Faces of Saint Peter's: Wendy Wagner, M.D.
An OB-GYN at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Wendy Wagner, M.D., is a long-distance runner as well.
An OB-GYN at Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Wendy Wagner, M.D., is a long-distance runner as well. She has run several marathons and has set a goal of completing one marathon in every decade of her life. Dr. Wagner, who turns 47 in November, attended medical school at the University of Connecticut and completed her residency at Saint Peter’s in 2001. She lives in Hillsborough with her partner, Erica Erb, M.D., a family practice physician, and their four girls, who range in age from 6 to 15.
Why did you go into obstetrics and gynecology?
I always knew I wanted to go into medicine. I thought I would go into pediatrics but then I did my rotation in ob-gyn and fell in love with it. I love the ability to follow people throughout their life cycle and provide that continuity of care. Also, I am always looking for something new and ob-gyn is always different—office visits, surgery, deliveries, it’s a bit of everything, which I really love.
Have you always loved to run?
No. I was a soccer player and never liked to just run—in fact I hated it! I used to fake illness when we had to run a mile on the track in school. Then in college I quit smoking and started running on the same day. I liked the feeling of it, the stress relief, being outside by myself, the endorphins— just being able to run free.
Why is the marathon your race of choice?
It is the ultimate distance goal for me, a physical and mental challenge to get through. I did my first marathon while in med school, in Washington, D.C. In my 30s, I ran the Disney Marathon in Florida and the New York City Marathon. And why did you choose to do one every decade? I have no idea. It seems silly now that I’m close to 50. But I see people in their 60s and 70s doing it, so I’d like to do one more before I turn 50. Training time is big factor, though. If I didn’t work so much and have four kids, it wouldn’t be a big problem.