About Dr. Shannon Dowler

THE MOM, THE WIFE, THE WOMAN

Born and raised in Greensboro North Carolina, my educational path has taken me to all corners of the state. From college at Appalachian to medical school at East Carolina, early on I recognized a special interest in marginalized populations. From the vastly underserved “down east” rural communities, the vulnerable migrant farmworkers, to the deeply insulated Appalachian culture, I am drawn to those not raised or living in excess. My two boys, now late teens, have participated in family service since they were boys, from helping set up tents for “Clinica en el Campo”, where we provided care to migrant farmworkers directly on the lands they farm, to cooking and serving the downtown homeless in Asheville through “Saturday Sanctuary”. Service to others has been a family commitment.

I have spent my entire career in the pursuit of healthcare for all-comers, from all walks of life, and what a privilege it has been! As a medical student, I was initially torn between several specialties. The allure of surgery--the power of a scalpel and the gratification of cure. The draw of pediatrics, precious potential and so much opportunity. The service of oncology--whether by saving someone from the clutches of cancer or helping them gracefully exit when cure is not possible. The thrill of emergency--the high adrenalin responding to a car crash, a toxic patient, a collapsed lung.

As I wrestled with the options, I took myself back to the day I decided on a career in medicine and my guiding principle to help others, and recognized family medicine would allow me to impact generations simultaneously and allow for professional growth.

I have spent my entire career in the pursuit of healthcare for all-comers, from all walks of life, and what a privilege it has been! As a medical student, I was initially torn between several specialties. The allure of surgery--the power of a scalpel and the gratification of cure. The draw of pediatrics, precious potential and so much opportunity. The service of oncology--whether by saving someone from the clutches of cancer or helping them gracefully exit when cure is not possible. The thrill of emergency--the high adrenalin responding to a car crash, a toxic patient, a collapsed lung.

As I wrestled with the options, I took myself back to the day I decided on a career in medicine and my guiding principle to help others, and recognized family medicine would allow me to impact generations simultaneously and allow for professional growth.

I think in limericks. No, really, I do.  From the early influence of Shel Silverstein, my favorite childhood author, my brain turns to rhyme naturally. When I am not at my day job, there’s a good chance I am editing a video, writing a new rap, or penning an opinion piece. I might also be working on a presentation on STDs for an elderly bible study group, a middle school health class, or 800+ family doctors.

Living in the mountains of North Carolina, I also love to be in nature. Whether hiking, paddling, biking or swinging in a hammock with a good book and our hummingbirds dancing around me, the Blue Ridge Mountains are truly my home.

A FEW TOP FIVES FOR DR. DOWLER

Top 5 Favorite STDs

 

  1. Trichomonas—you can often diagnosis it in the moment and show it to the patient! Plus, it’s fun to watch wiggle around on the microscope slide.
  2. Gonorrhea—that drip, though.
  3. Syphilis—the mysterious chancre and elusive rash of secondary.
  4. M. gen— props to being so elusive for so long
  5. Crabs—it’s old school, but I love any STD I can see real time!

Top 5 Favorite Audiences

 

  1. Doubters—I love the challenge of convincing the unconvinced.
  2. Teens—what a challenge to celebrating healthy normal sexuality and make a dent in invincibility!
  3. Elderly — both watching their eyes light up at new knowledge and their complete willingness to engage.
  4. Students— eager to learn, a chance to influence their entire careers with a strong start.
  5. Old School Doctors/Providers — balancing honoring their history while bringing them along.

CONTACT

Interested in connecting? Contact me for more information about speaking, my work and health equity in general.