Meet Sheila R. Feaster, DPM
Dr. Sheila Feaster joined Marshall Health in 2021 as a board-certified podiatrist for Marshall Orthopaedics. She attended medical school at Kent State University in Independence, Ohio, completed her residency at Henry Ford Health Systems in Wyandotte, Michigan, and completed two fellowships at Eastern Colorado Health Care System in Denver, Colorado and Bako Podiatric Pathology Services in Alpharetta, Georgia. She is a member of the American Podiatric Medical Association, the American Diabetes Association and the American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine.
Why did you decide to pursue medicine and/or your specialty?
My desire to be a doctor of podiatric medicine stemmed from my association with the geriatric population. Many years ago I sat in the room with a close family friend, reminiscing about her life; I could not help but observe her failing health. She was over 80 years old and was struggling with a myriad of health problems. Her story was typical of many African Americans who were either unaware of the signs of potential health problems or were not made aware of cutting-edge treatments. My view of the problem was not from the scholarly studies showing a racial or economic disparity in access and medical treatment; it was from first-hand experience. Those stories fueled my passion for embarking on a health care career.
After being introduced to various health care professions, it wasn’t until I graduated from Michigan State University that I received information about a career in podiatric medicine. Upon further investigation, I recognized that podiatric medicine was full of versatility. My profession allows me to merge the humility aspect of my faith when caring for patients.
Who has inspired you throughout your life and career?
As an American who descends from Slavery, countless individuals have inspired my educational and professional journey. However, I did not have to go past my close familial relationships as a source of motivation. My hardworking parents taught me to persevere, and my aunt taught me that my presence is needed in whatever door God allows me to walk through. This means a lot coming from a woman who was the first African American teacher for the Warren School District in Arkansas.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Time is finite. Live your life, don’t “just exist.” Love and appreciate those who are nearest and dearest to you. Those are the people who indeed are the world to you, and you mean the world to them.
What does being a woman in a male-dominated area mean to you?
As an African American woman, being in an area dominated by individuals who do not look like me means that I am obligated to be a voice for diversity and inclusion. The saying “variety is the spice of life” goes far beyond the trivial as varied backgrounds only enrich healthcare and help to close those disparities.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Feaster at Marshall Orthopaedics, call 304-691-1262.
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