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Meet Dr. Wendy Hunter

When she’s not working out or practicing for her drum lessons, you’ll likely find this recent addition to Children’s Primary Care Medical Group coordinating weekend community events that encourage literacy and healthy behaviors. Meet Dr. Wendy Hunter, pediatrician at CPCMG Girard.

Where did you grow up? If you didn’t grow up in the San Diego area, what brought you to southern California?
I grew up in Ithaca, New York and stayed there for college. I came to San Diego with my husband, a native San Diegan, after we met at Cornell University.

Why did you decide to become a pediatrician? What attracted you to pediatrics? Did you consider other specialties?
On the first day of medical school, our dean said “If you’ve ever been a camp counselor or enjoyed babysitting, you’ll probably be a pediatrician” and I took that to heart. I love kids’ perspective on life and I enjoy keeping them healthy. I worked in an emergency department for many years, but found that I missed helping families stay healthy.

What do you enjoy most about working with children, parents and families?
That being silly and joking around with my patients is part of the exam.

Tell us about your family. Do you have children? What do you like to do as a family?
I have a 15 year-old daughter and 10 year-old son. We love to stay active and we enjoy rappelling in canyons together, flying airplanes and working on our 27-acre avocado farm in Fallbrook.

What is some important life advice (beyond what you learned in medical school) that you can give to parents for their children?
Try to understand what your children are capable of, and expect it of them. Give them opportunities to try things on their own, trust them, and listen to them. And try not to worry so much – as soon as you become a parent, it’s like a permanent state of anxiety.

How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Any tips to share?
I work out every morning, even on the busiest days. I’ve made exercise a habit and don’t give myself any excuse to skip a day. On days when I don’t want to exercise, I change into my workout clothes and usually find that motivates me to get started. I almost never eat meat or dairy products – this plant-based way of eating makes me eat a lot more veggies and I can eat as much as I want!

What are your favorite pastimes/hobbies? What else do you like to do in your spare time? Do you volunteer in your community?
I play drums and take a lesson every week. I don’t sound great on the drums, but I love feeling like my brain grows whenever I master a new beat. Plus my kids can’t skip their music practice if mom takes the time to practice every day! I volunteer frequently and started a community outreach program two years ago that brings pediatricians into community sites, like schools and housing complexes, to read to kids and talk to parents about healthy behaviors. I am also a board member of the United Way and participate in many of their volunteer activities.

 

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