I grew up in Altadena, CA and attended the Health Careers Academy at Blair High School in Pasadena, CA. During this time, I was exposed to a number of health professions, was trained as a medical assistant, and became a first aid/CPR instructor with the American Red Cross.
As I entered college at Duke University, I knew I wanted to pursue a health professions career but wasn't sure what I wanted to be. After taking a developmental psychology course, I decided to major in Psychology. However, because I was still highly interested in the medical field, I also pursued a degree in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy. I still didn't know what I wanted to be but hoped it would all work out by the time I finished college.
In my junior year , I enrolled in graduate-level course entitled "Pediatric Psychology." At the time, I did not know what pediatric psychology was and only enrolled in the course because I needed the course credits. It was this course, however, that changed my life. According to the Society of Pediatric Psychology, "pediatric psychology is an integrated field of science and practice in which the principles of psychology are applied within the context of pediatric health." This field allowed me to fuse my passion for psychology with my interest in medicine.
Following graduation from Duke, I enrolled in a clinical child/pediatric psychology training program at the University of Florida, nationally recognized as one of the top Ph.D. programs in pediatric psychology. While at Florida, I obtained the broad training of a clinical child psychologist and specialized in working with youth with chronic health conditions such as obesity, asthma, organ transplant, cystic fibrosis, and HIV.
My training was further enhanced via a pre-doctoral residency and post-doctoral fellowship at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, which was recently ranked as the #2 Children's Hospital in the USA by U.S. News and World Report. While at Cincinnati, I specialized in helping kids overcome barriers to taking their medicine and improving the transition from pediatric to adult health care. Most of my work focused on teens with inflammatory bowel disease (i.e., IBD, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis) although I also worked with children and teens with chronic pain, migraines, diabetes, epilepsy, and sleep disorders. At this time, I was also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Cincinnati.
Having loved my experiences conducting research as well as teaching and mentoring students, I decided to become a faculty member at Auburn University. At Auburn, I trained PhD students and focused my research on two areas: 1) improving the transition from pediatric to adult care in patients with IBD and 2) the experiences of college students with ADHD and their struggles taking their medication.
Following a productive 5 years as a professor, I decided to move back to Southern California to be near family. I am now a pediatric psychologist at the Children's Hospital of Orange County and love my job! I also work part-time at Pediatric and Adolescent Psychology Associates, providing evidence-based, specialized care to children, adolescents, and young adults.
Although I am no longer at a university, I remain active in research. I have over 100 peer-reviewed papers and research presentations. I have also been an invited speaker at regional and national conferences as well as hospital grand rounds, where physicians and other health professionals obtain up-to-date education on emerging health care areas.
As a working mom , I understand the challenges of parenthood and recognize that no one, including myself, is perfect. Life takes us on many unexpected twists and turns and sometimes it feels as if we are at the center of a "storm" completely at the whim of the waves tossing us to and fro.
"You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf." I look forward to being your surf coach.
Copyright © 2018 Wendy N. Gray, PhD - All Rights Reserved.