Dr. Megan Hamreus of Scripps Mercy Hospital. Photo via news.csusm.edu

Megan Hamreus recalls a low moment of her academic career — weeks after starting at Palomar College in San Marcos.

“I flunked my very first algebra test,” Hamreus told Steps Magazine at California State University San Marcos, where she eventually transferred. “I was in tears in my adviser’s office — how was I going to get to medical school if I didn’t even know what an integer was?”

But not giving up on her dream, she took advantage of CSUSM resources — including tutoring centers — and passed all of her hardest courses with flying colors, said a 2015 profile, which also noted her winning a Jean and W. Keith Kellogg Scholarship.

“Being selected out of a group of stellar applicants and being told, ‘We think you can hang in there, graduate and do well in your life,’ was so inspiring,” she said. “It really gave me that energy to persevere, keep studying and try my hardest.”

Hamreus earned a bachelor’s of science in chemistry, attended Des Moines University for medical school and completed her residency through UCLA.

Now she’s reached a career high. Scripps Mercy Hospitall Thursday announced the organization’s election of Dr. Hamreus to the position of chief of staff.

Hamreus will oversee roughly 1,100 physicians at Scripps’ San Diego and Chula Vista campuses, serving as a liaison between rank-and-file hospital staff and the Scripps Health Board of Trustees. Hamreus, who will serve a two-year term, took over for former Chief of Staff Dr. Michael Sise on Jan. 1.

“In addition to the outstanding care she delivers to our patients at Scripps Mercy, Dr. Hamreus has demonstrated exemplary leadership that has strengthened Scripps as a great place for physicians to practice medicine,” said Tom Gammiere, Scripps Health’s corporate senior vice president and regional chief executive. “We’re delighted to welcome her to this new role.”

Hamreus, 59, has worked on the Scripps Mercy Hospital staff for 10 years, serving as co-medical director of the Scripps Inpatient Providers Medical Group and Scripps’ behavioral health care line. She has also served at the Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla and various other medical centers across the state, according to Scripps.

While serving as chief of staff, Hamreus will continue her work as a staff member at Family Health Centers of San Diego’s family medicine residency training program.

— City News Service contributed to this report.

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