Dr Shilkin graduated from Melbourne University in 1962.
She worked at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, then at Royal Perth Hospital, Princess Margaret and King Edward Hospitals in Perth, Western Australia.
Later, she and her husband worked in Kilmore, Victoria as country general practitioners for nearly seven years, before returning to Western Australia.
She then worked at PMH again, and later in private general practice, seeing children only. After several years off work with illness she helped establish the COMe HEAR Centre [Children’s Otitis Media Centre] in Wembley and was Medical Director for five years. She returned to private practice seeing children only, and worked there until retiring recently.
For the past 25 years she has been especially interested in distressed babies and developed the concept of Eustachian tube Irritation [ETI] as more and more babies presented with similar symptoms. The infants have a combination of reflux and allergies or intolerances and many develop middle ear problems. The infants are at risk of having developmental sequelae.
Dr Shilkin has continued to extend the concept of ETI as she has followed about 2,000 infants and children with these problems—some for many years.
Since retiring she has worked to complete her book ‘Crying Babies & Beyond — the ins & outs and ups & downs’. She has written the book so the information she has acquired working with these infants will not be lost and to give parents information.
Her passion has been working with infants and children and their parents, as she believes that helping children reach their potential is one of the most important areas of medicine.
When she finds time, her hobbies are collecting teddy bears, photographing wildflowers, sewing and embroidery.