Who's Who of Professional Women

SHILPA N. GOWDA

Shilpa Gowda

Shilpa N. Gowda, MD, a boarded occupational medicine physician, is a highly accomplished professional with more than 20 years of experience. From 2022 to 2023, she held the role of physician at the Alexander T. Augusta Military Medical Center with the U.S. Department of Defense. In this position, Dr. Gowda handled injuries, illnesses, hazards, and exposures of all kinds. She assisted with vaccination and immunization efforts, evaluated professionals such as firefighters and police officers to determine their capacity for fulfilling their duties, conducted comprehensive physical exams, and offered recommendations. With expertise in occupational and environmental medicine, Dr. Gowda was 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, with funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. 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 Janelia Farm Research Campus 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 Bengaluru, Karnataka, 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, within the Health Hazards Evaluation branch. 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 position she assumed from March 2020 to 2022 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also served as a medical consultant and fellow with the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. She additionally shared her knowledge as an adjunct professor at the Tulane University School of Medicine to mentor residents in the Preventive Medicine program.

In preparation for her career pursuits in medicine, Dr. Gowda attended Harvard University as a visiting undergraduate student from 2006 to 2007 and was a full-time undergraduate student at Brown University. In 2008, she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience from Brown, and in 2012, she earned a Doctor of Medicine from Brown Medical School, renamed as the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. 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 advanced cardiac life support and basic life support through the American Heart Association. She has been licensed to practice medicine in Florida, Washington, California, 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 contributed to 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 Year in 2023 and Empowered Woman of the Year in 2024 by the International Association of Top Professionals as well as the Outstanding Master’s Student of the Year by the University of Washington School of Public Health in 2016. She is also featured in the third edition of the Top 50 Fearless Leaders book by the International Association of Top Professionals, with the prior two editions reaching international bestseller status on Amazon. 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 Mount Holyoke College. Further, Dr. Gowda was nominated for 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 and has been listed in 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, and later the VA, for more than 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 and the violin, swimming, reading, drawing, writing in her journals, raising her puppy, traveling long distance, watching documentaries and movies, and spending time with family and friends, among various other pursuits.

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