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M. Yasir Qureshi, M.B.B.S.: ‘This is the most important professional award I could hope for’

M. Yasir Qureshi, M.B.B.S. (CTSA ’13, PDCI ’14), Division of Pediatric Cardiology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, comes from teaching stock. “Teaching runs in our blood,” says Dr. Qureshi, a native of Pakistan. His mother and sisters are teachers as were his grandparents. His brother, a banker, teaches half-time. “Mentoring others to grow is an important aspect of our lives.”

When he learned he received a Teacher of the Year award from the Mayo Fellows’ Association, Dr. Qureshi immediately took a screenshot of the email and shared it with his family.

“Teaching is the most rewarding part of my professional career,” he says. “It’s where I get my energy, positive reinforcement and motivation to keep going. The Teacher of the Year award reinforces my passion for teaching. I feel even more honored and inspired when I look at the list of educators who have received this award in the past and who received it in various specialties this year.”

Dr. Qureshi came to Mayo Clinic in 2012 for a fellowship in advanced cardiac imaging after completing a fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, and residency in pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Michigan in Detroit. His wife, Saba Yasir, M.B.B.S. (SGPA ’13, GPTH ’14), Division of Anatomic Pathology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, got a fellowship at the same time. Dr. Qureshi was led to Mayo Clinic by a cardiac surgeon mentor in Pakistan.

“Dr. Ammar Khan (CS ’05) trained at Mayo Clinic and always referenced it and created a positive impression about Mayo Clinic in our conversations,” says Dr. Qureshi. “Before I started residency, I came to Mayo Clinic for a few months as a research trainee. I saw with my own eyes how things worked and what Dr. Khan had spoken about.”

In addition to Dr. Khan, other mentors have influenced Dr. Qureshi and his teaching style. He cites David Driscoll, M.D. (PDC ’81), Mayo Clinic Emeriti Staff; Patrick O’Leary, M.D. (PDC ’92), Mayo Clinic Division of Pediatric Cardiology; Frank Cetta Jr., M.D. (PDC ’95), Mayo Clinic Division of Pediatric Cardiology; Bryan Cannon, M.D. (PD ’10), Mayo Clinic Division of Pediatric Cardiology; and Paul Julsrud, M.D. (OR ’76, RD ’79), Mayo Clinic Emeriti Staff.

Dr. Qureshi says he has great respect for all the time they’ve spent teaching him and others. “Good teaching requires a good amount of time, which is hard to find. It’s challenging to teach on every patient, procedure and encounter. But it is rewarding to see trainees’ smiles and nods in affirmation of their understanding. Over time, you see them evolve in their thought process and decision-making.”

He describes his teaching style as modified Socratic. “I create a low-stress environment by asking simple questions I know they can answer, which paves the way for them to walk through the thought process. They think, ‘It’s easy. I can do this.’ They become more engaged and interested and eventually come to think of complex things as simple. Teachers have a huge role in reducing the learner’s effort. I have had a lot of great teachers in my career and have adopted techniques and approaches from them.”

Dr. Qureshi says he’s grateful for the comments from trainees who nominated him for the Teacher of the Year award. “Nowadays, people often don’t take the time to commit sentiments to paper. I’m happy that my efforts have benefited them. This is the most important professional award I could hope for.”

Comments from trainees

  • “Dr. Qureshi is a natural teacher and a genius. He has such a wealth of knowledge, and I appreciate how enthusiastic he is about education. He’s always motivated to teach fellows and residents. He’s pleasant and approachable, which makes us comfortable approaching him in times of uncertainty.”
  • “He takes the time to be supportive of patients and their families and to support his learners. He takes time to teach after rounds and ask questions to promote learning while rounding.”
  • “His lectures never leave anyone out, and he teaches so that every learner, despite their level of education, benefits.”
  • “Dr. Qureshi is so smart yet so humble, caring and compassionate. He is a wonderful human!”
  • “We all know that medicine has become busier and more demanding, so our leaders who take the time to continue to educate should receive accolades.”

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