboarding so one of our trips is always in January/February during the Lunar New Year.