Dr. Jasrai Gill is a cardiologist specializing in cardio-oncology and is currently helping patients in Neptune, New Jersey. Jasrai Gill did his residency at Yale New Haven Hospital, and then went on to Loyola University to do his fellowship.
Cardio-oncology is medical field that revolves around the cardiovascular care of cancer patients. It involves performing baseline risk assessments for patients who either have a new diagnosis of cancer or who are slated to undergo anticancer therapy as well as following patients who have had exposure to therapies that may have short, intermediate, or long-term impacts on the cardiovascular system.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Early in my practice, I focused on interventional cardiology and vascular therapy, but a large portion of my geriatric patients had both diseases, cardiac disease and oncologic disease. I began to understand there is a fair amount of overlap between the pathology of both of these diseases and the treatment for one disease can impact the other. This led to my involvement with cutting-edge cancer research through Penrose TherapeuTx and ultimately specializing in cardio-oncology.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day starts early for me, around 6:30 am, with email. My clinical practice starts around 7:30 am with rounds in the hospital. It is a very structured day. The hospital work can include making rounds on patients to perform invasive cardiac procedures until about noon. Then in the afternoon I transition over to seeing patients in my office and that goes on until about 6:00 or 7:00 pm.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I learn a lot from my patients. I keep abreast of the medical literature, both in cardiovascular disease as well as oncology, and then I draw from patients’ specific experiences. I go from the bedside to the literature and back again. That is where I get a sense of critically appraising the literature and trying to apply that knowledge to a specific patient that I see.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I see a fair amount of work being done to further establish on a more fundamental level the link between cardiovascular diseases, whether it be congestive heart failure or coronary disease, and oncologic diseases, namely from a metabolomic perspective. There has been an explosion in the last decade of sophisticated metabolomic approaches to understand these two diseases. Metabolomics is a field whereby you are using various research and scientific testing to define disease based on cellular metabolism and the reprogramming of cellular metabolism. It is a novel approach to viewing disease.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Scheduling 30 to 45 minutes of high intensity training workouts each day makes a real difference for me.
What advice would you give your younger self?
My advice would be to be more cognizant of opportunities to collaborate because teamwork is really what drives both the science and the practice of medicine. There are always opportunities to collaborate and to move the needle on our understanding of disease.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
What I see a lot today in medicine is a focus on developing complex solutions to complex problems. I would take the opposite position, which is to say that what we believe to be a complex problem is likely better solved with a simple solution. I have been following closely from a biotechnology perspective what is going on in the cancer therapeutics space, and I feel like the ultimate solution to the cancer problem is rooted in fundamental science and solved by small molecules.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Learning how to digest and handle the flow of large amounts of information from both a scientific end as well as things like social media. We have to learn how to parse down on a lot of the noise and learn how to really digest the high yield of information that is important.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
What matters is delivering real value to patients as defined from the patient’s perspective. That includes therapeutic value and the perception that the patient is receiving a high level of care. Ultimately, we are a service-oriented industry and practice, and we have to maintain a focus on patient-reported outcomes.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I regret not getting involved with a strong research component much earlier in my career. An opportunity to reconnect with work in science and discovery fortunately came later to me, and I was able to see that opportunity. I learned that about myself, that this is part of what drives me as a physician. I feel like I could have nurtured that earlier in life.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A business idea centered around facilitating the growth of telemedicine or remote medicine where patients can manage, coordinate, and contribute to their care from the comfort of their own home would have significant future value.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best $100 I recently spent was on a good pair of running shoes.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Trello helps me to organize tasks and research endeavors.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
What is your favorite quote?
I like many quotes, but I often remind myself of something said by the hockey great Wayne Gretzky:
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.