Massachusetts Medical Society: Worcester District Medical Society honors Sara Shields, M.D. as 2017 Community Clinician of the Year

Worcester District Medical Society honors Sara Shields, M.D. as 2017 Community Clinician of the Year


Waltham/Worcester – March 15th – Sara G. Shields, M.D., a physician at the Family Health Center of Worcester, has been honored by her peers of the Worcester District Medical Society as the district’s 2017 Community Clinician of the Year, an award recognizing her professionalism and contributions as a physician. She will receive the award at the district’s annual meeting April 12 at the Beechwood Hotel in Worcester.  

In nominating her for the honor, her colleagues recognized Dr. Shield’s “dedication to the Worcester community, her commitment to excellence in all areas of maternal and infant care, her care of the disadvantaged and underserved, and her involvement in multiple regional, national, and international community service activities.”

Board certified in family medicine, Dr. Shields has served patients at the Family Health Center of Worcester since 1995.  As part of her work at the Center, she helped begin the health center's participation in a program called Centering Pregnancy, which consists of group prenatal visits and has been shown in national studies to reduce preterm birth in low-income women.  

Dr. Shields is also a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and has served as a mentor to scores of resident physicians and medical students. 

In addition to her clinical and academic roles, Dr. Shields is Chair of the Worcester Healthy Baby Collaborative (formerly the Worcester Infant Mortality Reduction Task Force). She joined that group in 2001, served as Vice Chair from 2011-2016 and has been Chair since 2016.  

A widely published author and lecturer on maternity care and family medicine, she is a co-author, with Dr. Lucy Candib, of Woman-Centered Maternity Care in Pregnancy and Childbirth, a textbook based on the patient-centered model of maternity care published in 2010.   

Dr. Shields earned her B.A. in English, cum laude, in 1984 from Harvard-Radcliffe College, where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received her M.D. from the University of California at San Francisco in 1989 and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society.  During a Fellowship in maternal and child health at Brown University from 1992-1994, she earned a master’s degree in community health. 

She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians in 2005 and became a member of the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Committee on Maternal and Perinatal Welfare in 2014.  She also serves on the editorial boards of Family Medicine and the Family, Systems and Health Journal

Dr. Shields has been previously honored with the Chair’s Award from the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at UMass Memorial Healthcare, the Community Service Award from the UMass Women’s Faculty Committee, and the William Damon Award for Mentorship from the UMass Family Medicine Residency Program.  She resides in Northborough.

The Community Clinician of the Year Award was established in 1998 by the Massachusetts Medical Society to recognize a physician from each of the Society’s 20 district medical societies who has made significant contributions to his or her patients and the community. The Worcester District has more than 2,100 physician members. 

The Massachusetts Medical Society, with some 25,000 physicians and student members, is dedicated to educating and advocating for the patients and physicians of Massachusetts. The Society, under the auspices of NEJM Group, publishes the New England Journal of Medicine, a leading global medical journal and web site, and Journal Watch alerts and newsletters covering 13 specialties. The Society is also a leader in continuing medical education providing accredited and certified activities across the globe for physicians and other health care professionals.  Founded in 1781, MMS is the oldest continuously operating medical society in the country. For more information please visit,, or

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