Dr. Rebecca Shaw '71, originally from Decorah, was named a 2019 Women of Influence Honoree by Business Record. Shaw is currently an assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Des Moines University where she enjoys being able inspire and educate future physicians. She is recognized by Business Record not only for her work in her field, but for her commitment to the communities she served and her dedication to mentoring young physicians.
"Many of us, perhaps more so for women, may go along in life unaware of the impact our actions and decisions make on our environment and those around us. It was humbling to be recognized with other women with very different careers and who have accomplished much!" Shaw said.
Shaw mentored Dr. Mary Radia in the early 1980s. Radia says she always looked up to Shaw and nominated her as a Woman of Influence, telling Business Record, "To say Becky has influence would be an understatement. She paved the way for many woman physicians and is one of the most well-respected physicians in our community."
Graduating from Luther College in 1971 with a degree in Biology, Shaw went on to receive her M.D. from the University of Iowa where she was one of just 15 women in a class of 125. Before joining Des Moines University, Shaw was an OB/GYN physician in private practice for 34 years and was named medical director of Iowa Health-Des Moines Midwifery Services in 2004. She estimates she brought about 8,000 babies into the world over the last four decades.
Shaw is also an Emeriti Regent of Luther College having served for twelve years from 1989-2001.
"Luther College played a key role in my professional development. I always felt that the liberal arts education at Luther College gave me a solid foundation for a medical career," said Shaw.
Shaw still has close ties to Luther, she says, "The opportunities to reconnect with the College over the years have been like intermittent infusions of Luther warmth!"