Achievement in Family Medicine Student Spotlight: Ashley Shaw

July 09, 2019

Perspectives in Primary Care (formally the Primary Care Review) features perspectives from practitioners and students representing organizations, practices, and institutions across the country and around the world. All opinions expressed in this article are owned by the author(s).


Name: Ashley Shaw

HMS graduation year: 2019

Residency: Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of contributing to the nurturing of a more robust and interdisciplinary community of students armed with the skills to become leaders in the primary care of tomorrow. I feel so grateful to have benefitted personally and professionally from that community as well.

How were you involved in primary care at HMS?

I joined the Center for Primary Care Student Leadership Committee in my first year and remained heavily involved - first in the Medical Education Committee as a leader of that group, as well as the Pipeline Committee. It was my honor to serve as the Co-Leader and oversee the Medical Education, Communications & Narrative Medicine, and Innovations teams.

What are your future plans and how has primary care influenced your future directions?

I am currently in my Pediatrics residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and aspire to be a community-based primary care pediatrician who also works to improve health systems with both public and private sector entities. My exposure to primary care has given me a strong foundation in both the theory and implementation of designing systems to foster effective preventive care for children, adults, and the elderly and has given me a passion for helping on-the-ground clinicians translate evidence-based practices to meet the needs of their local and hyper-local communities.

What advice do you have for current HMS students about primary care or anything else?

You are part of a national primary care renaissance / revolution whether or not you will specialize in primary care - fully embrace the responsibility and calling to address social determinants of health along with your patients' pathophysiology - I truly believe (and aspire to this myself) this to be crucial to creating a sustainable source of fulfillment in a career in medicine. Also, feel free to contact me to talk about anything - I can always be reached at

Excerpts from nominations from Ashley’s peers:

“Ashley possesses integrity, selflessness, perseverance, and a deep sense of justice and service. She is incredibly competent, intelligent, and creative. Most importantly, she is in touch with her values and acts every day to improve the experience for all those around her.”

“I have personally rotated on clerkships with Ashley, and have been in awe with the connection she can make with patients and their families. She routinely came in early during our medicine sub-internship to spend additional time with patients and their families when pre-rounding. If my own family members became sick, I would hope they had a physician like her. I am excited to see how her passion for primary care will continue to transform the field.”

“Ashley brings her whole heart to patient care, and her patients will be very lucky to have her. Ashley is a natural mediator, and she is excellent at finding ways to connect across differences particularly in times of conflict. I admire this about her, and I think it will help her become an excellent clinical leader.”

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