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Megan Johnson (DO ‘22) 
Medical Student and American Ninja Warrior Contestant


March 8, 2021

American ninja warrior contestant and medical student Megan Johnson (DO '22) poses at the eventFor 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.

Female athlete and med student Megan Johnson (DO '22) stands at the starting line of an American Ninja Warrior obstacle courseIn 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, Pennsylvania.

Med student, Army second lieutenant and American Ninja Warrior contestant Megan Johnson

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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.

    For more information, contact:
    Daniel McCunney
    Associate Director, News and Media Relations
    Email: danielmc1@pcom.edu
    Office: 215-871-6304 | Cell: 267-449-1360

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