Like his doppelganger NBA hero LeBron James, Dr. Shaun Whisenant has the drive and passion to become a superstar of his profession. He loves working with children and helping others. In fact, volunteering with children has always been a part of his life — from tutoring and mentoring kids while growing up to now coaching his son’s basketball team.
So becoming a pediatrician at Akron Children’s Hospital Pediatrics, Hudson, was a slam dunk. When asked about his favorite part, it’s no surprise he enjoys most partnering with caregivers to help take care of kids. “Hearing their stories and finding ways to use my skills and talents, along with the family’s knowledge of their child, gets me excited every day.”
What celebrity do you look the most like or what sitcom character do you act the most like?
At least once a week I am told I look like (NBA superstar) LeBron James.
When you curl up on the couch to watch a movie, are you most likely to have a bowl of popcorn, chocolate or box of tissues?
Definitely popcorn. I enjoy immersing myself in a summer blockbuster with things blowing up and little plot.
My Monday–morning must have is______.
Coffee. (Honestly, this is an every morning must have.)
What piece of advice did someone give you when you were young that still resonates with you today?
My mother taught me the golden rule when I was young: Treat others the way you want to be treated. I try my best to treat others with respect.
I’ve always wanted to help people since I was little. I volunteered a lot during grade school, high school and college, particularly with organizations that worked with children. I spent time going to local schools tutoring and mentoring children, and I was involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters in college. I think being a physician encompasses all the things that I was raised to value and allows me to practice those values every day.
Do you dunk your Oreos in milk, lick off the icing, eat them as they are or avoid them altogether?
I definitely don’t avoid them! My goal is to taste all the new flavors. My current favorite is Latte. I tend to eat them in 1 to 2 bites.
Where did you grow up?
Since my mom was in the United States Air Force, I moved around a lot. The places I lived the longest, however, included Okinawa, Japan; Bellevue, Nebraska; and Cleveland (for high school until I left for college).
Who makes up your family, including pets and their names?
My wife, Kori, our two boys, Aaron and Nathan, and our dog (Shih Tzu) Mia
What was your favorite childhood toy?
A Batman action figure whose utility belt was a grappling hook. I would hang him from anything and everything.
What is your greatest achievement?
I was the first in my family to not only complete college, but also I went on to become a physician. At the end of my residency, I received the Rainbow Pediatric Practice Continuity Clinic Award. It’s given to someone who excelled in the residency’s program.
Do you have a special hobby/interest or a way you like to give back/volunteer?
For interests, it would either be weightlifting, playing basketball or working on a Radio Controlled (RC) car after my oldest son and I (mainly me) crashed it.
I also do a lot of volunteer coaching at my son’s school, particularly soccer and basketball. It’s a joy to watch children as they learn and develop self-confidence in their abilities.
Why did you choose to come to Akron Children’s?
The people that work here are great. When I interviewed, everyone was kind and helpful, and that has continued since I joined the team. It’s obvious why families bring their children here for care.