Dr. Shelby graduated from Ross University Medical School in 2013 and completed his family medicine residency at the University of Wyoming in Cheyenne, Wyoming. But his path to medicine was a non-traditional journey - from farm life to the environmental field to manure hauling. His well-rounded life experience has made him a better doctor and patient advocate. He, his wife, and two children enjoy Iowa living, its agricultural roots, and its family-friendly community.
Undergraduate: University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Chickasha, Oklahoma
Medical School: Ross University Medical School, Portsmouth, Dominica
Residency: University of Wyoming, Cheyenne, Wyoming
After a non-traditional path to medicine (see “His Story” below), Dr. Shelby began medical school at Ross University in January 2009, where he completed two years of academic training. For his clinical rotations, he headed to New England (Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut). Dr. Shelby then took additional training at Ross in pediatrics, surgery and anesthesia. He graduated with his MD in 2013 and completed his family medicine residency at the University of Wyoming in Cheyenne.
“Studying abroad in Dominica, a third-world country with many first-world amenities, was rewarding,” says Dr. Shelby. “The university was technologically advanced and offered top-notch training for a career in medicine. The people of Dominica were welcoming and grateful.”
After growing up on a farm in south central Oklahoma, Dr. Shelby didn’t have medical aspirations until late in his college career. By that time, he was already married and working in the environmental field for Delta Faucet. When he finished college in 1994, he applied for medical school, but failed to get in because of lack of experience and a medical undergraduate background.
After working in Oklahoma, he moved to Iowa to work for Crestland Cooperative in Creston. In 2001, he began his own contracting business as a manure hauler with a partner from Carroll, Iowa. His mother passed away in Oklahoma, so he sold the business in 2008 to move back to the family farm. During that time, his interest in medicine was once again piqued.
“At first it seemed like an insurmountable thought to go back to medical school,” says Dr. Shelby. “We had two young kids at the time.”
While taking undergraduate classes to meet some prerequisite requirements, he met a Ross University professor who became a mentor to Dr. Shelby.
The professor encouraged him to pursue medicine - it wasn’t too late to chase that dream.
“Going to medical school later in life and with my life experiences, I’m definitely a better doctor for it,” says Dr. Shelby. “That’s what it’s about — now I can relate to people on a different level.”
From their time in the manure business, Dr. Shelby and his family grew to love Iowa - the community, good schools, and outdoor offerings - so that solidified their decision to make their home in the Hawkeye state.
Dr. Shelby’s outdoor activities include fishing, hunting, and target shooting - though he says he doesn’t get nearly enough time for those hobbies, while he stays busy on his acreage. He and his wife, Lanelle, have two children, Logan (13) and Ethan (11).