Who's Who of Professional Women


Shilpa Gowda

Shilpa Gowda, MD, is an accomplished medical professional with more than 20 years of experience. Since 2022, she has held the role of a physician at the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital with the U.S. Department of Defense. In this position, she handles injuries, illnesses, hazards, and exposures of all kinds. She assists with vaccination and immunization efforts, evaluates professionals such as firefighters and police officers to determine their capacity for fulfilling their duties, conducts comprehensive physical exams, and offers recommendations. With expertise in occupational and environmental medicine, Dr. Gowda is also responsible for overseeing people who work with hazardous drugs and providing pre-employment examinations.

Among her extensive experience in her field, Dr. Gowda began working for The National Institutes of Health as a student researcher in Bethesda, Maryland, in 2003. In 2005, she became a student researcher with the Brown University Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, after which she held the same role at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2007. From 2012 to 2013, Dr. Gowda served as a general surgery resident at the Los Angeles General Medical Center, after which she completed a general, tropical, and occupational medicine externship at the Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital in Bangalore, India.

Continuing her health care career, Dr. Gowda worked as a senior fellow in occupational and environmental medicine with the University of Washington Department of Medicine from 2014 to 2016 and later acted as a medical officer for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in Cincinnati, Ohio, from 2016 to 2017. After garnering experience as an attending physician, Dr. Gowda became the director of occupational employee health for the VA Southeast Louisiana Health Care System, a role she held from 2020 to 2022. Prior to her current role, she was a medical consultant and fellow with the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She additionally shared her knowledge as an adjunct professor at Tulane University.

In preparation for her career pursuits in medicine, Dr. Gowda attended Harvard University as a visiting undergraduate student from 2006 to 2007 before matriculating at Brown University. In 2008, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience, and in 2012 she earned a Doctor of Medicine from the Brown Medical School. Following this achievement, Dr. Gowda attended the University of Washington, where she completed a Master of Public Health in environmental and occupational health sciences in 2016.

Eminently qualified and committed to continuing education, Dr. Gowda holds numerous professional certifications, including in advanced cardiac life support and basic life support through the American Heart Association. She has been licensed to practice medicine in Florida, Washington, and Maine throughout her career, and she is licensed in occupational medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. With the U.S. Department of Transportation, Dr. Gowda has been a commercial driver medical examiner since 2018. In addition, she is a fellow of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM), a distinction she earned in 2020.

Active with the ACOEM, Dr. Gowda has served as a media representative for the organization’s environmental health section and on the organization’s anti-racism workgroup task force since 2022. Since 2021, she has contributed to the college’s conference planning committee. Previously, Dr. Gowda was a VA consultant on the Tulane University School of Medicine’s professionalism task force and volunteered with the Red Cross. As a small sampling of her achievements, she was responsible for the Boeing Firefighter Occupational Health Exam Program and published “Bronchiolitis Obliterans and Coffee Processing: Guidance for Primary Care Physicians Treating Workers” in 2016.

For her considerable accomplishments and commitment to medicine, Dr. Gowda has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades throughout her career. Honors to her credit include being named the Top Occupational Medicine Physician of the New Year by the International Association of Top Professionals in 2023 and the Outstanding Master’s Student of the Year by the University of Washington School of Public Health in 2016. In 2003, she was recognized by the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County for Excellence in the Arts and Humanities and received the Book Award from Mt. Holyoke College. Further, Dr. Gowda was the recipient of the Gilbert S. Omenn Award from the University of Washington School of Public Health. Moreover, she has been honored by Marquis Who’s Who with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, listed on Who’s Who of Industry Leaders and Marquis Top Doctors.

To keep abreast of developments in her field, Dr. Gowda maintains affiliation with the ACOEM and the International Commission on Occupational Health. Her success, she believes, can be credited to her grit and being surrounded by motivational people. Initially, she became involved in medicine because of her mother, who was an internist with the U.S. Department of Defense for 20 years. Dr. Gowda was inspired to care for others and make a difference in the world. In her spare time, she enjoys playing tennis, swimming, reading, drawing, writing in her journals, and watching documentaries and movies.


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