Mentoring Profile: Megan Hood, PhD, Rush Medical College

Feb. 27, 2018

The Rush Women Mentoring Program fosters professional development and a sense of community and collaboration among women faculty at Rush University. In this series, we highlight program mentors and mentees and learn more about how mentoring has impacted them.

Megan Hood, PhD, associate professor and clinical psychologist in the Department of Behavioral Sciences, Rush Medical College, joined Rush in 2009.

Tell us about your background.

I am an associate professor of behavioral sciences and a clinical psychologist. I specialize in working with and studying people who have chronic health conditions, like diabetes and obesity, with particular attention paid to the high levels of stress and distress that can occur when people have these conditions.

What inspired you to get into your field?

While working in a hospital setting, I have been so impressed with the resilience I have seen in patients in the face of very difficult physical and emotional challenges. I’ve found that it is entirely natural for people to get overwhelmed by the obstacles their conditions present for them at times, and I find great joy in being able to help people learn to use strategies to improve their health and well-being in spite of these challenges.

What excites you about your work at Rush?

The people I encounter every day — both my patients and the individuals I work with — are what excites me about my work at Rush. I am encouraged every day by the great desire of both patients and health care teams to try to improve health and well being.

What is your opinion of mentoring and sponsorship?

Mentoring, in all its forms, is vital to personal and career growth. In the past few years, I have started my career and expanded my family, and solid mentorship from a variety of sources has helped make this a very smooth and rewarding process.

Do you have tips or advice you would recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?

Be curious! One of the most important aspects of being a psychologist — and a health care provider in general — is to be truly curious and nonjudgmental, to learn how people think/feel/act in order to help them achieve the best health and well-being that is possible for them.

What are your hobbies? How do you like to spend your free time?

I have small children at home, so I spend a lot of time in activities with them. I also enjoy exercising, reading and traveling.