Meet Those Nerdy Girls: Dr. Megan Madsen

Women in STEM

It’s time to meet another one of Those Nerdy Girls. This time we are delighted to introduce Dr. Megan Madsen, D.O. 👩‍⚕️ What’s a D.O.? We’re so glad you asked. It stands for Doctor of Osteopathy.

Dr. Madsen says:

“Our education mirrors M.D. programs for medical curriculum, and we also get extra training in musculoskeletal system evaluation and hands-on treatment called Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy. We’re subject to the same licensing requirements and board certification as an M.D. and can practice in any specialty in the United States. There are awesome D.O.s across all branches of medicine, but I think we really shine in primary care. 🩺 Our training focuses on treating the whole person and the awareness of the connection between mind, body and physical health!”

Dr. Madsen was drawn to medicine after an experience in her senior year of high school. “The top anatomy students were given the opportunity to observe open-heart surgery as a reward for a year’s hard work. I had never seen anything so amazing and it put the idea of medicine in the back of my brain.” 💖🧠💥

Her next move, obviously, was to enroll in Kent State University to pursue a dance major. 🩰

Eventually, she transitioned to psychology and started considering medical school more seriously. When the time came to apply to medical programs, she says she was drawn to primary care and preventive medicine, “where the whole patient as a person is kept central to the care plan. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine provided me with exactly that – an excellent education which served as a foundation for pursuing a career as a primary care physician.”

She completed her residency in Family Medicine and fellowship in Geriatric Medicine at Abington-Jefferson Hospital. Today, she is a board-certified physician at Penn Medicine. She specializes in family medicine and geriatrics.

🟣 What do you miss most from the Before Times?

“Easy access to child care!! 👶 As a parent with a ‘COVID baby’ born in April 2020, so much of these last 2 years has been spent figuring and reconfiguring a plan to make sure my 2 boys are safe and cared for so I can be at work.”

🟣 What is one thing you really do not miss?

“I’m pretty introverted at baseline, so I don’t mind the opportunity to go out less! Also, all these years of school were really expensive, and it’s pretty nice that some student loan payments have been suspended for now.”

🟣 What is your superpower? 🦸

“I’m really practical and good at making the best of what tools I have available to me. 🧰 This is a highly useful skill both in primary care and as a parent when sometimes you just have to make it up as you go along.”

🟣 Thinking back over these last two years, what has been a turning point for you?

“We moved our family from a row house on a city block to a place in the suburbs with a big wooded backyard, and it was the best decision we made during the pandemic. Easy access to the outdoors has been key for my family’s best physical and mental health.” 🍂🦊

🟣 What is one thing you’re looking forward to in 2022?

“I’d like to travel again! 🛫Pre-pandemic I had some great opportunities to travel, including a 6 month stretch of living in New Zealand. I really hope we can resume safely traveling soon so I can show my boys other parts of the world.”

🟣 Why do you spend your time volunteering at Dear Pandemic instead of doing… whatever else you could be doing with your free time?

“I am a long time fan of this group, lucky enough to become a contributor. I have spent the pandemic counseling my individual patients about all the same things Those Nerdy Girls are so eloquently writing about. I have talked to EVERY PATIENT I’ve seen for an appointment since December 2020 about COVID vaccine – I’m not exaggerating, I’ve made it a point to discuss at every single office visit. Thankfully, lately it’s often a brief conversation, “And you’ve been vaccinated? Good.” We’ve come a long way since March 2020. These one-on-one conversations are so valuable, but we need to reach people on a larger scale to be effective at carrying the message. People want quality scientific information, and they need it presented in an accessible, digestible way. Dear Pandemic provides that, and I’m proud to contribute.”

Dr. Madsen is also a mom to two boys, ages 2 and 5. She and her husband (a pediatric surgeon) have been together since the 11th grade. Though she lives in the Philadelphia area now, they grew up in Pittsburgh and will not quit supporting Pittsburgh teams no matter what. 💛❤️💙

She loves French fries and animals, and she says “I am an optimist at my core and I think we can find common ground with almost anyone by looking for the good in people and operating from an assumption that they are currently doing their best.”

We agree! Thank you Dr. Madsen for all your contributions. 👏🏼👏🏼

~ Malia

Learn more about Dr. Madsen here.

Kent State University Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Abington Jefferson Hospital Penn Medicine

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