Alyson McGregor | Women's Health Pioneer

Alyson McGregor is a graduate of Boston University School of Medicine and Brown University Emergency Medicine Residency. Dr. McGregor is the Director for the Division of Sex and Gender in Emergency Medicine (SGEM), formerly Women’s Health in Emergency Care, at Alpert Medical School Department of Emergency Medicine and Co-Director for SGEM Fellowship. Dr. McGregor is an attending physician at Rhode Island Hospital. Research interests include evaluating sex and gender differences in emergency medicine and women’s health.
Her group’s aim is to establish research and educational endeavours that promote sex- and gender-specific medicine and women’s health as they relate to emergency care. Dr. McGregor received her medical degree at Boston University School of Medicine and residency training at Brown, where she continues to work as an attending physician at RI Hospital Emergency Department. Dr. McGregor is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and also serves as co-director for the SGEM Fellowship and co-founder of the national organization Sex and Gender Women’s Health Collaborative.


My Definition of Success | My definition of success has always been to create a set of goals and then to achieve those goals. My goals have been as limited as returning an email, or larger, such as attending a national conference, or even more intensive: conducting a research project and publishing the results.  My definition has not changed for me over the years, but I now create goals that have wider impact, such as improving health care for women and inspiring others to collaborate with me in pursuit of my goals.


Alyson-McGregor-1I Am Driven By | I am driven by the impact that my work will have on improving people’s lives. From saving the life of an individual patient in the emergency department to improving the lives of many patients by incorporating sex and gender into medical  research, education and health care delivery.

 


A Key Talent | Those things which I am most passionate about motivate me the most. Having a passion for women’s health led me to an appreciation that women’s health encompassed more then what could be defined within the limited boundaries of reproductive and obstetric biology. In order to be an effective leader, one must find passion in both what they are doing and the process of doing it. This passion influences others to join your cause.


How I Use My Mind | I believe that a person’s mindset impacts of their health, work, and life.  Maintaining a positive viewpoint can have a surprisingly powerful domino-like effect drawing increasingly positive elements into one’s environment. When we think about positive people in our life, we immediately perceive that they radiate an energy that opens them up to developing new skills and attracts and motivates other positive people, leading to new opportunities and, often a chain reaction.


Lessons I Have Learnt | Practicing yoga has helped me hear important life messages, such as, ‘live in the present moment’ and ‘practice the art of non-attachment’.  If we are not attached to the outcome, then whatever occurs is meant to be.  Once we let go in this way, we let go of stress, allow creativity to enter, and, often, what we accomplish is even greater than what we intended or imagined.  This is, of course, a journey; that is why it’s called “practicing” yoga.


Alyson-McGregor-2Dealing With Doubt | When I first began my career, very few people had heard of sex and gender based medicine. Still, to this day, many people challenge its importance for the delivery of patient care.  It is often difficult to create awareness and to convince people when they are entrenched in their beliefs (think ‘Global Warming’).  I could have easily retreated in this effort, but, instead, continue to surround myself with like-minded individuals who inspire me to continue to educate and advocate.


Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | I find becoming involved in local, regional, and national organizations to be incredibly inspiring.  Sharing ideas, building networks, achieving committee goals can bring about amazing accomplishments that could never have been imagined or realized without collaborative effort.  And, of course, there are the connections that I have made while working with others that have become a source of inspiration, support and friendship.


The Meaning of Life | As a practicing emergency physician, I have a unique look into the best and the worst that life can bring. I see can see tragedy and pain in one moment and the miracle of life in the next.  My work reinforces my deep seated belief that I must find joy in whatever it is that I am doing in this moment.


Alyson-McGregor-3Best Advice I’ve Received | The best advice comes from within, during the quiet moments. Allow yourself the time to hear your own voice.  It’s usually leading you on the correct path.

 

 


The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | I would like my legacy to be a universal acceptance by the medical community and the lay public at large that sex and gender matter in medicine; that researchers examine how women and men are different; that educators incorporate this knowledge into the teachings of future health care providers; and that the delivery of medical care is always personalized and tailored to account for a patient’s sex and gender.