By: Jamie Morgenstern
First off, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed the day after some intense work chaos. Can you tell us precisely what you do, for the medical and non-medical folks?
Haha glad you guys got to witness some of that. I am a 5th year (chief) orthopaedic surgery resident at Jefferson. At this point I am finally in my last year of residency training and am currently on a rotation that we do total joint replacements. Next year, I’m off to NYC for my last year of training for a fellowship in sports medicine surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). As sports docs, ACL reconstructions, rotator cuff repairs, shoulder instability repairs and meniscal surgery are our basic bread and butter surgeries. Unique to sports (one of the reasons I chose this as a specialty) we cover sports teams as well. At HSS, we cover the Giants, Rangers, Knicks, Mets and a number of local colleges, which I’m pretty excited about (despite being a die hard Philly sports fan!).
You’ve been a pretty serious runner for quite some time. Tell us how you started running and a little bit about “the journey”?
I initially started running because my parents didn’t want to take me to my three hour gymnastics practices anymore so I joined a local running club called the Ambler Olympic Club (AOC) for XC/track at age 9. We had a pretty competitive team so we traveled to AAU nationals a bunch of times. Got to go to some exciting places like Joplin, Missouri and Cleveland, Ohio…
For high school, I went to Gwynedd Mercy Academy and ran under Larry Wilson who is a local coaching legend. For college, I ran for the College of William and Mary and moved up distances to be mostly a 3 to 5k runner. After college I was pretty burnt out and didn’t race again until I decided to run a marathon my 4th year of medical school. I have slowly been getting back into it over the last two years.
You seem to do an incredible job making it to workouts despite your very demanding job/ What are some tips we can take away from your balancing act?
Being a 5th year resident I know the system well by now so I know what I can and can’t get away with when trying to sneak out for a run. I also always bring a bag of running clothes with me.
What’s the craziest work shift(s) you’ve ever pulled?
Eh honestly we probably don’t work as many long crazy shifts as people think. 36 hours is about the max I’ve done. I had operated all day then was on call at night and a lady basically put her hand in a blender so we spent all night trying to piece it back together and then I operated again all day the next day.
What’s our favorite procedure to perform? Or your most bizarre case to date?
Tendon repairs – achilles, quad, patella, distal biceps, etc.
Your work may have come up as a discussion point during an easy run recently when you weren’t around. Is it true that you get to use power tools — like saws — in surgery?
Ha yes. I used a saw in every case today. My husband laughs about it because he won’t let me go near his power tools at home.
What was your craziest work-to-running workout transition?
When I was training for Philly marathon I did a 20 mile LR in the AM then worked a 24 hr shift and did a 10 mile run after and then went to an Eagles game that evening.
Work-out-wise- when you, Margaret and I did 4×2 miles after a long OR day.
What was your favorite racing moment to date? How about the happiest running-related moment you remember?
For high school, my best memories come from running with my 4×800 relay team. We won states a bunch and qualified for the Championship of America at the Penn Relays.
For college, qualifying as an individual and then a team for Nationals in cross my junior year. W were unranked going into regionals and beat ranked UNC by 2 pts at regionals and got pulled in. We finished 23rd at NCAAs.
With your many years of wisdom from training, and many hours of seeing really screwed up individuals come under the blade, what advice can you give us for staying injury-free (either/or regarding training or everyday life)?
New shoes! They work wonders when things start to hurt. Also, runners usually know themselves pretty well. There are certain injuries you can run through and ones you should take a step back. Learning the difference for yourself is the key to consistency in training and staying healthy.