A photo of Sally Shott.

Pediatric Otolaryngologist, Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology

Professor, UC Department of PediatricsUC Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery



Board Certified

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"I believe in discussing these various choices with the family, and with the child if they are old enough, and then making a group decision on what is best for the individual child."

My Biography & Research


Early in my training, I found that I loved working and interacting with children and their families. Children have the uncanny ability to tell if you are comfortable around them, and this affects their interactions with you in the office. Outside of my scary name — Dr. Shott — most children seem to feel comfortable around me. Kids can tell that I enjoy seeing them in my office and providing care for them.

I am a pediatric otolaryngologist, commonly called an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor. I take care of a wide range of ENT problems, including:

  • Abnormal growths on the head and neck
  • Chronic ear infections and hearing difficulties
  • Chronic nasal obstruction and sinusitis
  • Down syndrome
  • Sleep apnea and sleep disorders in children
  • Upper airway obstruction and recurrent tonsillitis

Otolaryngology includes both medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the head and neck, and I enjoy the combination of these two disciplines. While I might see and treat your child on a short-term basis, there are other children whom I see and treat over many years.

Caring for children requires close interactions with their parents. As a parent who has had personal experiences with my sons needing surgery, these interactions come naturally to me. One of my strongest attributes is the ability to explain things to families and their children clearly. Parents should understand the reasons for my treatment recommendations, and I take extra time to achieve this.

I feel that I should be an advocate for each child, and my goal is to contribute to each child’s maximum potential. Each of my patients is unique, and frequently there can be several treatment options. I believe in discussing these various choices with the family, and with the child if they are old enough, and then making a group decision on what is best for the individual child.

If I have a child with a problem that one of my associates would be better equipped to handle, I have no problem suggesting they see them instead of me. The patient comes first, and I want to be sure each child is getting the best care possible.

I also believe in educating the family on why a specific surgery or medical treatment is recommended. As opposed to saying, “This is what needed,” I believe in discussing the disease pathophysiology and explaining why a certain treatment is needed.

I have been in practice for more than 30 years, and I love what I do. Many of my patients are under my care for more than 20 years, and I enjoy seeing them grow and develop as I care for them — from infancy, through childhood, to teenage years and young adults.

I am an active member of the Upper Airway Center at Cincinnati Children’s, a multidisciplinary center for comprehensive care of children with sleep apnea. In 2006, I served as the president of the Society for Ear, Nose, and Throat Advancement in Children, a national and international society.

I have been recognized with the following awards:

  • “Best Doctors in America” yearly since 2001
  • Professional of the Year in 2002, from the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati
  • EP Maxwell Schleifer Distinguished Service Award in 2009, from the Cincinnati Reds on their Disabilities Awareness Night
  • The Pueschel Memorial Research Award from the National Down Syndrome Congress, in 2011

My research has focused on providing improved and optimal medical and surgical care in children with Down syndrome. This research has also focused on improving surgical outcomes for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in children. This includes work on computational modeling of the airway, a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study done in coordination with aerospace engineers from the University of Cincinnati and pulmonologists at Cincinnati Children’s.

In addition, I’m part of a multi-institutional study investigating the use of the hypoglossal nerve stimulator for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in children.

I am a native Cincinnatian who came back to Cincinnati after college for medical school, residency and fellowship, and I never left. I think we have a great city!

I have been married to my husband for more than 35 years — we went to Walnut Hills High School together. We have two wonderful adult children. My time for many years was filled with work, family and home responsibilities. Now that my children are older, I have more time to myself. I enjoy gardening, swimming and golf. We also enjoy traveling.

Clinical Interests

Specific ear, nose and throat (ENT) problems relating to down syndrome patients

Academic Affiliation

Professor, UC Department of PediatricsUC Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery

Clinical Divisions

Otolaryngology ENT, Aerodigestive and Sleep, Upper Airway

Research Divisions


My Locations

My Education

MD: University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, 1982.

Residency: University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, General Surgery, 1982 to 1983; University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, Otolaryngology, 1983 to 1987.

Fellowship: Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, Pediatric Otolaryngology, 1987.

Certification: American Board of Otolaryngology, 1988.

My Publications

Redefining Success by Focusing on Failures After Pediatric Hypoglossal Stimulation in Down Syndrome. Yu, PK; Jayawardena, AD L; Stenerson, M; Pulsifer, MB; Grieco, JA; Abbeduto, L; Dedhia, RC; Soose, RJ; Tobey, A; Raol, N; et al. Laryngoscope. 2020.

Effectiveness of pediatric drug-induced sleep endoscopy for REM-predominant obstructive sleep apnea. Smith, DF; He, S; Peddireddy, NS; Manickam, PV; Heubi, CH; Shott, SR; Cohen, AP; Ishman, SL. Sleep and Breathing. 2020; 24:1705-1713.

Sleep Architecture in Children With Down Syndrome With and Without Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Heubi, CH; Knollman, P; Wiley, S; Shott, SR; Smith, DF; Ishman, SL; Meinzen-Derr, J. Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 2020.

Endoscopic Removal of a Cervical Esophageal Duplication Cyst. Leader, BA; Rutter, MJ; Shott, SR; Smith, MM. Laryngoscope. 2020; 130:2053-2055.

Update on hypoglossal nerve stimulation in children with down syndrome and obstructive sleep apnea. Caloway, CL; Diercks, GR; Keamy, D; de Guzman, V; Soose, R; Raol, N; Shott, SR; Ishman, SL; Hartnick, CJ. Laryngoscope. 2020; 130:E263-E267.

Subcutaneous emphysema with pneumomediastinum after tonsillectomy: Case report and review of the literature. Barengo, JH; Yuen, SN; Kennedy, P; Shott, SR. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology. 2020; 131.

Adherence to Guidelines for Screening Polysomnography in Children with Down Syndrome. Knollman, PD; Heubi, CH; Meinzen-Derr, J; Smith, DF; Shott, SR; Wiley, S; Ishman, SL. Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 2019; 161:157-163.

Magnetic resonance imaging of obstructive sleep apnea in children. Fleck, RJ; Shott, SR; Mahmoud, M; Ishman, SL; Amin, RS; Donnelly, LF. Pediatric Radiology. 2018; 48:1223-1233.

Outcomes of Drug-Induced Sleep Endoscopy-Directed Surgery for Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea. He, S; Peddireddy, NS; Smith, DF; Duggins, AL; Heubi, C; Shott, SR; Ishman, SL. Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 2018; 158:559-565.

Polysomnography in Pediatric Otolaryngology: If Not Obstructive Sleep Apnea, What Is It?. Heubi, CH; Meinzen-Derr, J; Shott, SR; Smith, DF; Ishman, SL. Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. 2017; 157:1053-1059.