Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Life Is Her Work, and Vice Versa

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Life Is Her Work, and Vice Versa

Article excerpt

Byline: Cherie Black

Edith Perez is a world renowned breast cancer researcher and director of the breast cancer program at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. In between seeing patients, she travels the globe to breast cancer meetings and conferences and has dedicated her life to finding better ways to treat and eventually cure the disease. Times-Union health reporter Cherie Black caught up with Perez for a quick glimpse of her hectic life.

Q: Do you ever sleep?

Sleep? [Big smile] Like a lot of physicians, I lost my time clock in medical school. Let's just say I would love to sleep eight hours. But I wake a lot at night. When traveling abroad, I can get around on two hours for a few days, then I need to catch up.

Q: Are you constantly working?

Though I try to balance, work is my life. Life is my work -- I actually enjoy this! [laughing] It's a total commitment. It's important for me to be accessible to patients, colleagues, staff. Why? Although I may not be physically present at Mayo Clinic every minute, I'm still "virtually here" . . . only a call or e-mail away. I like to stay connected, but compromise by trying not to check e-mail on Sunday. But now with the Blackberry. . . .

Q: Last vacation? Where?

Beautiful Salt Cay, a little, remote island that's part of the Turks and Caicos Islands in the British West Indies. There was snorkeling, reading, running and relaxing. Except when I noticed a shark while in the water, then I suffered from tachycardia [rapid heart beat]! [laughs] This year marks my first "official" vacation in about a decade. Though the solitude was wonderful, I like being around lots of people too. Anything that involves not getting too dirty.

Q: Most recent novel?

Though unusual for me to read nonmedical books, I'm in the middle of The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason and Lions Gate by Donald Luxton. Sometimes I read them when I wake at night. Even trade the sleep because I really want to finish them! …

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