Posts tagged PhD
하바나, 하바나| The One with Dr. Planas - The Cubana-American Professor of Pharmacy: Episode 32 (2018)  

The More Sibyl Podcast Presents: The One with Dr. Lourdes Planas

Welcome back to another episode of the podcast! I have not been getting feedback about the show like I used to, so I am guessing things are either good with the show or I’ve been forgotten L. Guess this is just to say, I’d love to hear from you. Please send me an email on talktomo@mosibyl.com or just say hello here :-D

 

Here is introducing Dr. Planas, Ph.D. -  an Associate Professor of Pharmacy, my senior colleague, and African sister! Her office is two doors away from mine, and she’s partly one of the main reasons I landed my academic position at the University (it began with a conference in 2015, listen to find out how). I met through my advisor while I was still in grad school.

 

Dr. Planas or Lourdes as I call her is Cubana-American; her parents fled Cuba when she was just one month old. In this episode, we talked about life in the US and growing up in New Orleans instead of Miami (this has the largest concentration of Cubans). We also explored racial identity and how pharmacy helped her overcome racism and cultural identity issues, especially growing up in a time when it was certainly not cool to be Cuban.

 

You will also hear about the two clocks that are churning fast for fecund women in academia – the biological and tenure variety. And why Lourdes’ deliberate plan of putting her biological clock ahead of the tenure one is one she does not regret. Also, we talked about why women require more than just mentors to have a successful career.

 

Dr. Planas is married to Rick (also a pharmacist), and they have two adorable kids who I have had the pleasure of babysitting a couple of times. I am technically family :-D Lourdes also emphasized the importance of having a supportive spouse when on a tenure-track or in grad school while raising kids.

 

PS: After taping this episode, her mother’s DNA results were updated and linked with hers. She is 0.5% French, yayy her wishes finally came true. Only 0.5%, you say? C’est la vie!

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마음이 아플 때| The One with Som Ghosh - On Grief and Loss: Episode 10 (2018)

Last week, I took you on a trip to India with an interview with Dr. Shah. I decided to stay longer in India to bring you this week’s episode from another Indian. Losing one parent is hard enough but imagine losing both of your parents, and in addition to this monumental grief, having to cope with the guilt of being thousands of miles away from home when this happens.

In this episode, I speak to Som Ghosh – a Tabla-playing Indian living in America on grief observed. We talked about how grief is handled by Hindus and how certain burial rites performed by Hindus might make coping with grief better, and how he has been coping with losing both parents. I also talked about a personal grief and how I was able to (and still) cope with this. We begin his story from why he decided to leave his job at Pfizer and head on to pursue a PhD in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) and tips for those considering going back to school after working for a while.

How to cope with grief, as surmised by Som and me (in no particular order):

  • Let grief run its course.

  • Take time to mourn the loss.

  • Cry if you must.

  • Label the emotions as they come, anger, sadness, pain, anguish.

  • Remember that emotions are like messengers, we do not shoot them. Listen to the gifts they bear and afterwards, send them on their journey  in a nice way, knowing fully well that they might come back again.

  • Find someone you can trust to talk to about your grief. And if you cannot find someone, just like Tennessee Williams suggested, depend on the kindness of strangers who are usually obliagted to listen to you.

  • Seek grief counseling or therapy.

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인도 의사| The One with Dr. Sanket Shah - Doctor, Doctor : Episode 9 (2018)

For this week’s episode, I talked to one of my favorite Indians and wonderful colleague - Dr. Sanket Shah, a medical doctor currently doing his PhD in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) (a rarity for most MDs pursuing advanced degrees in the US) at my alma mater – The University of Texas at Austin.

We talked about and contrasted medical practice, culture, and education in India and the US. On graduate school in the US: imposter/impostor syndrome, expectational pressure, how not to quit, and using fear as a motivational tool. We also provided arguments for why foreign international students need to build positive social support systems to improve mental health, why I think Indians are different from Nigerians in certain aspects, and how both cultures can learn from each other. It was also my first time introducing the concept of cultural curiosity – where I ask my guests to ask me anything they are curious about regarding Nigeria.

Fun fact: Dr. Shah is still reeling from the shock of having dollar bills rained on him at a Nigerian colleague’s wedding dance presentation we all did in 2016. He wanted to know more about what ‘making it rain’ was all about. S/O to Chisom Chimah who was the bride at the said-wedding.

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