Back to Who We Are
Ryan Byrne, M.D.
Medical School: Baylor College of Medicine
College: Texas A&M University
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Ryan was born and raised in the great state of Texas. It was growing up in the Dallas suburbs where he was spoiled by the success of the 1990’s Dallas Cowboys and now subsequently believes (in vain) that every year they are destined to win another Super Bowl. As a third generation Aggie, Ryan was happily brainwashed since birth to attend college at Texas A&M University where he would major in psychology. There, he met his future wife, Brittany, and despite being completely out of his league, somehow convinced her to marry him in his second year of medical school at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. After medical school, Ryan and Brittany two-stepped their way from Texas to Tennessee to join the Vanderbilt Med-Peds family. During residency, Ryan solidified his plans to pursue a career in adult congenital heart disease, developed a passion for medical education, and was blessed by the births of his two daughters, Grace (3) and Riley (1).
In his spare time, Ryan enjoys running at the local park, caring way too much about fantasy football, and spending time with his family. He could not be more excited for his chief year!
McKenzie Vater, M.D.
Medical School: University of Louisville School of Medicine
College:Northern Kentucky University
Hometown: Alexandria, Kentucky
McKenzie grew up in the small town of Alexandria in Northern Kentucky. She spent her childhood playing sports and boating in the ever-sanitary Ohio River while learning one of her favorite pastimes: water sports. She stayed in the area for college, where she was a member of the Northern Kentucky Dance Team (put your Norse up!), and graduated with a major in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Spanish. McKenzie’s background in the language and her first medical mission to Honduras sparked her interest in global health. She ventured a bit down the river to complete her medical education at the University of Louisville, but remained a loyal Wildcat fan and always will. Despite her best efforts, McKenzie fell for fellow classmate, Lee, who stole her heart on a dance floor in Ecuador. She is excited to finally call him her husband, and hopefully convince him to get a cat.
During residency, McKenzie grew fond of clinical conundrums and the mysterious and rewarding field of rheumatology as well as medical education. She is honored to be selected as chief and continue her involvement with resident education and wellness at Vanderbilt. If she is not in the chief office, you can find her running around McCabe Park, participating in co-ed intramural sports, biking on the Greenway, dancing along to live music at Ascend Amphitheater (favorites include Thomas Rhett and Dan and Shay) or eating chocolate from the residency office candy drawer. She is super pumped for chief year!