From Standing on the Diving Board to Diving in Headfirst: Meet Orthopedic Surgeon (and TransforMD 2019 Alum!) Dr. Nancy Yen Shipley

TransforMD: Describe your traditional path in medicine

Nancy: I completed an orthopaedic surgery residency at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA in 2010 followed by an arthroscopy and sports medicine fellowship at Orthopaedic Research of Virginia. I joined a private practice in Portland, OR in 2011.

TransforMD: What was the turning point or inspiration for you to make a major shift in your career? What are you doing differently now?

Nancy: I felt like I wasn't growing, and so much of this was internal - mindset. I am still in private practice, but with a new perspective on my work and my passions.

TransforMD: Did you have doubts or hurdles along the way? What was the biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?

Nancy: I feared change. I feared asking myself the hard questions - maybe because of what I would find. The biggest challenge was learning to not tell myself my dreams were impossible! I overcame this by giving myself a nudge when I was afraid. It's like standing on the diving board, worrying about how cold the water might be. If you dip your toe in, you might never jump, whereas just deciding to tip your weight forward a little - it gives you the momentum to dive in. And once you get going, you can't stop!

TransforMD: Imagine you could travel back in time and give yourself an important piece of advice. What would it be, and when would have been the most important time in life to receive it?

Don't sell yourself short. You belong here. I would give myself regular reminders of this from the time I was a teen to pretty much last week.

TransforMD: You attended our TransforMD 2019 Mastery Retreat! From someone who has experienced it firsthand, how did it help you grow, who else might benefit from our curriculum, and why is the TransforMD program important to women physicians who are wanting some change but not sure what to do or how to do it?

Nancy: TransforMD is truly what it promises - a transforming conference for women physicians. I was impressed by how it worked for a variety of specialties, phases of life and career and how much or how little one wanted to be in clinical medicine vs non-clinical. I knew I was stagnant - and I needed change - but before attending and starting this journey, I had no idea how. The work is never done, but I feel the conference gave me the tools to figure it out.

You may learn more about Nancy on her website, on Instagram, and on Twitter!