January 11, 2023

Faculty Profile: Brigid Gregg, M.D.

About Dr. Gregg, M.D.

Dr. Brigid Gregg, Assistant Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism serves as the inaugural Director of Wellness and Culture for the department of pediatrics. In this role, Dr. Gregg focuses on cultivating a collaborative, respectful, and supportive workplace culture for the department.
Since joining the leadership team in 2021, Dr. Gregg has taken ownership of a Departmental Wellness Plan and oversees a committee of individuals focused on analyzing data on well-being, burnout, and professional fulfillment.

Dr. Gregg completed medical school at Case Western University School of Medicine and completed a residency and fellowship at the University of Chicago prior to joining the University of Michigan. Her interest in research includes the developmental programming of metabolic disease and the long-term impacts of nutrient stressors during lactation.

You’re currently serving as the Director of Wellness and Culture. Could you explain your role and what interested you in the position?

I’m passionate about nutrition and how it can create a lifetime of health. A lot of my research has been focused on nutrition and health. I currently teach a culinary medicine elective program at the Medical School and I felt this role was a perfect fit with my introduction to wellness through this work. 

This is an entirely new position, and I saw it as a great opportunity for me to promote and improve wellness across the department. 

Describe your day-to-day responsibilities as the director, and your vision for the department going forward.

I want to be a voice for the faculty, and want them to know that wellness is always a top priority. I want to be at the table when big decisions are being made so I can advocate for our faculty. 

One of the first things I’m working on is creating an overarching goal and consensus statement when it comes to wellness and culture.

I’m also doing a lot of collaborating and networking with others. There is a Wellness Advocate network that I have joined. I didn’t know it existed until I started in this role, and I’m excited to be a part of it. This network meets with executive leadership on a regular basis to talk through the impact of decisions that have been made or will be made on employee wellness. As an advocate, I’m able to speak up for our department about how certain decisions might affect us. 

On a departmental level, I present opportunities at faculty meetings and message the department through emails and other communications. I always try to make myself available for others to come to me with ideas or questions. 

Why is wellness so important in the workplace? 

We want people to thrive in their work environments. Burnout is high among doctors, and only increasing with the pandemic. Burnout can lead to a disconnect between the work you’re doing and the care you’re providing your patients. Burnout also affects your connections with your coworkers. I want people to have resources and be able to recognize and address burnout. Ultimately I want to start to remove the drivers of burnout in our workplace. It is my hope that I can help others find ways to thrive in this challenging work environment.

What goals/new programs do you hope to implement in the future? 

My first year in the department was mostly spent listening to people across all the divisions. I wanted to hear what was going well and what things we could improve upon. I’ve used the Michigan Medicine engagement survey results to really define what our next steps will be without having to burden people with additional survey work. I’m thankful that our Chair is energized and dedicated to improving wellness across the department. 

There are a few things I’m focused on right now. I want to provide resources and help for faculty navigating MiChart and work-life balance. I also want to build a stronger culture amongst doctors to take time to unplug and unwind when they aren’t working. Everyone deserves space to take care of themselves and their families. 

I completed the Physician Wellbeing Director course through Stanford. Through this, a new thing I learned is that physicians can be highly self-critical, and can lack self-compassion. This is something I want to name and address in the future.

What else should we know about your role/interests?

I went to culinary school before medical school. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m interested in the role that nutrition plays in wellness. I currently lead a culinary medicine program with the medical school and I’ve taught some aspects of this program in our department as well. I also study the impact of early life nutrition on the risk of metabolic disease in youth. 

In your opinion, what makes the Department of Pediatrics an ideal place to work?

I’ve found that the Midwest in general and Michigan Medicine in particular are extremely collaborative and friendly places to live and work. I didn’t know anyone when I came here, and it was easy to transition and build connections and friendships with colleagues. Our networks are strong and our passion for children really shines through. I am grateful to be working in an environment where everyone works as a team to support childhood health and each other. 

What else do you like to do outside of work? 

I love traveling, cooking, and spending time with friends and family. In the winter, I love to ski or stay in and play board games.