Growing up, Shaikh loved basketball and idolized Loyola Marymount University star Hank Gathers. He enjoyed watching the team’s fast-paced mentality, high-scoring games and Gathers’ superior rebounding and shooting skills.
But tragedy struck.
Shaikh, then just 8, watched Hank Gathers collapse in the first-half of a semifinal game. Gathers had hypertrophic cardiomyopathy – a condition that causes the heart to thicken, making it difficult for it to pump blood.
Gathers was just 23 when he died. His death shaped Shaikh’s future.
“I was totally obsessed with the story when he died,” Shaikh says. “This kind of led me to be interested in cardiology.”
However, practicing medicine was nothing new to Shaikh.
“My dad is a doctor,” he says. “He has nine brothers and sisters and six of them are physicians. A lot of people in my family are in medicine, I grew up all around it. Especially in Racine where I grew up – my dad was a family practice doctor, my uncle in Milwaukee is involved in family practice and internal medicine, and my dad’s oldest brother, my uncle in Racine, was a neurosurgeon.”
After high school, Shaikh received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2010. He continued his education by attending medical school at Midwestern University in Arizona and completing his internal medicine residency three years later at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He also completed fellowship training in cardiovascular disease and interventional cardiology at Aurora Health Care (Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center) in Milwaukee.
Shortly after Shaikh completed his fellowships in 2017, he joined Aurora BayCare Cardiology. He says he enjoys building relationships with his patients and resolving their concerns.
“The most rewarding is when a patient comes in, especially with an acute illness, such as an acute heart attack and I am able to bring them to the cath lab and resolve their symptoms and improve their mortality right, then and there,” Shaikh said.
He encourages all his patients to live a heart-healthy life.
“The biggest thing people can do is to try to stay active. Walking at least 30 minutes five days a week and watching dietary stuff such as limiting salt intake and refined carbs as much as possible to keep a healthy weight can help. Those are two big things I tell patients all the time.”
The Racine native likes to stay active in his free time by participating in outdoor activities with his family and by playing golf and tennis.
It is not uncommon to find the sports fanatic at many Wisconsin Badgers football and basketball games and Milwaukee Bucks games.