Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters
Child Abuse Program
935 Redgate Avenue
Norfolk VA 23507
Phone: (757) 668-6100
E-mail address: Michelle.Clayton@chkd.org
Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, BA Psychology 1991
University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, MPH Epidemiology 1996
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, MD 2000
Internship/residency: Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters (CHKD) / Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) 2000-2003
Fellowship: Forensic Pediatrics, CHKD/EVMS Child Abuse Program 2003-2004
Professional/business/civic/nonprofit organizations in which you are/have been involved and positions held:
American Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors
Prevent Child Abuse Hampton Roads Board of Directors
Child Abuse Prevention Committee (chair since 2007)
Who were the important mentors you have had and how did they impact your career?
I have had many mentors, often multiple mentors, at different stages of my life. My earliest mentors were (and still are) the strong women in my family – my mother, my grandmothers, my sisters. They help me to stay centered, and to remember the important things in life. Dr. Ada Mezzich is another mentor. She encouraged and supported me while I was earning my master’s degree, and she also showed by example how to balance a multi-faceted life. I still have mentors; my boss, Dr. Suzanne Starling, gives me continuing guidance on development of my academic career.
What do you consider your biggest personal and/or professional accomplishment and why?
My biggest accomplishment is raising a healthy, happy, and normal (so far, anyway) child. Having my son is by far the best thing I have ever done!
What advice would you give to a young person graduating from college this spring?
I encourage young people to never give up on their dreams. It’s worth short-term sacrifice to accomplish long-term goals, even if it seems like the goal is far-off. Even if only small steps toward the goal can be achieved, every step in the desired direction helps you get there in the end.
How do you achieve a balance between your professional life and your personal life?
I’m still striving for that! Overall, I protect family time as much as possible.
When you were growing up, what did you want to be?
I had always been interested in medicine, and when I was very young, I wanted to be a nurse. My mother encouraged me to think about becoming a doctor. I pondered it for a while, and by the time I was in middle childhood, I had decided that I would be a doctor, because I was fascinated by the field.
What is your favorite book or movie and why?
I have many favorite books, but one of my current favorites is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s an endlessly fascinating and complex story of good versus evil.
What are two things about you that not many people know?
I used to work in a steel mill, shoveling coal, as a summer job while in college. Also, I love shoes; I have dozens of pairs!