Dr. McGregor joined Akron Children’s Hospital in January as chief medical officer.
“My role will be to bring a physician’s perspective to the highest level of the organization as we move forward with the hospital’s goals and objectives,” said Dr. McGregor. “Clearly, quality has to be paramount in all that we do.”
Dr. McGregor comes to Akron Children’s from St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, where he served as the pediatrician-in-chief and interim chair of pediatrics. He was also professor of pediatrics at the Drexel University College of Medicine.
Dr. McGregor earned his medical degree from Penn State and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Pittsburgh’s Children’s Hospital. He also completed post-doctoral training in physician leadership development at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Recently I had the opportunity to get to know Dr. McGregor a little better. Read the Q&A below to learn more about his interests and what drives him.
Me: When you aren’t working, what do you do to relax and have fun?
Dr. McGregor: Cooking with my wife and exploring new restaurants with friends. I am an avid exercise buff, both cardio and weight lifting. Up until my move, I volunteered in an inner city youth program promoting “values through sports” and I also am a huge football fan (but I had best not divulge my colors yet).
Me: Tell us a little bit about your family.
Dr. McGregor: My wife, Sharon, and I have been married for 32 years and met when we interviewed for medical school on the same day at our eventual alma mater. Our oldest daughter Ali, graduates from medical school this spring and is awaiting the match for OB-GYN. Our youngest, Abby is returning to college for a second degree in an accelerated nursing program – most likely in Philadelphia.
Me: What are you most looking forward to when it comes to living in the Akron area?
Dr. McGregor: After almost 20 years in Philadelphia, I am looking forward to living in a community that is more like where I grew up in western Pennsylvania. The people I have met so far have been remarkably friendly and accommodating and I look forward to making new friendships. I have little extended family but my sister’s two daughters live equidistant from me now – one is in Rochester, New York and the other in Lexington, Kentucky.
Me: Who would you consider your mentor to be?
Dr. McGregor: While I have many from different eras of my life, one of my first true mentors was my program director and chair while I trained and worked at Pittsburgh Children’s, Tim Oliver. Retired pediatric educator and leader, Ken Roberts has also been one of my long-lasting mentors. Despite his recent retirement, we still keep in touch via e-mail.
Me: What are some of the big, future challenges doctors will face in the years to come?
Dr. McGregor: We are facing a real paradigm shift, moving from traditional “sick care” to truly providing comprehensive health maintenance. Accountable care is an important step in making that shift and the blueprint is being written as we go.
Me: Do you have an iPad (or other tablet device)? If so, what are your favorite apps?
Dr. McGregor: I have become most attached to my iPad in the brief time I have gone higher tech (only the past nine months). So far, I use mainly recreational apps: Pandora radio, Kindle, Bleacher Report and NFL mobile.
Me: What’s playing on your iPod right now?
Dr. McGregor: Pandora – Jason Mraz.
Me: E-books or tree books? What was the last book you read?
Dr. McGregor: I do both but I must confess that I prefer to hold a tree book, underline and dog ear the pages. The last book I read was “Timekeeper,” a quick read by Mitch Album. I am still working on “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, a great book exploring the two systems that drive the way we think. It explores how we need to use both automatic, reflexive thinking as well as deliberate, slower problem solving to guard us against erroneous decision making.
Me: I noticed your email is runningdoc45, so I’m assuming you are a runner. Tell me about that. Since you are joining us from Philadelphia, have you ever run up the “Rocky Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art?
Dr. McGregor: After 10 years of 60 plus miles a week, I am now a retired marathoner and do only short distances. My joints have finally started to pay and now I depend on cross training to get my endorphin fix. Indeed, I have run the “Rocky Steps” on multiple occasions – the area around the art museum and “Rocky” statue is a wonderful area for outdoor activities – running, biking and Dragonboat racing (another side hobby).
Me: What was the last movie you saw? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
Dr. McGregor: I am embarrassed to admit that I rarely see movies in the theater, but Gladiator and Top Gun are my reliable favorites.
Me: Describe yourself in six words.
Dr. McGregor: Energetic, positive, passionate, loyal, committed and innovative.