I am Dr. Megan Stobart-Gallagher, Assistant Residency Director: How I Stay Healthy in EM
Dr. Megan Stobart-Gallagher is an emergency physician from Philadelphia. She balances multiple roles outside the ED: Undergraduate Medical Director, Assistant Residency Director, and best of all, Mom. Staying active and spending time with family helps Dr. Stobart-Gallagher stay centered and appreciate why she pursued EM in the first place. Here’s how she stays healthy in EM!
- Name: Megan Stobart-Gallagher, DO
- Location: Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia
- Current job(s): Undergraduate Medical Director and Assistant Residency Director
- 1 word that describes how you stay healthy: Laughter
- Primary behavior/activity to help de-stress: Singing Broadway Show tunes obnoxiously while driving home from a shift. In another life, I am a waitress in NYC just waiting to be discovered!
What are the top 3 ways you keep healthy?
- Me time. Every single week I make sure to schedule time for myself and time with my family. I run 2 or 3 times each week, and try to keep a race on the calendar so that I always have a goal and extra motivation. My husband and I did the Broad Street 10 Miler! On the weekends we try to do at least 1 family dinner all together and 1 planned activity with the kids. The girls love hiking, gardening, and just being outside – we avoid television at all costs!
- Laughter. Laugh everyday.
- Listen. Sit down with patients and just listen. They remind me of the reasons I signed up to do this job in the first place.
What is your ideal workout?
Running or hiking in Fairmount Park. We have an awesome trail system in Philadelphia that is easily accessible. I try to squeeze in a few miles at least once or more each week. My cross training is carrying a 5-year-old in a jogging stroller – it’s no joke!
Do you track your fitness? How?
My husband gave me a FitBit Alta last year for Mother’s Day and it has been amazing! It gets me up every hour during an office day, and gave me perspective on how active I am on a clinical shift in comparison to a day at home! It motivates me to get up in the department even more! Some of the providers in our ED, we challenge each other on our FitBits to see who can get the most steps in a shift, weekend, or over an entire week. I also use the Strava app for running and hiking, and love the Samsung Healthy app on my Android for monitoring my heart rate on hot days.
How do you prepare for a night shift? How do you recover from one?
This is always a challenge because I am a terrible napper! Our nights are grouped together, but the first night in a string is always the most challenging. I tend to stay awake most of the day with a short nap after dinner to spend more time with my family. When I get home after this first night, I turn on the TV and unwind with my terrible affinity for the Real Housewives (insert city here). Then I sleep like a baby between nights in a guest room at our house that is pitch black and away from distractions! At the end of the string, a big home cooked meal (hopefully pasta!) with family is the best recovery.
How do you avoid getting “hangry” (angry due to hunger) on shift?
My residency classmates will laugh that I still do this, but there is a large stash of emergency fruit snacks, kits kat bars, and cherry coke zero in my locker at all times. It certainly comes in handy – both for my hangry moments and the residents’!
How do you ensure you are mentally in check?
My husband and best friend Richie G. He is never afraid to tell me to “get my s*** together!” when suddenly I am overwhelmed, and need to do something for myself. He gets me out to go for a jog or introduces me to new music to keep me going. He also recently adopted my childhood piano for our home so I predict that I will be playing chopsticks at all hours of the day now to annoy my neighbors. Keeping those hobbies and activities outside of medicine that helped shape you is vital to survival and maintaining a steady state. It reminds me of the person I have always been and want to be.
What are the biggest challenges you face in maintaining a longstanding career in EM? How do you address these challenges?
- Saying “no” when exciting projects or new opportunities come up, or when anyone asks for help. I have to make a pro/con list for almost every new thing that crosses my path.
- Avoiding “Mom Guilt.” This will be a challenge I face forever, but I look at my 2 beautiful girls and know that I am making them proud and paving the way for their future of equality in society! I may miss a camp show, or a back to school night, but I will always be there when they need me.
Best advice you have received for maintaining health?
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Schedule time for yourself!
Who would you love for us to track down to answer these questions?
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