Since I was a little girl, I have been called a lot of things. Sensitive. Funny. Strong-willed. Outgoing. Take-charge. Friendly. Bossy. Focused. And my favorite — domineering. I’ve always been a direct person. I’m an extrovert, which means I walk into a room and I am energized by the people around me. I am also a positive person; I assume you are my friend until you prove otherwise. On most days ...

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It’s still dark out when I walk into the busy and bustling preoperative area where patients and their family members crowd into small bays. They hand over their personal belongings to the RNs and their trust to me. As I walk in, I grab my patient’s hand, smile and say, “Hello. My name is Dr. Shillcutt. I am a cardiac anesthesiologist, and I am going to take care of you ...

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I was approaching 24 hours in the hospital and waiting for my partner to come into my operating room so we could do “hand-off." That's when I spend 15 minutes going over all of the events of the surgical case and explain my patient’s health history, his current status, my current treatment strategies, the heart ultrasound findings, and our plan for the rest of the case. As I was awaiting ...

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