What do gastroenterologists do to relax?

Gastroenterologists are busy physicians, but an important of maintaining a successful career is balance. Here two  gastroenterologists share how they relaxes outside of their practices.

Ask a Gastroenterologist is a weekly series of questions posed to GI physicians around the country on business and clinical issues affecting the field of gastroenterology. We invite all gastroenterologists to submit responses.

Next week's question: What do you wish you had known before deciding to specialize in gastroenterology?

Please submit responses to Carrie Pallardy at cpallardy@beckershealthcare.com by Thursday, August 13, at 5 p.m. CST.

Larry Good, MD, FACG, founder, CEO Good Pharmaceutical Development, CEO, Compassionate Care Center of New York: Like many of my contemporaries, my career has consumed most of my time and leisure has been limited. I think millennials beginning their careers in medicine have a much better career-recreation balance.

Never the less, my private, personal time is very rich. I have a wonderful family and most of my time off was spent with my wife and children with great backyard activities and many wonderful family trips. Now that I am a grandfather, much of my leisure time is spent enjoying my grandchildren.

I am an avid reader and I am very disciplined about reading non-medical material daily. I love gardening and take great pride in my plantings and I play an occasional round of awful golf in the summer.

I think the next generation of physicians will, for many reasons, be much more focused on hobbies.

Pankaj Vashi, MD, Chair, Department of Medicine at Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Medical Director of Gastroenterology/Nutrition & Metabolic Support CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center (Zion, Ill.): Let me begin by saying that I love what I do for a living. As a physician working with patients facing a wide range of physical and emotional hurdles due in part from their experiences with cancer, I have a great responsibility. Not only do my patients require me to be alert, attentive and present in the moment when I am with them, but also I demand that of myself. I recognize that everyone is different; however, I find that what helps me stay refreshed and physically and emotionally charged is finding time to do the things that bring me the most joy. I truly feel blessed that I have many outlets outside of my work at CTCA that bring me joy.

Golf is one activities that I enjoy, allowing me the ability to combine my love of the outdoors, spending time with family and friends and testing my focus and resolve into one condensed morning or afternoon. Although I am not in the ranks of a Jack Nicholas, Arnold Palmer or Dustin Johnson, I always celebrate the little wins and look forward to playing again.

It's always been a priority of mine to find time to travel with my family. We have traveled to many locations within and outside of the United States. Life can move fast, and the times spent together as a family are memories that last a lifetime.

Working the in garden is an activity that helps connect me with the beauty and elegance of life. In order for a garden to be vibrant and healthy and produce sustenance, it requires around the clock care. On many levels, it's much like the care I provide my patients.

And finally, I am of Indian heritage, and find pride in taking an active role within the Indian community through my involvement with several professional and social organizations. All of the activities I mention and others that do outside of work are what keep me grounded and allow me to be at my best when I stand before my patients and their families.

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