Although Ellen Dorinda Shelley had long wanted to pursue health care, she didn’t decide on dermatology until college. Her professor, Philip C. Anderson, encouraged her to build her career in the field, and she took his advice. Dr. Shelley’s first professional position was assistant professor of dermatology at Stanford University, followed by assistant professor of dermatology, associate professor, and professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also served the latter school as the chairman of the College of Medicine at Peoria. In 1983, Dr. Shelly transferred to the University of Toledo, where she remains to this day. She started at the institution as a professor and the chief of dermatology, and became a clinical professor of dermatology in 1997.
When Dr. Shelley isn’t in the classroom, she is contributing her knowledge to the literary field. She has authored and edited more than 200 articles for professional journals, as well as a variety of books. Dr. Shelley notably co-edited “A Community of Scholars: Recollections of the Early Years of the Medical College of Ohio” and authored “Consultations in Dermatology,” “Shelley’s 77 Skins,” “Advanced Dermatologic Diagnosis,” and “A Century of International Dermatological Congresses,” among others. She also published four children’s books, “The Helium Table,” “The Helium Egg,” “Helium Heels,” and “Santa’s Sleigh-Train,” and edited the children’s book, “Bernadine Stetzel’s Our Town.”
One of the highlights of Dr. Shelley’s journey was when she and her husband, who was also a dermatologist, produced a professional and personal diary called, “Portrait of a Practice.” The diary documented their lives and their children’s lives and was published in a medical journal, Cutis, from 1990 to 1995. She was also proud to receive accolades like the Walter B. Shelley MD Leadership Award and the Rose Hirschler Award from the Women’s Dermatologic Society.
To prepare for her endeavors, Dr. Shelley earned a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College in 1962 and an MD from the University in 1966. She then garnered hands-on experience as an intern at Saint Luke’s Hospital, a dermatology resident at the University of Missouri, and a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. Dr. Shelley was certified by the American Board of Dermatology in 1971.
In her spare time, Dr. Shelley enjoys gardening, attending antique actions and library sales, and visiting art galleries. Additionally, she owns and directs a few bookstores in Grand Rapids, Ohio, and has a small farm with donkeys, alpacas, horses, and sheep.