Dr. Michael Ritchie is an emergency and ICU physician from Brooklyn, NY. When he is not busy working in the emergency department or ICU, Dr. Ritchie, can be found training for marathons, or keeping fit by keeping up his ball game. Ever wonder how to occupy your time on those long subway rides, he’s got some tips for you! Here’s how he stays healthy in EM!


  • Name: Michael Ritchie, MD
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY
  • Current job(s): Kings County Hospital Emergency/MICU/SICU Attending
  • One word that describes how you stay healthy: Variety
  • Primary behavior/activity for destressing: Running

What are the top ways you keep healthy?

  1. Exercise. I try to maintain my health by training for runs and triathlons. Outside of training for these events, I stay active by playing basketball and football through intramurals.
  2. Diet. I try and watch my diet, by not including ret meat and pork, and trying to cook with fresh and organic foods.

What’s your ideal workout?

My ideal workout is to run the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge, followed by some sort of weight lifting or a core workout.

Do you track your fitness? How?

I do track my fitness. I found that when I tracked myself it kept me more motivated to try to meet or beat the previous week’s records. Since I am training for a triathlon, I am currently using Mapmyride for biking and Nike Run Club when I run.

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

Preparing for a night shift has always been difficult for me, so I am not the best one for advice. Typically, I try to get up at a normal hour and sleep for 2 hours right before the shift. I usually recover by getting up a little early post night, and fitting in working out. Unfortunately, it does not always work.

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

For me, caffeine and lots of fluids help keep my appetite down during work. I am always ready for another cup of coffee!

How do you ensure you are mentally in check?

Besides staying active, I try and find other ways to give my mind a mental break, but keep me occupied. For me, I have the NY Times Crossword app and a chess app for my subway rides. Not sure if it counts, but I feel like it has to better than Candy Crush.

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

I think the challenge for me is to find the best way to balance my time between the ED and the ICU. It is still a young field for EM physicians and finding a good balance is difficult. I think continuing to graduate great EM/Critical Care physicians will make it more common place and easier to get equal time in both fields.

Best advice you have received for maintaining health?

The best advice I have received is from my former program director:

  1. Always make sure to get sunlight in the winter.
  2. Have a non-medical hobby to take your focus from work when you need it.

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

Bryan Jarrett
Jenn Stahl


Zafrina Poonja, MD

Zafrina Poonja, MD

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


Emergency Medicine Physician @ Vancouver General Hospital. Assistant Editor @ALiEMteam. Lover of travel, soccer, and boat shoes.