Get to Know Your Dermatologist at Meridian Dermatology
Updated: Mar 29
Ryan Harris, MD: Dermatologist, Husband, Father of 5, road biker, triathlete, and more
As your dermatologist at Meridian Dermatology, I feel it is important to give you the opportunity to know more about the person you are trusting to take care of your health and skin needs. That is why I wanted to go above and beyond the typical biography found on a medical website and give you a closer look at my life. While this may be far more information than you want or expect to know about your Dermatologist, I think some of you will enjoy seeing me on the other side of the white coat.
Meet Dr. Harris - The Early Years
I was born in the small town of Arco, ID but spent most of my life in Boise. I attended Summerwind Elementary, Lowell Scott Middle School, and then graduated as a Valedictorian from Centennial High School in 2000. While at Centennial High School, I competed in Football, Basketball, and Track. My teams won State in both football and track and I won state in the 4 x 400m relay and won multiple individual district titles in the hurdling events. I was selected as an All-State cornerback my senior year. I was also an Eagle Scout largely due to my mom making sure I got all the requirements done.
Dr. Harris Goes to College and Abroad
I began a long absence from the state of Idaho when I left to continue my education at Brigham Young University. After a year at BYU, I took a two-year break to serve as a missionary in Ukraine from 2001-2003. I became fluent in Russian (a skill I have since mostly lost, unfortunately). I lived in several cities including Mariupol and Donetsk which have sadly been some of the hardest hit areas in the war with Russia. After my mission I went back to school at BYU and met my wife. She also attended BYU, and we met at a restaurant where we both worked as servers.
Medical School and Beyond
After graduating from BYU, I continued my education at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. I loved living in Virginia and I became a huge Virginia basketball fan. I believe I set the record for most basketball games attended by a medical student during my four years in Charlottesville. Later, I even attended the National Championship game in 2019 when Virginia won their first and only national championship in basketball. My first of many children was born during my last year of medical school.
Next I went on to the University of Pittsburgh for my intern year in Internal Medicine and a research year devoted to clinical trials for new medications and research into melanoma and skin cancer detection. During this time, my oldest child was diagnosed with Leukemia. My son went through 3.5 years of treatment and fortunately he is now an intelligent and healthy soccer/piano playing kid. We are so lucky to have him (and all of our children) in our lives.
Return to Idaho (and a Look at My Cute Kids)
After I completed my Dermatology residency in North Carolina, I finally escaped the humidity to return to the wonderful, dry climate of Idaho. I now truly appreciate the fact that in Idaho, my sweat actually evaporates to cool my body as nature intended. While this does require me to use a lot more lotion than I did out East, I think it is well worth it. My wife and I had 4 additional children along the way and now have 4 boys and an adorable girl sandwiched in the middle. She is my favorite (unless my boys ever read this in which case I love them all the same).
Dr. Harris and His Hobbies
When I am not being a dermatologist or running my kids around to their various soccer, piano, guitar, or dance classes, I enjoy road biking and training for and competing in triathlons and bike races. I have competed in Lotoja 3 times. Lotoja is the longest one-day USA Cycling sanctioned bicycle race in the country where bikers race over 200 miles from Logan, UT to Jackson, WY. In 2019, my hard work paid off and I won Lotoja with a time of 9 hours and 15 minutes (including all bathroom breaks). I have competed in many triathlons including 3 Half-Ironman distance races. When COVID cancelled all races nationally, including the race I was training for in Coeur d'Alene, I even completed my own Half-Ironman distance race because I didn't want all my training to go to waste. I came in first place (out of 1 participant) with a time of 4 hours and 39 minutes for the course that included a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run.
If you are out on the roads at 5 AM, you may see me and my biking friends doing our morning workouts preparing for Lotoja and other races. On average, I typically ride my bike about 5,000 miles in a year. I am always wearing a collection of neon-yellow colored cycling gear with plenty of lights for visibility, so please try not to run over me or any of my cycling friends!
The Woman Who Keeps Me Going
My wonderful and supporting wife is a local fitness instructor in addition to being an amazing mother of 5 children. She teaches classes at multiple gyms and is basically a local fitness celebrity (or at least it seems that way to me since everywhere we go people know her from the gym and sing her praises to me). She is always posting to Instagram and you can follow her at @cherylharrisfitness if you want to see her in action. Better yet, go to one of her classes and experience her awesomeness in person. If you are lucky, you may even catch her at our clinic from time to time.
If You Made it this Far, Congratulations!
I hope you enjoyed getting to know more about me. I feel very fortunate to live in such a wonderful place with such a great family and to be doing exactly what I want to be doing in practicing Dermatology. I take great pride in providing all my patients with the best care possible and look forward to getting to know you just as you got to know me. Thanks for reading and welcome to Meridian Dermatology!