For Shayla “Tori” McDonald, PA-C, sports are not simply a pastime, they are her passion.
As a child she was heavily involved in athletics. She could often be found in the orthopedics office where her mother worked with sports-related injuries.
Tori’s main passion was gymnastics. However, after a career-ending elbow injury she was forced to give up the sport she loved.
“I was devastated,” she shares.
From then on, Tori was determined to redirect her energy into a specialty where she could help other athletes recover and get back to their activity.
Tori graduated from North Greenville University in December 2020 as a physician assistant (PA), after completing rotations in South Carolina and Florida. During her time as a PA student, she traveled to Nicaragua to provide care to the poor and underserved in that community.
“The patients there were so incredibly grateful for everything we did, even though we were only able to give them a short supply of medications and vitamins,” she shares.
The most impactful patient interaction Tori had in Nicaragua was with a six-month pregnant woman.
“While we were limited in the supplies and technology we brought with us, we did have a portable ultrasound machine,” Tori recalls. “That day I was able to show a woman her baby for the first time and she even got to see the baby move. It was emotional for both of us!”
Tori’s whole experience on this trip reminded her that even the simplest things can make a huge impact in a patient’s life. Now, Tori is fulfilling her dream of helping others by treating patients at Bon Secours Carolina Orthopaedic Center and Bon Secours Piedmont Orthopedics Associates.
Tori mostly treats patients who are suffering from injuries resulting in pain or limited mobility that affect their everyday activities.
“It’s very rewarding to see their faces light up after surgery because they’re able to reach above their head or sleep throughout the night again,” she shares.
Tori takes her time to get to know her patients, not just their health issues, to make sure they develop the best plan of care together. By treating patients as a whole rather than just treating their injury, Tori is able to gain their trust.
“I think it is important for the patient to feel included in decisions regarding their care,” Tori says.
Outside of practicing medicine, Tori continues to feed her passion for sports by being a cheerleading coach at her undergrad alma mater Wofford College. She also enjoys attending football and basketball games, running, cooking, reading and traveling.
Learn about the orthopedic and sports medicine services we offer at Bon Secours.