Aiming for the stars with Neurosurgeon Dr Shawna Pandya
Dr Shawna Pandya’s ambition is to become an astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency.
On her road, this gaol Shawna has developed her leadership, project management and problem-solving skills to an impressive degree alongside progressing as a clinician using both pathways to interlink with each other to make her not only a remarkable medic but also an extremely suitable astronaut candidate.
In this episode Mark Hannaford, WEM Founder, and Shawna in a wide-ranging discussion talk about maintaining a strong mental focus, the value of outside interests in making you a better clinician and overcoming adversity to achieve success.
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From Shawna’s webpage.
Dr. Shawna Pandya is a physician, speaker, martial artist, citizen-scientist astronaut candidate with Projects PoSSUM & PHEnOM, and prime crew aquanaut with Project Poseidon. Through her involvement with Project PoSSUM, Dr. Pandya was part of the first crew to test a commercial spacesuit in micro-gravity. She has also completed centrifuge studies, emergency spacecraft egress and sea survival training, and wilderness medicine training. She also currently serves at the Life Sciences Team Lead for Association of Spaceflight Professionals and the Life Sciences Chair for the Canadian Space Society.
Dr. Pandya holds degrees in Honors Neuroscience (BSc. Hons, University of Alberta), Space Studies (MSc., International Space University) and medicine (MD, University of Alberta). She is licensed as a general practitioner. Prior to completing medical school, she attended Singularity University, where she co-founded CiviGuard, based on Singularity’s challenge to positively impact 1 billion people in 10 years using accelerating technologies.
She is an accomplished speaker, having given talks at TEDxUAlberta, TEDxEdmonton and the University of Alberta’s Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the invitation of former Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell. Dr. Pandya is a passionate STEM advocate, and a frequent speaker at schools, universities, scientific conferences and science centres. She is represented by the National Speakers’ Bureau.
Dr. Pandya also holds certifications in solo sky-diving, advance, open water, Nitrox and rescue diving, and is working towards her private pilot’s license. Dr. Pandya is fluent in English, French, Gujarati, and speaks introductory Spanish and Russian. She also sings, plays the piano and holds a black belt in Taekwondo and has trained annually at Muay Thai fight camps in Thailand since 2015, entering and winning her first amateur fight in 2017.