Megan Conroy, MD, is always burning the candle on both ends. As a third-year pulmonary and critical care fellow at The Ohio State University and a graduate student pursuing a master’s in education, it’s a constant change in how to balance her varying schedule.
When she’s working in the ICU—roughly 7:00 am to 6:00 pm—Dr. Conroy will arrive at the hospital early, spend the day rounding in the ICU doing procedures, and teaching residents. At the end of the day, she’ll work on her master’s schoolwork where she’s specializing in biomedical education to eventually become a clinician-educator.
When she’s not on clinical service or when she’s doing more outpatient work, her days are a little more flexible. Her mornings might start in an outpatient pulmonary clinic with afternoons doing schoolwork and going to class in the evening.
“It varies from week to week depending what the rigors of my clinical schedule are,” Dr. Conroy said. “I’m constantly balancing being a fellow and a student.”
Although her life may be a juggling act, it’s worth it, she says. Dr. Conroy is hoping to build her career as a clinician-educator, teaching undergraduate medical education and graduate medical education.
“I want to strive for a scholarly career doing academic research to try and better the continuum of medical education,” she said.
Dr. Conroy is set to graduate in May of 2020 and is looking forward to transitioning into an attending without supervision, but knows it will be a difficult endeavor.
“I do look forward to that time, but also anticipate a personal and professional growth that will be inevitable with that raise of responsibility,” she said. “There are things that I am shielded from now as a fellow—medical billing, documentation, and so on—and I worry a little bit about what the impact will be on my daily life.”
This makes attending the CHEST Annual Meeting beneficial for her. This is her third year at the meeting, and she finds the clinical updates and plenary sessions useful in shaping her clinical practice. However, the outreach done for trainees is what keeps her coming back.
“The networking and meeting other physicians and trainees with similar missions to what I am finding in my own career have been the most energizing part,” she said.
“We have a Trainee Lounge at the meeting every year. It’s a great place to go to relax and recharge between all the busy sessions and things to learn. It became evident to me that it was an easy place to find familiar faces. Those are some of the people I collaborate with now on CHEST committees, and I find it really exciting to be able to connect at the annual meeting and learn.”
Dr. Conroy is in the middle of 2-year terms on the Trainee Work Group and the Airways Disorders NetWork Steering Committee.
When Dr. Conroy isn’t working or studying, she spends time with her husband and her Labrador outside or running.
“I want to strive for a scholarly career doing academic research to try and better the continuum
of medical education.”
Megan Conroy, MD