New Faculty Focus: Meg Scandura

Q&A with Margaret (Meg) Scandura, MD, visiting associate professor, Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

Hometown: Wantagh, New York

Educational/professional background: I have a BS in biology from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and an MD from Medical College of Pennsylvania (now Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). I completed my internship and residency at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and a fellowship in integrative medicine at the University of Arizona Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson, Arizona.

Previous position: Clinical assistant professor at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, New York, while at Bassett Healthcare as a pediatrician from 2015 to 2023.

What is your field of research or area of clinical care, and how did you get into it? Primary care general pediatrics is where I love to be. Within that world, I have become interested in integrative medicine approaches to health so that I have therapeutic options for children that are non-pharmaceutical and health enhancing. I had many patients with mental health symptoms after the attacks on September 11, 2001, some as young as 4 years old. The options for treatment and access to counseling services was, and still is, so limited for pediatrics that I applied for the Fellowship in Integrative Medicine to find other treatment options. I struggled to find an employer that endorsed or embraced integrative medicine, so I am thrilled to now be part of an organization that sees the benefits.

How would you describe your work to a 5-year-old? I make sure children stay safe and healthy and get better when they are sick.

What attracted you to UW–Madison? I have long been attracted to UW–Madison as it has a well-known commitment to quality care and prestige as an organization in general. It has a well-established integrative medicine program, which I hope will continue to be a resource for me and perhaps a place to collaborate. It is a privilege to work here.

What is your favorite thing to do in Madison? There are so many things to do in Madison that we are enjoying exploring the area. It offers a variety of activities for all kinds of interests: great restaurants, great music, great sports, great outdoor space. Madison is a complete package.

What’s one thing you hope trainees will learn from you and your work? I hope they learn that evidence-based medicine is important, but they also must practice the art of medicine. It’s what will set them apart. Evidence is population based. Art is individual. Each patient experience will be unique.

Do you feel your work relates to the Wisconsin Idea? If so, please describe how. My goal is always to provide education and support to the families I will care for. Empowering them through education aligns very nicely with the Wisconsin Idea. Healthy citizens make for a healthy community.

What’s something interesting about your area of expertise you can share that will make us sound smarter during video chats and parties? Chamomile is one of the greatest plants. It has a wide range of health benefits yet is so gentle. It calms the nervous mind, settles a crampy gut, and is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Chamomile tea should be part of everyone’s daily routine.

What are some of your hobbies and other interests? I love to garden, knit, and be a spectator of sports. An ocean beach is my happy place.