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I am Dr. Noah Kaufman, American Ninja Warrior: How I Stay Healthy in EM

2018-03-07T20:59:43+00:00

Dr. Noah Kaufman is an emergency physician from Fort Collins, CO, who you may have spotted on a recent TV episode of American Ninja Warrior. We could not have thought of a better exemplar guest to share some insights on this Healthy in EM series. Spoiler alert: Staying active, living the adventure, and laughing as much as possible are a few key secrets on how Dr. Kaufman keeps well. Here is how he stays healthy in EM!

  • Name: Noah T. Kaufman, MDnoah kaufman
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA
  • Current job(s): Attending emergency physician
  • One word that describes how you stay healthy: Luck
  • Primary behavior/activity to help de-stress: It was climbing for the last 25 years, but now I have become an entrepreneur which is very fulfilling.

 What are the top 3 ways you keep healthy?

  1. Laughter. I laugh as much as possible.
  2. Exercise. I exercise to have FUN, not to stay fit.
  3. Feed the soul. I feed my soul with magic every chance I get. Life is a massive adventure.

What is your ideal workout?

Hike an hour into the mountains, then climb all day on perfect grey-blue high alpine limestone.

Do you track your fitness? How?

No

How do you prepare for a night shift? How do you recover from one?

Pre-shift napping. I eat melatonin gummies at about 6 pm and crash for 3 hours before my midnight start. Recovery includes beer and burritos with the homies after a shift, then off to sleep for about 4 hours.

How do you avoid getting “hangry” (angry due to hunger) on shift?

I embrace hanger. Being hungry keeps me focused. Plus it’s a good challenge. Also, the beer and burritos taste much better when I’m hangry.

What are the biggest challenges you face in maintaining a longstanding career in EM? How do you address these challenges?

Burnout. The emergency department is a tough place to work for 20 years. Most of us find something new by our 40’s – 50’s. I’m no different. I’m about done with it.

It’s a constant challenge. The more free time and travel you do the better. I work 9 shifts a month and I have no desire to work more than that. Our job in EM gives us flexibility. Take advantage of that.

Best advice you have received for maintaining health?

Eat fruits and vegetables and stay away from sugar.

Who would you love for us to track down to answer these questions?

Clay Josephy
Lars Ensign
Lance Orr

Zafrina Poonja, MD

Zafrina Poonja, MD

Editor, How I Stay Healthy in EM series
Emergency Medicine Resident
University of Alberta