Finding excitement in teaching, Clarence Shannon, MD, continues working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology because of the sense of purpose it gives him.

He focuses his efforts on mentoring students to pay back the kindness that he received from his mentors. “I love teaching medical school students and residents. I think it’s incredibly important to mentor and give back,” says Shannon.

His interest in pain management was sparked thanks to his mentors during his first year of medical school.

“They were very interested in my education, and helped me get through medical school. So I know first-hand how important mentorship is,” says Shannon.

The Impact of Patient Care

In addition to his role as an Assistant Professor, Shannon is also the Executive Medical Director in Pain Management at the University of Minnesota.

“I want people to be able to reach their full potential. I want people to be able to realize what their purpose is and be able to care that out in a pain free life, in a pain free way,” he says.

And while it’s not always possible to completely eradicate a patient’s pain, sometimes that isn’t the only goal.

“If we can manage their pain so that they can function, so that they can enjoy their life—that’s the key,” says Shannon.

By making an impact on his patients, he hopes they will then be able to move forward from the pain and enjoy their lives.

“What I aim to do is manage pain. I want you to be able to pursue your daily activities with a minimal distraction from pain,” he says.

Improving Patient Lives Outside the Clinic

In the next chapter of his life, Shannon would like to continue his education by pursuing a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management.

“I've been taking care of patients from the physiologic standpoint, and now I’d like to see if I could make an impact by making the acquisition of healthcare easier,” he explains.

Following in the footsteps of his mentors, he would like to continue to learn and grow as he has seen those before him do.

“My ultimate goal is to help people with pain keep doing the things they love,” says Shannon.