Long before she was elected to the AAP Board of Directors, Pamela K. Shaw, M.D., FAAP, dreamt of becoming a teacher. No other career seemed as appealing as standing in front of a classroom filled with grade-school children, unlocking the keys to learning and inspiring young minds.

Her plans veered slightly, however, while working on her undergraduate degree. Her adviser noticed her aptitude for math and science and encouraged her to study medicine.

It seemed an unimaginable profession for Dr. Shaw at the time. Raised by a single mother, she was the first in her family to go to college. Medical school had never been part of her plan, yet it somehow made perfect sense.

Dr. Shaw changed career paths and graduated from the University of Kansas Medical School in 1989. After completing her residency at KU Medical Center, she learned that becoming a doctor didn’t mean she had to...

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