A shaped guidewire for use in medical applications is disclosed. The guidewire is shaped so as to prevent inadvertent advancement of the guidewire into the corpus of a patient during use. In one embodiment, the guidewire includes an elongate body that defines proximal and distal ends. The guidewire body further defines a shaped portion that is positioned intermediate the proximal and distal ends. The shaped portion of the guidewire is at least partially composed of a shape memory material, such as nitinol, and is deflected from a longitudinal axis defined by an undeflected portion of the guidewire body. The shaped portion is disposed in one embodiment at the proximal end of the guidewire. In another embodiment, a proximal portion of the nitinol guidewire can be treated to impart malleability and enable deflection by a clinician. Methods for forming the shaped or malleable guidewire to include a deflected portion are disclosed.