Dr. Sheila Loanzon is a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist with over 15 years of patient care. She offers women specific tools to shift their perspective, gain insight, and move forward confidently. Dr. Loanzon received her BA in biochemistry at Vassar College and completed medical school at the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific. She's been recently promoted to the Assistant Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at a large multi-speciality practice in California and is the author of Yes, I Have Herpes.
What do I do best?
I have been told that I do the best pap smears, which can be one of the most uncomfortable, dreaded exams for women. It may be a combination of my calm reassuring nature in the office, being intuitive with the patient’s body, gentle, light touch and the yoga breathing that I teach my patients before starting the exam. Afterwards my patients often say, “That’s the best pap smear I’ve ever had. I’m referring all my friends to you!”
What makes me the best version of myself?
Patients often come to the office with a laundry list of concerns. I find when my patients are given the unlimited chance to fully express their concerns and symptoms, through their speech I have been able to glean common themes, evidence of certain fears, and use my medical knowledge to determine if it there is a medical undertone.
Being able to understand a patient’s largest fears helps maximize the effectiveness of the appointment. I believe this is why my office appointments are so successful. My delicate balance of demeanor, medical knowledge, caring personality, patience and appropriate humor offers reassurance and a comfortable plan for moving forward. My goal is to educate and inspire the patient to live their life to the fullest.
What are my aspirations?
Personally I look forward to continuing to grow with my current partner Dan. Our lives have paralleled a similar trajectory in terms of our emotional growth and our careers. We have become each other’s confidante(s) and supporter(s) and I am truly enjoying our relationship blossoming. To see where we develop next is exciting and I am happy with wherever the next steps take us.
Professionally I would like to continue focusing on my current obstetrics and gynecology department. The one-on-one interaction I have with my patients in the office brings me energy and joy and immediate satisfaction when we have reached our outcome: achieving pregnancy, a healthy pregnancy, and control of various symptoms. My department is a joyful place to come to every day. My recent promotion to Assistant Chief of my OBGYN department brings a new challenge and I desire to absorb as much as I can from the administrative role and lead positive impactful projects.
Outside of this work, I also have visions to build a library of easy to read/understand resources for women offering education and tools to survive and thrive through various gynaecologic concerns and ailments. This collection would be in addition to my first book, Yes, I Have Herpes which was unique as it speaks to my personal transformation with a common sexually transmitted infection. This recipe of guidance has worked well for myself as well as patients in the office and I would like to extend this to others. As a board certified obstetrician and gynecologist, I would like to demystify and distill a variety of common concerns for women and offer reasonable and attainable medical information. As a thirty-seven-year-old woman, I am in the arc of many of the instances women are transitioning through such as contraception, pregnancy, mental health changes throughout the years, and further down the line menopause and can talk women through this.
My Biggest Success?
Writing Yes, I Have Herpes is my biggest accomplishment to date. To take a sexually transmitted disease that I hid from others (and myself) for 15 years due to shame, embarrassment, and fear, and then to subsequently shift my perspective enough to broadcast it to the entire world in the form of a book is miraculous. My honest disclosure on social media and my desire to help others who are like me is a huge leap as well. I'm also proud of being able to motivate my colleagues to remove their own judgments about herpes. I have helped my herpes positive friends influence those whom have been recently diagnosed, which is another testament to my efforts. It has been a huge snowball effect and I hope the momentum will continue throughout the world to remove the stigma of this common sexually transmitted infection.
My Most Challenging Moment?
The moment I told my current partner that I have herpes was one of my life's most difficult moments. To offer someone an honest vulnerable piece of yourself and risk the possible refusal of their affection can be nerve-wracking. I had been doing internal work on my self-confidence and self-worth up to that point, so I had certain tools to survive the experience. It takes two people agreeing to be with each other in any relationship and I realized that I could only be responsible for myself and my response to a given situation.
"Make yourself a priority. It's not selfish. It's necessary." Women often have strong motherly instincts, and it's common and acceptable to push our needs and desires aside for others such as children, partners, work, etc. Physicians also have a tendency to push aside their basic needs to care for patients. So as a female physician and surgeon, this imbalance of care for myself became prevalent in residency and as an attending physician. Constantly pushing ourselves aside gives an improper signal to the world that we are not important. By taking time for ourselves for an hour to exercise, breath fresh air, or reading a book, we can replenish ourselves, restore our energy and patience, and confidently give to others to our maximum capacity.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My executive coach Julien Adler who in the last three years that we worked together helped me realize I am perfect as I was created, had power in my choices, and offered tools to improve my self-worth, self-love, and confidence. My professional career has flourished with his guidance and support and I am eternally grateful.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Favorite travel destinations: Kauai, Mexico and Italy- beautiful places where I gained emotional growth and developed further awareness of my vulnerability. Annually I go to Palm Desert, CA for a weeklong detoxification retreat, which I look forward to every year as a respite from the bustle of life to take care of myself and focus inward.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My yoga mat, which offers a safe space to breathe, let go of judgments and comparisons, and release things that don’t serve me.
I travel everywhere with my 32oz Hydroflask filled with lemon water. Hydration has become very important to me as I optimize care of my body. With my physical activity of heated yoga and my desire to detoxify my body, water is a basic element that I believe we all should increase in our diet. My goal is to drink half my weight (in lbs.) in fluid ounces and I find this can replenish the body, flush my system, and support my healthy diet.
My Current Passions?
My current passion is Core Power Yoga, a studio focused on hot yoga and Yoga Sculpt (free weights intensifying yoga poses along with cardio) in this heated environment. I attend class every morning before work and feel this time on the yoga mat gives me the capability to hold more light and love for myself and others.The simplicity and intricacy of focus on my breath has helped me through many situations I face daily and offers the balance I strive for. My flexibility has increased and the detoxification through the many yoga poses and heat is an added bonus.