Woman Crush Wednesday.
We love to celebrate female movers and shakers who are successful locally, nationally, internationally, and most importantly, personally.
This week, we are so excited to highlight Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia, who is the co-founder of The Capuia Foundation, Executive Director of Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU’s) Avel Gordly Center for Healing and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at OHSU.
We asked her to share with us her story and her thoughts on success.
How did you get started in your career/field?
I’ve always enjoyed creative writing. When I was in the fifth grade at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Northeast Portland, Oregon, the local bank had a writing contest. All my teachers encouraged me to enter. With a little trepidation, I seized the opportunity and began writing. In the small essay, I wrote that I would be a doctor who served in Africa. Long story short, I won the contest, which afforded me a $500 bank account at the local Benjamin Franklin branch. I’ve always known that I wanted to assist others, globally. Therefore, my keen focus in school was to make certain that I did everything necessary to achieve this goal. I maintain a laminated copy of my winning fifth grade essay and annually review it for inspiration and as an anchoring force.
Biggest "break" thus far and how were you able to achieve it?
Right out of fellowship, I was appointed as Chief Medical Officer for a national behavioral health agency and made history doing so as both first and youngest within the organization. This was an incredible honor and afforded me great exposure socially, academically and politically.
Biggest roadblock and how did you overcome it?
I met my partner my third year in college, married during the first year of medical school, was pregnant my second year of medical school, gave birth at the end of my second year, took 6 weeks off and remained determined to finish on time. Getting married and becoming a mother is one of the greatest joys and accomplishments of my life. It was equally challenging, however, because the new reality of working to pursue balance had a hit me in a major way. I was determined to finish medical school on time while assuming new role of wife and breastfeeding mother. This mandated a new way of partnering with my husband. I’ve been blessed with an incredibly supportive and understanding husband who graciously suspended his dreams to allow me to pursue my own. He supported me through medical school, then he went back to graduate school and obtained his education. During residency, we were pregnant with our second child and had to perfect our balancing act once more. We (emphasis on the ‘we’) made it out whole and happy – it required intentionality, hard work and understanding.
Do you have a mentor? If so, how did you find him/her? If not, who do you model your professional goals after?
Mentorship is critical along the path to success for anyone. I’ve been blessed with several mentors who were significant during specific seasons and transitions in my career. When I finished medical school, there was the dean of the school who directed and guided me. Upon entering residency, I had a physician leader take me under her wing and support me along the way. Because of all of the care, direction and compassion I was provided, I now serve as a mentor to many young aspiring scientists and physicians.
Dr. Alisha Moreland-Capuia, MD is the Co-founder of The Capuia Foundation, Executive Director of Oregon Health & Science University’s (OHSU’s) Avel Gordly Center for Healing and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at OHSU. She earned a B.S. from Stanford University, M.D. from The George Washington University School of Medicine, completed four years of training in psychiatry and a fellowship in addiction medicine, both OHSU. Dr. Alisha is board certified in both general adult psychiatry and addiction psychiatry. She has published on trauma and addiction.
Professional website is http://www.dralishamorelandcapuia.com/