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President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition

Dr. Stephen McDonough

Council Member


Stephen McDonough

Dr. Stephen McDonough, member of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, has worked for 32 years as a pediatrician in North Dakota. He spent more than 15 years in senior positions at the North Dakota Department of Health. During his time at the Department of Health, he led efforts to prevent smoking and combat childhood obesity in North Dakota. A longtime faculty member at the University of North Dakota Medical School, he has also published articles in the New England Journal of Medicine and Pediatrics and authored a book on the history of public health in North Dakota. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School, and completed his pediatric residency at the University of Colorado in Denver.

Full Bio
  • Pediatrician in North Dakota for 32 years.
  • Faculty member at the University of North Dakota Medical School.
  • Authored book on the history of public health in North Dakota.

Fun Facts

  • icon of horse and dogAs a child, I couldn’t pass the President’s Fitness Test. The 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team’s victory over Russian inspired me to start running. I ran a marathon 13 years later and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro 27 years after exercising regularly.
  • icon of a cameraI like hiking in wilderness areas and photographing wildlife – I’ve been within five yards of a big horn sheep, 10 yards of a brown or grizzly bear and 15 yards of a polar bear, all under safe circumstances.
  • icon of a rhinoceros and a zebraMy wife and I support conservation of endangered species. He has bottle fed baby rhinoceros and okapi, a giraffe like animal that looks like a zebra. He has played with cheetah cubs.
  • icon of a camperI love to go camping, hiking, and canoeing. To me, there is nothing better than being out in the wilderness and hearing just the wind and water. Nature helps relax and heal but requires planning and effort. You must be prepared.