Name: Megan Kahn
Degree: BS in Movement Science, 2011
Current Occupation: Nurse Midwife, St. Joseph Mercy Hospital and Michigan Medicine
What have you done since you graduated?
One week after I graduating U-M, I started an accelerated nursing program at Columbia University and then transitioned straight into a master’s program. After graduating in 2014, I went to work at a private practice in Elmira, New York, and it was such a wonderful first job and a great learning experience. I did that for two years before getting my current opportunity in Ann Arbor.
What is a midwife? How did you become interested in midwifery?
The short version is I deliver babies. I am an advanced practice women’s health provider; I do everything an OBGYN does, except surgery. I do annual exams, pap smears, cancer screenings, birth control, prenatal appointments, and hospital deliveries. I also do primary and postpartum care.
I came to Kinesiology based on a friend’s recommendation. We were from the same small town in Michigan’s Upper Pennisula, and being from a small town, it was nice to come to Kinesiology and have smaller classes. I was pre-med until late in my junior year. I was collecting letters of recommendation and about to take my MCAT when my favorite professor asked me why I wanted to be a doctor. I couldn’t answer her, other than to say I wanted to deliver babies. She told me I would make a great midwife and encouraged me to take a couple of days to research becoming one, which I did. I instantly fell in love with it.
How has your Movement Science degree contributed to your success?
I use it every day when I’m thinking about the aches and pains that go along with pregnancy, as well as the recommendations for moving and staying fit. I also use it when talking about diets, exercise, and physical therapy. When I’m in the delivery room, I’m thinking about the muscles and anatomy that were drilled into me through my Movement Science labs. For example, when people are pushing, are they using the right muscle spindle angles and maximum force they can get out of these muscles, or is this a bad position? Even in my primary care, I see people with aches and pains, so we will talk about the ergonomics of sitting at a desk when working from home for example. I can give my patients better care because of all the things I learned through the School of Kinesiology.
Movement Science is great because you can do so much with it and can end up in so many different places.
Tell me about your experience in the Movement Science program.
It was a fabulous place to do my undergraduate program and I would 100 percent go back and do it again. I loved how small it was; I didn’t feel like I was lost. I could never concentrate sitting in a large classroom with 500 people taking Organic Chemistry. However, sitting in a classroom of 30 people, I could raise my hand and ask questions, and it was something I appreciated during my entire undergraduate career.
I also liked the labs. They were hands-on, fun, and interactive. I can visually picture jumping off of a block and measuring my velocity, submerging myself in a pool to measure my true BMI, and creating food and exercise diaries to figure out calories. It was all very hands-on and it is all things I still think about and use to this day.
I also worked as a manager on the women’s varsity basketball team for four years and I appreciated being around athletes and like-minded people.
What is the best part about Movement Science?
Movement Science is great because you can do so much with it and can end up in so many different places. I think of my classmates - one is an eye doctor, some are physical therapists, while others are chiropractors and nurse practitioners. Movement Science is narrow enough that you know you want to probably be in a health sciences field, but it’s broad enough to introduce you to different areas you can do after your undergraduate studies.
What would you like prospective students to know?
Don’t be afraid to do things you might be uncomfortable doing. When I look back on my career in Kinesiology, I volunteered to help children with disabilities learn how to swim, participated in study abroad, worked as a manager for the U-M women’s basketball team, and played intermural sports that I never played before. This is the time to explore and do things you haven’t tried before. You never know who you might meet or how it might change who you are.