On Sunday, January 1, 2023, I launched a new podcast called Heme Consults: for women of color in hematology.
What is Heme Consults?
Heme Consults is a weekly inspiration infusion for women of color in hematology.
Heme Consults is a personal space for the woman of color in hematology to rest, recharge, and renew her spirit with a weekly infusion of inspiration. Every week, I will remind the woman in hematology that she is a superstar and has everything she needs to succeed in her incredible career in hematology. Heme Consults: for women of color in hematology is the hematology sisterhood that will transform our world.
In this blog post, I will:
1. Share the story of how Heme Consults came to be,
2. Describe the Heme Consults foundation, content, and structure.
3. Tell you how to get the most out of the Heme Consults podcast
How did Heme Consults come to be?
Over the last few years of my career in hematology, I’ve had a growing sense that there is something important I came to contribute. However, I’ve struggled with what that contribution would look like. It all become clearer when I met a woman named Michelle. Michelle helped me remember that there is a need to help women of color in hematology come to a place where they know and understand their purpose and what they came to hematology to become.
See, hematology is a unique specialty. And the people who come to hematology have a sense of purpose. They come because they want to change the world. Hematology is not a specialty with high intrinsic financial reward. People who come into hematology have a passion for change and a desire to make their mark upon the world. And because of that, there’s often confusion when we tell people we want to go into hematology and instead of encouraging us, people stop and ask, "Why?" Why would anyone want to become a hematologist? They tell you about all the lack of opportunities in hematology. They talk about how hard it can be to make a career in hematology. They share with the statistics of how few mentors there are in hematology. And they tell you there is no way you can make it.
For this reason, Michelle embodied for me many of the young women I have met who want to go into hematology but have been discouraged by "well-meaning" people. The split between what they want and what is "not recommended" leaves them feeling confused. They have finally found a specialty that resonates with them; but the people they know and respect tell them that hematology is not for them. So, instead of celebrating their choice of a great career in hematology, they are left feeling confused, wondering if they are making the right decision.
Michelle reminded me of me and where I was at the beginning of my own hematology career. I always loved hematology. I knew I wanted to be hematologist. But there were many barriers to becoming a hematologist. For one, I had a ton of medical school debt. And it loomed over my head like a large burden that wouldn't go away. For that reason, going into hematology was not a realistic financial strategy. The pay would not go as far as it would have if I had chosen a more lucrative specialty. Furthermore, people talked about how few opportunities that were in hematology. I knew that if I was going to make a practical decision, by everybody else’s standards, I would choose differently.
Luckily for me, I ended up choosing hematology. And I’m glad that I did because hematology has always been the space for me. In the process of becoming a hematologist, I found the dire warnings of limited opportunities in hematology to be untrue. For this reason, I feel called to encourage everyone who wants to come into hematology. If that is you, I want to you pay attention to how you feel about hematology. There is a reason that hematology resonates with you. And I want to encourage you that hematology is a specialty that is alive, thriving, and satisfying.
So, after I met Michelle, I knew that I needed to share my story. I needed to share the story of when I started my career, not sure what a future in hematology could look like. I needed to share my stories of the naysayers who were encouraging me to go in a different direction. I needed to share my stories of how I struggled with who I wanted to become versus what people told me would be possible. Therefore, the Heme Consults podcast was born as a platform for me to share my stories and lessons learned so that others like me could be liberated to pursue a wonderful and fulfilling career in hematology.
Heme Consults is for the woman of color in hematology
So, Heme Consults exists for you, the woman of color in hematology who may not find many spaces in which your career in hematology is encouraged. Heme Consults is for you, the woman of color in hematology, who doesn’t feel as if she has any mentors rooting for her success. Heme Consults is for you, the woman of color in hematology who has come to make her mark on this world and is not sure how to start. Heme Consults is for you, the woman of color in hematology, who resonates with my message.
Who is a hematologist?
When I say that Heme Consults is for the woman of color in hematology, people ask, "Does everyone really need to be a certified hematologist? If no, then how do you define hematology?" I define the woman of color in hematology as a woman of color who identifies with, does research in, or participates in any way, shape, or form in the specialty of hematology. Once upon a time, I thought this list was limited to hematologists who specialize in hematology. However, in the course of my career, I have met unusual specialists in hematology, including obstetrician gynecologists, anesthesiologists, psychologists, nurse clinicians, students, and researchers. For this reason, I count you to be a hematologist in this space as long as you are working in any way, shape, or form to enhance hematology.
And here is the little secret that if you’re paying attention you will catch. For anyone who has to deal with blood in any way shape or form throughout the course of their time as a woman, I would argue, that you are also in hematology.
If you’re still wondering, is this space actually for me? I would ask you in return, "Do you resonate with or identify with the message?" If your answer is yes, then you might just be a woman of color in hematology. Ultimately, the key is self-identification. If you self-identify as a woman of color in hematology, then this space is for you.
Heme Consults Foundation
Although Heme Consults is based on my identity as a hematologist, being a hematologist is not my primary identity. As you may relate, I have many identities, including my identifies as daughter, sister, friend, mother, employee, creator, and entrepreneur. All these identities are important and which identity drives my behavior depends on what is going on in the moment. However, the most important identity that I hold is my identity as a daughter of the Most High God. I love the Lord and I love His word. And because of that, many things that I do resonate from the space of scripture. Therefore, a lot of the things that I share on Heme Consults will come from that space. For this reason, in each episode, I share the scripture from which the particular episode resonates and then leave it to you to decide if you want to go check it out or not.
I wanted to share with you that in the background of the things I share, there is a resonance for me in the Scriptures. If that offends you, you are free to not continue on the Heme Consults journey with me. But I hope there will be an openness in your mind to see what I have to say. Take a few weeks and hang out with me for a couple of episodes and see where Heme Consults is for you or not. Heme Consults is a space of freedom and transformation. You have the ultimate freedom to do whatever it is that you want to do. I would only invite you to have an open mind and decide for yourself based on your own experience..
Heme Consults Content
Heme Consults has nothing to do with actual hematology (studying blood) but everything to do with the inner hematologist. When I first started this journey and wanted to make a great contribution to the field, I thought it would be about teaching hematology. So, I started this journey of creating short teaching videos in hematology (Check out my awesome YouTube videos at https://www.youtube.com/c/coagcoach). But, in the process of creating these videos, I realized that teaching hematology was not really the space that I wanted to show up in because anybody could learn hematology. What I wanted was an opportunity to speak to the inner hematologist. I recognized that if I could build up and encourage the inner hematologist, that inner hematologist would go out and transform everything around her. So, you might say that say that, in Heme Consults, I am encouraging the inner hematologist so that the world, through her, will come to know hematology.
Heme Consults Structure
So the structure of each episode will be 1) sharing a story; 2) sharing my lessons learned; and 3) putting out a call to action.
I share my stories because, when trying to give advice fails, sharing my story resonates I have been successful in passing on insights when I just tell people what happened to me and how I responded to it. I find that my story resonates more with people and has power to help them imagine how they can change their own similar situation as well. For this reason, I will tell you the stories of my failures and my struggles and challenges and how somehow, I ended up on the other side of them. In doing that, I hope that my story will motivate and inspire you to make change happen for yourself in your hematology-oriented life.
I share the lessons learned from my story so that you understand what came out of the pain. Every story of pain resulted in lessons that I learned, which helped me move forward in my career. For this reason, I will share them with you my lessons learned. You may learn different lessons from my story. Whatever insights you gain from my story, I was that you take what you learn and share it with someone else. I also hope that, through my sharing, you will also find courage to share your story too.
At the end of each episode, I call you to action because hematology is about taking action. People come to hematology because they see the need and they realize that something needs to be done to improve the lives of people experiencing hematologic disorders. Therefore, I encourage you that you would walk away from every episode with a plan. I will share with you some of the steps I think you should take. However, it’s your career and it is your life. Therefore, I hope that you will come up with your own action plan for yourself and that you will receive the courage to take the steps that transform your own career.
Get the most of your Heme Consults podcast experience
I plan to release most podcast episodes on a Sunday because I want the content to help you prepare for the week ahead. Now, I know that people don’t always experience the episode right when it drops; however, I want you to start your week with listening. Because I think it will encourage and inspire you and help you with the week ahead. You could also listen at the end of your week when you are detoxing from the micro aggressions that you may have suffered in the preceding week. Because Heme Consults will help you detox, shut away all the ugliness and put on something new and beautiful for the following week.
I look forward to seeing you on a future episode. Enjoy your week. Go make awesome things happen!