White Coat Diary: Sasha Shillcutt, MD

White Coat Diary asks Doximity members to share how they spend their days or nights inside and outside of the hospital, clinic, or office.

Sasha Shillcutt, MD is an cardiac anesthesiologist and founder of Brave Enough, a blog that empowers and encourages women to be confident in their professional and personal lives.

Name: Sasha K. Shillcutt, MD, MS, FASE

Specialty: Cardiac Anesthesiology

Institution: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Age: 42

Location: Omaha, Nebraska

Morning

5am: I am up and getting on gym clothes, although 99% of the time I do not remember this part of my day. Did I grab coffee? Did I lace my tennis shoes? My first memories of the day do not normally start until after I hit the shower…

6am: I am in the shower, mental checklist about my cases for the day, and counting the minutes until I can eat. I am always hungry getting ready, which is motivation to do it fast. Mascara: check. Lipstick: check. Commute and a podcast: check check.

7am: I have arrived at work, changed into scrubs, thrown down some protein, and I’m in the preop area locating my first patient. My cell phone is vibrating, the resident has questions, and my husband, aka the COO, is sending me my nightly schedule and responsibilities that involves our four ‘little’ people (although now that one is taller than me and another creeping up, I use the word ‘little’ in jest). After reading what awaits my second job as an Uber driver tonight, I need more coffee, so I grab my second cup of the day between preop and the operating room. Then we are off to the races. I am organizing anesthetic induction of my cardiac patient, supervising vascular line placement, stabilizing hemodynamics, and performing transesophageal echocardiography all before my third cup of jo.

8am: I am going over the echocardiography findings with the surgeon, we are well underway in the case, and I am teaching the trainees in the room (medical students, residents, fellows) about the valvular lesions, or pharmacology of anesthetic gases, or cardiovascular physiology.

9am: Sometime in this hour I consuming a mid-morning snack (yogurt/apple/peanut butter) and BIG SHOCK: black coffee. I actually go to the hospital Starbucks for this one, and the barista has it waiting for me most days so I can skip the long lines and get back to supervising my case.

10am to 4 PM: In the OR

Afternoon

4pm: If we are done in the OR, I am going through email. I try and do either editing, a little writing, or data review an hour a day. I write a lot of manuscripts and I find doing a little a day helps me keep my head above water. I also work on administrative tasks. This work happens typically ever day in order to stay on top of things and not feel completely overwhelmed. Like most physicians, our days are seldomly segregated into “clinical” and “nonclinical” activities. There is a lot of overlap.

5pm: I try and wrap things up and if I am not on call, I am heading home to start my evening as an Uber driver. I check in with my husband and get the skinny on tonight’s events; my four kids are going four different direction and I am ½ of their wheels.

Evening

6pm: Quick dinner (thank goodness for the Instapot) and GO. My car is full of 2–3 basketball players, soccer players, and dancers. I am balancing homework advice with listening to the days events. I am typically dropping off someone at a field or gym and picking up another somewhere.

7pm: The car is my second home. My phone rings and it’s a resident wanting to discuss tomorrow’s case. I listen, ask questions, and we formulate a plan over the background noise of my uber passengers, who are asking me to settle a dispute.

8pm: We try and make our way home. It’s school papers, mail, and list time. I’m anxious to see the other family Uber driver aka my husband and the kids he’s transporting. We are all finally home and I try and check in with the kids I didn’t have in my car. How are you? How was the math quiz? How did the history test go? How was practice?

9pm: Showers, packing lunches, more lists. I pack my gym bag for tomorrow and catch up with my husband. From 9 to10 I turn off all social media and spend this time reading and writing. I blog, write emails to women physicians I coach, and read something non-medical. If I’m under a deadline, I may use this time to write manuscripts or lectures, but I really try and use this time to recharge. I don’t watch TV; I love to read.

10pm: ZZZZZZ. Time to do it all again tomorrow.

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