Tavis Cowan, M.D., is the new medical director of the Occupational Medicine Department, taking over for William Ferguson, M.D., who retired in late August after serving in that role for 22 years.
A family physician who began his career at The Clinic in 2015 in the Immediate Care Center, Dr. Cowan said he wants to build on what Drs. Ferguson and Christopher Swan, the latter currently at Waverly Drive in Albany, and Occupational Medicine Director Diana Hendrickson have accomplished over the years. “I want to continue down the path they have blazed. Hopefully, we can also work even closer with the rest of The Clinic, especially primary care, orthopedics and physical therapy. We want to be a significant resource to help workers stay safe, healthy and productive.”
Dr. Cowan, who grew up in Eastern Oregon and earned his undergraduate degree from Oregon State University, said occupational medicine gives him the chance help people in a key part of their lives. “We spend much of our adult lives at work. Assisting workers and employers to promote safety and healthy living provides a unique opportunity.”
Dr. Cowan heads a department that performs pre-employment health evaluations and required periodic screenings, treats work-related injuries to help get people back to normal function, and guides employers on health and safety issues and injury prevention, which include work-site visits. “We also get to help people stay safe for international travel, as well as working with those who are immigrating to this country,” he said.
Prior to joining The Clinic, Dr. Cowan was a family physician at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont, and at Walk-In Care Center in Colchester, Vermont, from 2010 to 2015. He was also an assistant professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine, Family Medicine Department, from 2010 to 2015.
While in Vermont, he did research on drug-abuse issues for providers, patients and the community, and on transitions of care projects.
From 2003 to 2009, Dr. Cowan was a family physician at Samaritan Health Services and an urgent care physician at Samaritan Pacific Walk-In Clinic in Toledo and Newport, Oregon. From 2000 to 2003, he was an U.S. Air Force flight surgeon and family physician. He was deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2003.
He completed his residency at the University of North Dakota, Minot Center for Family Medicine, in 2000, and was chief resident from 1996 to 1997. He earned his medical degree from Oregon Health Sciences University School of Medicine, Portland, in 1997.
Dr. Cowan and his family enjoy hiking, biking, dragon boat racing, and outrigger canoeing. He also likes to attend musical, dance, and theatrical events.