Christine Shanahan found herself drawn to the medical field and specifically dermatology as a young child. At the age of 16, she was given the opportunity to travel to the mountain towns outside of Acapulco, Mexico to assist volunteering dermatologists as they provided care for the underserved residents of the area. This experience highlighted that access to medical care is a worldwide problem. As a result, she was motivated to develop solutions to this problem. Her interest in healthcare remained constant throughout her years at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, guiding her to complete a BS degree in Neuroscience with a pre-medical concentration.
During her years in college, she worked as a medical assistant for a dermatology private practice. Her participation in the Medical Society of Northern Virginia (MSNVA) Legislative Meetings and MSNVA Annual Meetings highlighted the collaborative work of community members, physicians and legislators to improve access to care and increase the efficiency of the healthcare system. Motivated by the interesting perspectives of many attendees and her experiences during an internship with Project Access of Northern Virginia (PANV), a program that provides pro-bono care to underprivileged patients of the area by participation of volunteering specialty physicians, she became more interested in other opportunities that could promote healthcare improvement for Virginia.
With swiftly evolving technology, she became interested in telemedicine and specifically teledermatology as an innovative way to provide better access to medical care. As a student member of the American Telemedicine Association (ATA) and other associated telemedicine groups, she was inspired to be an active part of the movement by working with motivated dermatologists in Virginia. Christine Shanahan collaborated with Ting Shih, founder of Click Medix and Dr. Brenda Dintiman to create DermUtopia, a secure mobile teledermatology company designed to provide care directly to patients in Virginia.