Dr. Shira Lipton

Dr. Shira Lipton

Class of ‘97
Board Certified Dermatologist


Q: What year did you graduate from Castilleja?
A: 1997

Q: Where did you continue your education after graduation?
A: I went to Stanford University to earn my undergraduate degree, UCLA for medical school, and completed my dermatology residency at UCSF.

Q:  Why did you decide to pursue dermatology?  
A: When I was only eight years old, I developed a fascination with skin. While friends would recoil from rashes, I found skin intriguing! My mother was convinced that I was destined to become an esthetician. However, my father — a physician — had other ideas. He taught me that there were specialists in medicine, called dermatologists, who learned how to take care of people with skin problems. So my future professional destiny was sealed by the time I was 10!

Castilleja gave me the confidence and opportunities to make my dream a reality. It instilled in me the sense that I could do anything I put my mind to, no matter how daunting the challenge. To this day, I credit Castilleja for my determination, my understanding that it’s healthy to make mistakes, and my love of learning.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your work?
A: Practicing dermatology has many rewards. It allows me to work with patients of all ages; coordinate care with colleagues from multiple specialties, including rheumatology, oncology, and primary care; and it gives me opportunities to prescribe state-of-the-science drugs and treatments.

Q: What made you decide to practice in Palo Alto?
A: Palo Alto has always been home to me. I attended Castilleja and Stanford, and after I completed my training, the opportunity arose for me to work at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic – and I jumped at the chance!

Q: Can you tell us about some of your volunteer activities?
A: I have been very fortunate to work at the Palo Alto Medical Clinic, where we are committed to serving all members of our community. While at Castilleja and Stanford, I provided care for underserved patients at RotaCare, a clinic devoted to taking care of patients who lacked or had minimal insurance. It was a privilege and an honor to serve a leadership role in this organization, and I carry many of the skills I learned to my practice today.