Dr. Megan Stinar, M.D.
Western Colorado Pediatric Associates
Dr. Megan Stinar has been a pediatrician at Western Colorado Pediatric Associates, a division of Primary Care Partners (PCP), since 2016. Though young, she is highly accomplished; a driven and energetic go-getter who has mastered more in her short life than many will tackle in their lifetimes!
Megan’s parents could tell by the time she was in kindergarten that she would someday be in medicine, but her path was unconventional. She earned her undergraduate degree in political science commenting, “I use it all the time. Medicine is motivational interviewing: Where is this patient coming from? How do they feel about this? My undergrad has ended up being so helpful.”
Throughout her training in medical school, she had her mind set on practicing “anything but peeds.” Megan laughs and comments good naturedly: “My four younger brothers may have had something to do with my dislike of babysitting.” However, she eventually realized her experience was an advantage, and in the end, fell into pediatrics naturally.
While in med school, Megan noticed how Spanish-speaking patients’ experience with their physician was so much different than patients who spoke English. So often she witnessed one-word answers offered by translators in response to a doctor’s lengthy and detailed question. Having been raised with a bilingual babysitter and taken high school Spanish classes, Megan knew enough to recognize the breakdown in communication. She became driven to understand, and dove into Spanish until she was fluent. Today, she knows her bilingual abilities are invaluable in Grand Junction where about 15 percent of the population speaks Spanish as a first language, including a large percentage of her patients.
Compassion and empathy are important values of Megan’s daily practice. She recalls seeing a mother of three in her office one day and noticed that “something seemed off.” She asked the mother, “Are you okay?” which prompted this mother to see her personal provider for help with depression. Later, the family wrote a letter thanking Megan. “It was kind of overwhelming,” she recalls, “I don’t even remember that day or that visit. I’m so glad I was present. There are so many stressors in this field, but I’m glad I showed up and was in the room.”
Megan—known as Dr. Megan by her child patients— is passionate about communication with and educating parents. This partly involves leveraging social media since the average parent spends 45 minutes online before coming into a pediatric appointment. Recognizing clients are more comfortable on their couch, Dr. Megan spends a lot of time creating “meaty” social media posts for her practice in hopes of being a voice of medical wisdom.
Dr. Megan is especially passionate about vaccinations. Studies show parents are more likely to change their opinions about vaccinations based on their newsfeed than from a conversation with a doctor, which is why you will often find her conducting news interviews with local TV stations. “Nothing I can do will be as effective as getting your children vaccinated,” she says. “Vaccinated children make healthy adults.” She continues, “I cried tears of joy when I got my first COVID vaccine back in December. It was the first relief I had felt in months. I want everyone to feel that relief too.” To parents, she implores: “You don’t want to be that parent who can’t see your child in the hospital because you have not been vaccinated. Please consider getting vaccinated.”
Megan is also passionate about advocacy where, once again, her political science background has paid off. Several years ago, Dr. Megan was asked to participate with the American Pediatrics Colorado Legislative Committee, which advises American Pediatric lobbying. Last year, she had the opportunity to write a testimony statement for the Colorado Medical Society’s Legislative Council concerning scope of practice, which was submitted to Congress. When asked about future plans she says, “I imagine I’ll do a lot more advocacy.”
For now, Dr. Megan’s goals are centered more on outdoor interests such as mountain biking and snowboarding. Two-years ago, she and her husband took a 10-day guide course in rafting. Now a certified river guide, Megan says being on the water offers a form of self-care helping her forget about work for a time. “The more stressed out I get, the more drawn I am to type-2 adrenaline fun,” she muses.
Though clearly not one to shy away from a challenge, Stinar explains, “I’m honestly where I want to be. It was a lot of work to get here, but I love being in the room where I leave everything else behind, focused on just that one kid. It’s hard for me to imagine being that far from medicine.”
Dr. Megan Stinar of Western Colorado Pediatric Associates, a division of Primary Care Partners, is accepting new patients. Parents can set up an appointment for their children by calling Primary Care Partners main telephone number: 970.243.5437. Western Colorado Pediatric Associates has offices in Fruita and Grand Junction.