Individual Profile

Cathleen Clancy Interview Final from Anna Norris on Vimeo.


Dr. Cathleen Clancy was born and raised in New York City by her Irish father and Mexican mother. Growing up under the influence of two distinct cultures, she was expected to work very hard and nothing less. Today, she serves as the Assistant Medical Director of the National Capitol Poison Center in Washington, DC and is a proud Irish-Mexican-American.

Her parents encouraged her to work hard and be unique, which ultimately led to her development today. Dr. Clancy’s parents expected her to try her best in school. Dr., Clancy said, “My mother never really encouraged us to learn Spanish. She always felt like she wanted us to be completely Americanized. She said, ‘If you need someone to speak Spanish, interpreters are a dime a dozen’”.

When Dr. Clancy was 16, she discovered a love for juggling, which her parents encouraged. Now that she is a mother, she utilizes the same principles in her parenting. “I try to instill in my kids that they need to be themselves and do what they want to do even if everyone else doesn’t do that,” Dr. Clancy said.

Dr. Clancy is in charge of the clinical aspect at the Poison Center assisting those who believe they have been contaminated by toxic substances. People call her in, “… when they think they have been poisoned, or they have a drug they need identified, or their pet looks sick and they think they may have eaten something, or they got something on their skin,” Clancy says.

She is dedicated to teaching on the subject of toxicology and written a number of textbooks. She is heavily involved in the planning of the regional emergency response coalitions and exercises for the DC area. In addition, she will direct the National Capitol Poison Center Medical Toxicology Fellowship and teach case-based teaching rounds.

Other than dealing with toxic issues, Dr. Clancy also practices medicine in the Emergency Room at George Washington University Hospital.

Over the years, Dr. Clancy began her study of medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1986. After graduating, she went to Yale to complete her internship and residency. She completed her fellowship in the early 90s. Dr. Clancy is licensed to work in the District of Columbia and is Board Certified in: Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine, and Medical Toxicology.

Influenced by her culture, Dr. Clancy credits where she is today with nearly 30 years in the medical field to her unique heritages, which ultimately shape who she is.