New Year Motivation: A Day in the Life of Dr. Pashtoon Kasi, oncologist, researcher, teacher, and dad

If you feel like you’re drowning in the sea of work and life, you’re not alone. In fact, 66% of full-time employees in the U.S. do not strongly believe they have work/life balance. But there are a few people who seem to have it figured out. Pashtoon Kasi, MBBS, M.D., M.S., is one of them. He allowed me a glimpse into his life for a day so we could learn from him, and maybe gain some motivation to keep working to find that balance.

Since completing his Hematology/Oncology fellowship in Rochester in June 2016, Dr. Kasi, originally from Pakistan, has practiced, taught, and become a dad in Jacksonville, Florida. The 35-year-old GI Oncology expert has a profound interest in individualized medicine and leads research focusing on finding novel targets and drug discovery. His long days are marked with patient care, education and research. As a way to manage his time, Dr. Kasi works to minimize the duration of meetings and batches his emails and other messages.

An early riser, Dr. Kasi's goal is to begin working between 4 and 5 a.m. each morning.
Dr. Kasi’s office is in the Mangurian Building, which is the newest building on Mayo Clinic’s campus in Jacksonville.
At the beginning of each day, Dr. Kasi catches up on research projects, patient messages and advocacy groups.
Before appointments with patients begin, Dr. Kasi’s clinical team huddles for a quick meeting about the work to be done that day.
Typically, two-thirds of Dr. Kasi’s time in any given week is spent in direct patient care focusing on gastrointestinal cancers.
“Lunchtime” is typically filled with meetings. Tumor board discussions keep Dr. Kasi on the go.
Between patient appointments, Dr. Kasi checks emails, patient messages and/or catching up on research.
Each afternoon, Dr. Kasi reviews the progress of his research trainees and assigns goals to each student.
Dr. Kasi mentors his trainees. Sometimes lunchtime is spent with students over a cup of coffee.
During Grand Rounds and conferences, Dr. Kasi shares his latest developments with colleagues.
When providing consult service, Dr. Kasi rounds on his patients before leaving Mayo Clinic each day.
After work, Dr. Kasi’s goal is to get to his little one by 7 p.m. He does not take work home at night or on weekends, and devotes his “home” time to his family.
Rafay, 21 months, enjoys bike rides with his dad.
Sometimes Dr. Kasi and his wife, Maryam, end the day by enjoying dinner with friends.
When there’s time for exercise, Dr. Kasi’s favorite sport is squash.

In addition to ALL THE THINGS shown here, Dr. Kasi is a social media maven, often posting updates about the latest research news from Mayo Clinic. Follow him on Twitter to stay up-to-date on his developments.

Two of the most critical lessons to learn from Dr. Kasi, in my opinion, are:

  1. Use downtime effectively and efficiently.
  2. Leave work at work.

Do you have work/life balance tips to offer? Share them in the comments!

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A Mayo Clinic physician shows you how to keep your life in balance.
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