Megan Johnson (DO ‘22) March 8, 2021
Medical Student and American Ninja Warrior Contestant
For most people, the workload of medical school is enough to fill their calendar. From late night study sessions to long days spent
in rotations, determination and motivation are essential characteristics for becoming
a physician. Thankfully, for Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) third-year
Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) student Megan Johnson, she has been honing these skills and applying them to excel,
not just in medical school and her military career, but also in the grueling television
sports competition American Ninja Warrior.
“I was always an athlete but I was inspired to try something new,” said Ms. Johnson
of her decision to apply for the show 3 years ago. For over 10 years, American Ninja
Warrior has pushed competitors to complete a series of increasingly difficult obstacle
courses, in towns and cities across the United States, in hopes of reaching the final
obstacle course in Las Vegas, Nevada and becoming the season’s winner. Before starting
medical school, Ms. Johnson competed in season 10 of the show and then again in season
11. She was invited to compete in season 12 but had to defer for season 13 due to
commitments to the Army. “I decided to apply for the show to step out of my comfort
zone, now I’m hooked on the “ninja community and spirit,” shared Ms. Johnson.
In order to stay in peak physical shape, Ms. Johnson trains almost every day. These
workouts can include a wide variety of things, from rock climbing to parkour, as the
obstacle course for the show is frequently changed. When asked how the show has impacted
her experience in medical school, Ms. Johnson shared, “I think learning new ways to
move my body has allowed me to expand my mind and be a better learner in medical school.”
“As a future physician, I see that the importance of fitness and nutrition is not
stressed as often as it should be, and I’d like to lead by example,” said Ms. Johnson.
“I have met many doctors through the American Ninja Warrior community and many have
become important mentors to me. As a participant in the Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP), Ms. Johnson is looking to specialize in Emergency Medicine and is considering a
Sports Medicine fellowship in the future.
Ms. Johnson attended Saint Joseph’s University for her undergraduate degree. After
graduating with a bachelor of science in accounting, Ms. Johnson decided to pursue
a career in medicine and attended the University of Pennsylvania’s post-baccalaureate
program to complete the required science credits to apply for medical school. Megan
serves as a second lieutenant in the United States Army. She is a native of Reading,
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About Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) has trained thousands
of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists
who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms.
PCOM operates three campuses (PCOM, PCOM Georgia and PCOM South Georgia) and offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, educational psychology, osteopathic
medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in
applied behavior analysis, applied positive psychology, biomedical sciences, forensic
medicine, medical laboratory science, mental health counseling, non profit leadership
and population health management, organizational development and leadership, physician
assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration.
PCOM students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service
to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care
to medically underserved populations. For more information, visit pcom.edu or call 215-871-6100.
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