Meet Dr. Christopher Howson, pain and rehab medicine physician
Thu, Nov 1, 2018
Moving to Wisconsin and starting a career as a pain and rehab medicine physician with BayCare Clinic has been a change for Dr. Christopher Howson, but it’s one he’s happy to have made.
“I went to Ohio State University, a huge academic institution. Then I went to Pittsburgh Medical Center, another huge system. You get lost,” Howson says. “Now, I work in a smaller community and I can talk with patients about day-to-day things. It’s a smaller healthcare system and I also get to know the other doctors better. We have combined care that I feel like you might miss in a bigger place.”
Although he now works as a pain and rehab medicine physician, he considered two different careers before choosing this path.
“In my freshman year of college (at Notre Dame), I enrolled in the School of Engineering. I studied engineering and it was fine and I did OK. My freshman year roommate was pre-med and volunteered at a homeless clinic. I volunteered with him and got hooked that way,” he says. “Calculus and computer science are challenging and I appreciate what engineers do, but I really liked the personal aspect of medicine. That was enough for me and I switched everything.”
Howson first studied anesthesia, but later transitioned to pain management.
“I started off in anesthesiology and used medications and nerve blocks to manage intraoperative and postoperative pain. But the only downside to anesthesiology is you don’t really get to talk to people because if you do your job, most people aren’t going to remember you did it,” he says.
After completing his anesthesiology residency, he did another year of training to specialize in pain management, which ultimately led him to BayCare Clinic.
“We use similar medications and nerve blocks to treat chronic pain. So, now I get the best of both worlds,” Howson says. “I get to use my anesthesiology knowledge and training, but I also get to interact with my patients.”
By having that relationship with patients, Howson feels he’s able to provide them with quality care.
“In pain, you’re treating the pathology - the hip arthritis, spinal stenosis, whatever is going on. But you are also treating the patient’s circumstances. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, the pain is worse. If you’re going through a divorce, if you’re stressed, your pain is worse,” Howson says. “I can’t just treat an MRI or a high blood pressure measurement. I need to look at their life and see what’s making the pain better or worse.”
Away from work, Howson enjoys spending time with his family.
“I have a wife and two children who keep me busy at home. On the weekend, we’re doing a lot of things. That’s one reason why we moved to Wisconsin,” he says. “It’s a nice place to raise kids. We can go fishing, hiking, camping and play soccer in the backyard.”
They also take regular trips to Notre Dame to cheer on his alma mater and pay respects to the “Word of Life” mural on campus. That’s more commonly known as “Touchdown Jesus,” with Jesus Christ’s raised arms clearly visible behind the north end zone of the football stadium.
“I am a diehard Notre Dame fan. I went there for my bachelor’s degree and can’t get enough. I head back to South Bend several times a year for things like football games,” Howson says.
Dr. Christopher Howson is a pain and rehab medicine physician with BayCare Clinic. He sees patients in Green Bay and Marinette.
About BayCare Clinic
BayCare Clinic, baycare.net, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 176-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.