As a fourth generation Shea to pursue a career as an ear, nose, and throat doctor, Dr. Paul Shea grew up in a culture of medicine and worked alongside his father from a young age. Not only has he continued a remarkable legacy, but Dr. Paul Shea has made significant contributions to his field through research, teaching, and community involvement.
Since he was a young boy, Dr. Paul Shea watched his father operate on the ears of patients suffering from hearing loss, chronic infections, and many other debilitating conditions. It is not an exaggeration to say he literally grew up in an operating room. Twice in grade school he took his entire class on field trips to the Shea clinic. As a teenager, Dr. Paul Shea worked at Applied Research Corporation, a company started by his father that designed specialized drills for use in ear surgery.
As an undergraduate at Vanderbilt University, Paul studied pre-med courses as well as English literature. Following this, Dr. Paul Shea did research for Charles Norris, Ph.D. at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he studied the effect of streptomycin on hair cells, the specialized nerve endings in the inner ear. This work proved pivotal as it provided the basis for the intratympanic perfusion procedure that was developed at the Shea clinic in the 1990’s and is now widely used in the treatment of Meniere’s disease and other disorders of the inner ear.