Shelly Sharma

Bachelor of Arts 2017, Psychology & Cognitive Neuroscience


Shelly Sharma worked in the Emergency Department as a clinical research assistant for two and a half years while at GW. After graduating, she worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as a CRA on concussion studies. Now, she is attending medical school at Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine.


What excites you about the work you do? Medicine is an ever evolving field. New studies are always coming out and our bodies are so intricate that you are never done learning. Each day in class or while studying, I learn something mind blowing that our bodies are capable of doing. Even though it can often be complicated to learn, the way our bodies function is just super exciting. There is also so much we still don't know about things that happen everyday in our body!!


What is the most significant career experience you've had so far, and what made it meaningful to you? I absolutely loved working at CHOP! Not only was my team filled with those most incredible, supportive people, but the work was intellectually stimulating. I learned more than I could have ever expected during my gap year, not only about concussions, but clinical research. I had opportunities to learn from some amazing minds, do work that really is changing the way we talk about concussions, and participate in cutting edge research.


How did GWU and the UHP prepare you for your professional journey? In what ways has your career evolved since you graduated from GWU? Coming into GWU, I knew I wanted to go into medicine and  I pursued that no matter how hard it seemed sometimes, but I never knew how much I would fall in love with clinical research! The reason I got into clinical research was because of a class I (accidentally) signed up for during my sophomore year! In the class, I got to experience clinical research in the Emergency Department, be part of some cool studies, and learn how to work in a hectic environment. Most of all, it helped me discover my passion for clinical research. If it was not for this class, I would never had early exposure to clinical research or began developing the skills needed to be a good researcher or how to interact with a variety of patients. Additionally, as a future physician, it is crucial to understand people and communicate effectively and this skill I truly got to refine while working as a resident advisor and a clinical research assistant in the ED.

Advice for current UHP students: The best piece of advice I ever received was from the absolutely amazing Catherine Chandler: "If you are truly passionate about something, follow it, no matter how difficult." These words have stuck with me through math classes that seemed impossible, organic chemistry, and to this day when studying histology and anatomy. So, my advice to current UHP students is, take those classes that you are passionate about, try your best to do well, and even if you don't get that A, as long as you learned something and enjoyed the experience, it is all worth it! (gasp- I know a UHP student not getting an A?! Grades are important, but they are never the end all be all.)