Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry

Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry

The Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry Podcast is here to make health care simple. The goal is to help you learn how to take back control. Through weekly episodes Dr. Berry Pierre will be taking the most toughest medical issues and teaches it in a way that you will wonder why your own physician never explained it to you in such a fashion before. If you have ever went to your doctor’s appointment and left there more confused and frustrated then when you came in then this podcast is the one for you. Dr. Berry Pierre prides himself on being able to educate his patients and make them feel comfortable in their most trying times.... Show More
Let's talk with the IMG Coach Dr. Nina Lum...

On this week's episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry we have Dr. Nina Lum, is a board-certified Family Medicine Physician who currently works as a Hospitalist and the Chief Quality Officer at CHI St. Joseph Hospital. Dr. Lum is a co-author of the best selling medical anthology “The Chronicles of Women in White Coats” and recently the visionary, co-creator and co-author of the Amazon bestseller “Beyond Challenges: Survival Stories of African Immigrant Physicians”. On this week's episode, we talk about her work on theencouragingdoc.com and how her work as the IMG Coach came about.

We also will be taking a deep dive on what motivates her to help so many find success on the path to medicine as an international medical graduate.

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  • Download Episode 133

    Episode 133 Transcript...

    Introduction

    Dr. Berry:
    Hello and welcome to another episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry. I'm your host, Dr. Berry Pierre, your favorite Board Certified Internist. Founder of drberrypierre.com, as well the CEO of Pierre Medical Consulting. Helping you empower yourself for better health with the number one podcast for patient advocacy, education and affirmation. This week we bring you another amazing guests on the podcast. We have Dr. Nina Lum who is a hospitalist and Chief Quality Officer at chai CHI Saint Joseph Hospital in London, Kentucky. Board Certified Family Medicine Physician. She's also co-author of the bestselling medical anthology, The Chronicles of Women in White Coats as well as the co-creator and co-author of the Amazon bestselling book Beyond Challenges: Survival Stories of African Immigrant Physicians. She blogs on theencouragingdoc.com. She writes, she coaches for international medical students and graduates on how to have successful blueprints for their unique pathway into this field, crazy field we call medicine.

    She is a credo. Also an online course coaching platform for IMGs, notice IMG roadmap, at imgroadmap.com and she's a featured health and wellness speaker. And guys, this is an amazing episode with a person I've been following along. Actually had the chance to jump on her IMG roadmap series to talk to them with IMGs and other medical graduates and people who are getting ready for a residency about successful tips on the ERS application as well as interviews. And I have her on the show today really to give us an interesting perspective on international medical graduates, their path, their struggles, and why, especially in this day and age where we're seeing just the shortage of physicians out there and of people who want to become physicians. Why that, there may be a solution on our horizon, but unfortunately it is a lot of roadblocks in the weight.

    We’re going to talk about some of those roadblocks. She gonna talk about her experience with creating her second Amazon bestselling book Beyond Challenges: Survival Stories of African Immigrant Physicians. What motivated her to drop a second book and what to expect from her from the rest of the year. So guys, get ready of course for another amazing episode. If you have not done so, already make sure you hit that subscribe button wherever you're listening to. If it's on YouTube, if it's on Apple podcast, Google play, Stitcher radio, Spotify, wherever you listen to remember to hit the spot. Remember hit the subscribe button so you'll always be in tune with what's going on here on the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry and leave us a five star review, especially from Apple podcasts users and make sure you tell 10 friends about this amazing episode. Let's get ready for another one here with Dr. Berry

    Episode

    Dr. Berry:
    Alright Lunch and Learn community, I want to thank you for joining us for another amazing podcast and I have an amazing guests who have definitely been excited and earmarked to get a chance to talk to you guys for many different fronts. For those who know Lunch and Learn community, especially on my listeners. I actually had the honor of being a guest on her video show that sponsored and talked about just the tips and tricks of getting into residency. Definitely was excited about that. So again, Dr. Lum, thank you for joining today's podcast on Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Thank you so much for having me. It's an honor actually to be on your podcast. I enjoy it.

    Dr. Berry:
    So I have an introduction, but I have people who already know, they like to skip and get to the meat of the episode. I think they'd like to skip a commercial. I'd do a little mini commercials. Tell us a little bit about yourself that I may have missed in a bio or they would have known outside of what we've got in your bio.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    I'm Nina Lum. I am originally from Cameroon. I currently practice hospital medicine in Kentucky. My background is in family medicine. I'm also in hospital administration as a chief quality officer at a community hospital here in Kentucky. More recently, I guess what's more exciting is that I have my second book out, the book collaboration, titled Beyond Challenges. And so that makes me a second time bestselling author, which is pretty surreal. And I also spent some time blogging. I'm at theencouragingdoc.com. A lot of my content is focused on for medical graduates like myself because not only being an international student when I moved to the States, but I also most of the Caribbean for medical school. So that makes me as sort of a foreign and international graduate. And it's a soft spot in my heart and I want to share with other people just tips and tricks that I learned along the way. I do enjoy traveling, shopping. I do enjoy learning about personal finance and applying that in my life and seeing where that takes me. So that's me in a nutshell.

    Dr. Berry:
    I love it. And we're definitely going to deep dive in all of your business. I just want to put out there right now because I want to know and for those especially Lunch and Learn community, I always get excited talking to them. Sometimes I think I'm more excited than my Lunch and Learn community, just talking to some of the amazing guests who are doing just still amazing things and things that, yes, you're a physician, but just outside of being a physician, Docs Outside the Box. Shout out to Dr. Darko, a good friend of mine as well too. I just love highlighting everything that you do and I want to tell Lunch and Learn community full disclosure, I've been following you for a while. And I knew you as I seen people were sharing it, people commenting and people are like, oh, this IMG coach. That's how you were dubbed when someone said I should follow you, the IMG coach. If you are an IMG and you're trying to get to where you're at. That's the person you need to follow.

    And as a program director of an internal medicine residency program and understanding, and I'm pretty sure we probably get a similar, the same types of questions over and over again. I was definitely enamored, not only by what you do as far as coaching, interview and consulting and everything else. But really I could, as a physician, it's very easy to spot compassion. And that was something that I realized right off the bat, this was something that you love doing. It wasn't something that I'm just going to do it because I got the ability to do it and people gonna pay me to do it. I'd do it because I actually love doing it. So let's talk a little bit about just where that compassion came from and what made you want to start even doing it? Because again, you could have been a physician hospitalist quality because you gotta just did that and been perfectly fine. Right? (Yeah). But you're stepping outside of yourself and say, you know what, I'm going to do extra work because not only did I get through the door, but I want to hold it open for others behind me.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Yeah. A strong point. And I just want to let the Lunch and Learn community know that the interview that you did with me, I am pretty confident has it got the most hits on my blog for several months.

    Dr. Berry:
    Wow. Ok. I loved it. Lunch and Learn community I didn't even pay her to do it.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    No tips involved. But seriously just being able to give them that perspective from your position of authority as someone that's on the other side and in more ways the target audience for these IMG. That was invaluable information. The comments, the reviews I got, the feedback. A lot of people came out and said that was the best interview in a long time. Because it was so packed with good information and I know people that actually went back and worked in ERS applications a little bit differently after interview. So just want to put that out there. (Thank you very much). You indirectly impacted my community as well. So we appreciate you for that.

    Dr. Berry:
    Thank you very much for that. Like I say again, it was something that I almost, its crazy Lunch and Learn community I felt obligated. I had to do it because just because I saw just how much she loved doing it and I felt like, you know what, let me try to give it my all because I want to put as much energy and effort that she's doing to help her community. And also again, really, really thank you for the kind words.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Yeah, you're welcome. So back to your question was about the passion. I think, the shoe hurts where, oh they say, you feel the pain where it fits or whatever, do you know that adage. So that's sort of my story. It's like I know where it hurt when I was a student and right before applying into residency. And so I never, at that point in time, I didn't even think about ever doing this because I never told anybody anything. I just kept it to myself. I kept my struggles with myself. I'm one of those weird people who never had a true mentor, which is something that right now I'm like, what was I thinking? And that's why I extend myself so much to other people. But I just did not know that there was so many other people out there except for those that were in my school who we were all struggling together, that we're dealing with the same challenges that I was facing. And I feel like mine was a little bit different again to most IMGs. Most IMGs are actually US citizens that moved to the Caribbean for school temporarily and then then moved back home.

    Well, I was a little bit different from that because I was, I'm not a US citizen. I'm a citizen of Cameroon, lived there my whole entire life. Studies there out of my undergrad. Moved to the Caribbean really for medical education and then from there transition state. So it was like being in the States was new for me for one. And then second, I didn't understand the immigration system at all. So I didn't understand that that came with its own challenges. And then you put me again in the US system trying to compete to get into residency and not really understanding the process. I don't know how I did it all, but I didn't have any delays in getting into residency specifically for me, but it very well could have been the case.

    Dr. Berry:
    And that's all confident Lunch and Learn community because I don't know if you guys understand just the level of barriers. I hate to call them barriers, but really they are, that are placed in front of many who are trying to get into this profession and have the passion and love, but it's so many steps that they forced them to take just to get here. So I really want you guys to really take a deep dive and understand she had to do all of that to get to where she's at. And while you're doing, it's almost like a blurry, like, oh my God, I can't believe I have to do all of that when look back at it.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    And I think also, it's important to point out that for a lot of my colleagues who, like yourself and people that are from here and maybe trained here and didn't have to deal with the other side of those things, it's like, it's almost oblivious. You don't believe that it happens until you know somebody personally that's been through it. So it's one of those things where I just want to point that out that sometimes a lot of times I talk to my coworkers, they don't really understand the process, but they've seen me walk through it over the last few years and they're like, oh my God, I can't believe you had to do X, Y and Z, just to practice medicine here. The rest of us it's usually just pass your boards, apply, and get in.

    But then when you add the layers of visas and different things that come with that financial constraints, not being able to team any kind of financial aid for school and such, those things do add up and they have a lot of stress on the students, especially the IMGs. So anyhow, based on my personal struggles with primarily just the maneuvering to be sub-process and then various financial hurdles that I had to with that process. And even just the complexity of not understanding ERS when I went through it, my personal statement was whack.

    Dr. Berry:
    You ever look back again.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    I always joke about that. I don't know who will read this thing. I thought it was good. I didn't have anybody proofread it. I just wrote it and submitted it. My ERS application, I didn't even think to include certain things that would actually work that I've done. When it comes to educational posters, publication, presentation, I didn't even count. I didn't count my own work as solid enough to go on that portion of the application. So lots of emissions, loss and mistakes. Gracefully got a few interviews, whether on the interview trail, learned on the interview trail too because my press interview was crazy. And then by the time I got to the second one, it got better and such. But that just being said, its lessons I learned the hard way.

    I felt like once I became an attending actually, and had no intention of sharing this ever. But once I became an attending and I was working in rural Kentucky and I just had some more time on my hands doing the seven on, seven off. And I thought, I've always how to blog but never really opened up about the truth behind who I was on that blog. And I started to glow more about the struggle and that seemed to resonate with a lot more people. And I started getting emails or messages asking for more information or advice and tips. And I thought, everybody's on Instagram these days. I used that platform to speak a little bit more about the struggle side and the more I opened up the more I realize there were more people that identified with that pain point and that just really helped me get a message out to them.

    Dr. Berry:
    And what I love is because your story, especially as a physician isn't unique in that we'll go through a struggle and just in our level of training, we're not necessarily taught to publicize it and we're taught to internalize that we're the only ones going through that struggle. When you started blogging, you were like, oh wow, people are actually like gravitating to it. Is because a lot of us are sitting in the back like, oh, well I'm going through the same thing, but like one, I don't want to be like, I'm the only one doing it. Or like, oh, it's just me and like I need to kind of fix myself. So I love just that aspect of understanding that yes, it's not unique to keep it to yourself because that's probably been one of our biggest issues. I guess I like to say as a physician that we don't tell the people behind this like, hey, this was hard, right? I tell people all the time, I've failed multiple levels. There's not a level that I didn't fail at. But I just kept going. But like me telling you, I felt hopefully gives you a glimmer of light. So if you do trip, you understand it isn’t an end in the world.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Correct. I think in a sense we're almost preaching a different kind of healing when we share these stories. It's not necessarily that bedside healing, but it's actually, I think maybe in carries some stronger value because if you're able to get one more physician who was well-meaning, intelligent, and able enough to practice, that person's going to touch a lot more lives than you alone could as a physician. I think teaching other people how to cope when we do these things. And by sharing our stories with teaching other people how to, in many ways deal with the diverse challenges that are bound to come. But then more importantly, we're sort of replicating ourselves in a sense of they'll still continue to spread the message.

    Dr. Berry:
    So as you're blogging and you're realizing that you're picking up steam and now people are reaching out to you and say, hey you know, I have that question too. Or hey, I have a question could you answer. Was that something in your element were you used to being more and more public, more out there, or are you even as we speak more of the reserve type, like you'd rather just chill with your own but because of the platform that you've built, you're forced to be out there a little bit more?

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    So I will definitely say, people that knew me when I was a younger person would say I was very reserved, initially. But I think part of the self-development that has occurred in the last few years, which I think some of it has to do with medical training, it just pushes you out of your comfort zone period. But beyond that I have sort of just really transformed into an extroverted human being, but I still believed that it was a great component to me that's introverted in the sense that, I'm actually right on when it comes to certain things like talking about this IMG struggle right now. I can talk about it all day. But certainly there are other parts of my life that I'm probably still very introverted in. So I think because of the need, I've learned to adapt to meeting the need. But it's been a great process for me, so it doesn't make me uncomfortable necessarily, but I can see where if this was another area of my life or probably would be uncomfortable with it. You see what I'm saying?

    Dr. Berry:
    I totally, totally agree. I think I run in that similar ilk, especially when I tell people like, oh yeah, I got a blog and a podcast and do video, but I might try to keep to myself, they almost can't believe like, oh ok, I'm very sure.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Yeah. Right. I think people expect it to just be Dr. Berry that we see on the internet and they don't realize that maybe Dr. Berry has several interests in and there's different parts of Dr. Berry that we don't see on. And so when we see one part, we tend to think that's the person all the time which isn't always true.

    Dr. Berry:
    So as you're gaining the interest and gaining some of the fanfare, and I guess recognizing that you have something that people want. How was that transition like? Was it a simple one especially for these past couple of years especially when you say like, yeah, I have no problem coaching you or I have no problem, what was that transition?

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    I think it started first within me, the transition I would say. So I had to figure out how to coach people. And these days you can go, there's so many courses you can take on coaching right from the comfort of your own room. For me, I decided to read up more about it. I realized the best way to do it is to first look within myself. And so I started reading a lot more personal self-development books and that really helped me resonate with sort of a gifts that I think I've always had which is I believe personally, and I think my family will probably attest to this, that I do have a gift in helping people identify their purpose and their goals. And so I just help people streamline things that they want and make it more attainable for them.

    Maybe that's an actionable steps that they can take. And so that's something I've always done for my friends and my family, but I never thought of it as something that was a gift or something that I could use on a larger scale platform like what I'm doing now with coaching people that are international students or graduates from medical schools. And so I think it's just been more of that fine tuning process, which I'm still in a growth process anyhow. So I believe that it's just been more of a growth process. When you figured out, okay, maybe I have a gift here or a talent here, the best thing you can do is sharpen it. Make it better. Talk to people that are better than you what you're doing. Talk to other coaches, read material written by coaches that you admire.

    Watch the videos that you can find. There's tons of videos on coaching, everyone in internet, this online courses you can take. And so those things just help develop, gives the other people have seen naturally in you. So that's been really my transformation has been taking what I've always heard compliments about. Like, hey, you're really good at helping people figure stuff out. Or hey, you're really good with creating new ideas. You're like an idea queen or something. So I've heard those kinds of comments from people that know me on a really personal basis. And so I just took that and sort of ran with it and said, hey, how can I make this better for the people? How can I become an expert at it or maybe more professional with my approach? And a lot of that has come with just more of what I would call a personal development plan.

    Dr. Berry:
    Can you talk about maybe, especially during this transition, some of the highlights and even low lights as you've gained traction in what you've been doing?

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    There are a few things as far as highlights. The highlights are really the people that I get to impact. So, right now I have people that have coached that are currently in training, some are looking into fellowship applications this year. So it makes me feel very fulfilled in that is when I see people that actually worked with, is actually few that have lived in my house with me. Maybe they came by to observership and I housed them and walk them through that process, viewed the application and it had a person's statement and walk them through the interview process and all that. And now they're looking into the third year of residency and applying for other things. And I'm like, oh my gosh, you're my first experiment so to speak. And so that's my highlight is, is those doctors, male, female, different countries and just like, wow.

    This is actually something that you can do Nina. So it's been a good encouraging force we need to watch. Low lights, I would say have to deal with, sometimes it gets exhausting just honestly, because when you give a lot of yourself, it was about self-care and sometimes self-care is being still and just minding on business. But when you give a lot of yourself out to people, you actually spend a lot of emotional energy and that is something that you cannot, nobody can award that to you. You just have to recover from it. You recuperate and get back up and sort of fill your tank and so what I like to call it. And then you can help more people because if your glasses empty, you can't pour onto another person's cup.

    So that's sort of been, maybe the little lights is those moments where I get low on fuel and I had to step back and recharge. And that may mean, I don't coach for a season or I only keep with the people that I have and not take any new people in. Or it may just mean that I call my folk fewer times and I usually would schedule coaching calls with them and said, well, sometimes they may just mean that I take a vacation for a week and unplug and come back. So it just varies, it just varies sometimes. But I would say that's the biggest, I would say the low light. Another thing can be maybe just comparing yourself with other people that are maybe doing different kinds of coaching programs and feeling like maybe you're not that far advance. And that's just something that comes with what I've realized every just every great thing you're going to feel a certain type of way that you just have to move beyond your feelings and look at the impact that you actually have on individualize.

    Dr. Berry:
    Very true. And what I love about it is that be open because it's such an active process. It's active process when coaching right? When it's active process, when you're having to withdraw as well. And I'll be honest with you, Lunch and Learn community, I do send a lot of people towards their way, because if I get it so much and maybe I feel like they had imposter syndrome too. I'm like, well, you know what, as a former medical grant, I got this perfect person for you. I know this is the person, so I do send a lot of people. So I got asked, but that's me now.

    I haven't ever remember, oh I have to be mindful. She is only one person. I gotta be mindful that we're not draining you too much because you have such a gift. Like I said, because when we did our interview, I saw the comments and I was like, wow, they are really like, one, how enamored they were and how intended they were. You could just tell like, oh, they were like thank you. They're not just like, just having a conversation that would just glad I was able to get.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    I had people taking notes and coming back and weeks after with notes saying, remember the interview you did with Dr. Pierre, you said such and such and such. And he said such and such and such. Do you think I should do X? And I was like, wait, I don't remember talking about that. So you have people taking notes. I mean, it's a serious deal, but I just want to put this out there. If anybody's listening and they feel like they wanted to reach out to me. I don't want it to sound like, they don't need to be worried about burdening me or anything like that. They can always just, I mean, I respond to emails usually in those periods where unplug. You get an email stating I'm taking a break for X five days and I'll get back with you whenever I get back. But that's usually how it works. So there's some close with communication there.

    Dr. Berry:
    Nice. Okay. And remember Lunch and Learn community, we're going to make sure, and whoever's listening, we're gonna make sure that you have all of our kinds of information to bombard her, to follow her, to make sure you stay up with her because again, she is definitely want, like I said, I'm all over. I'm watching, I'm watching her stories. I'm watching her. I'm watching because I want to see not only how she doing it, but again, if there's something where I can improve on myself and just the position I am, I definitely will take nuggets as well. So you talked about just a time bestselling author but two-time bestselling author. Obviously I want to get into beyond talented, but talk about the first time when you decided like, hey, you know what, I'm going to write something. What was that like? Especially people write books. Was that something that was like, yeah, I'm gonna write a book one day and the opportunity came, or you would just with all of the life changes that were happening, it just felt right?

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    So the first time was when I partnered with a group of other female physicians and we wrote The Chronicles of Women in White Coats, which is ever since moved into a great movement. And there's been a wellness retreat, a blog and so many things birth out of it that have continued to encourage women in medicine and across the country. But then more recently, this was something that I was a part of the organizing team of and sort of co-leader in the project. And that really was something that was near and dear to my heart because this one was really focused on the struggles that immigrants space and particularly immigrant physicians. I'm just detailing accounts of their lives from different facets of general life, love the practice of medicine and how that has maybe made us better, or the challenges that we encountered along the way have made us much better for or thankful for who we are today.

    And so that is the project that was just recently released this. Oh wow this month we launched, this month, actually October 4 and within the first day of releasing when Amazon made the best seller list, and I actually almost passed out when I saw that we were right below the book written by the neurosurgeon, When Breath Becomes Air, we were breaking underneath of him and I was like, oh my God, I took a screenshot of it. Because I could not believe that. And for several days after we stayed on the number one new releases, medical biographies, so that was a pretty good win for us, just because our stories are different but they're the same as everybody else's. So, even though I may feel like, oh my gosh, this is the book about immigrant docs. I'm not an immigrant. I may not relate with them. You'll be surprised because even though it feels like the origin of a story is vary from yours, but the struggles are going to be underlying, very similar and really boils down to what virtue that this person gained from that experience that I can maybe reflect on. And that's really been a joyous experience I would say.

    Dr. Berry:
    And it's been amazing and Lunch and Learn community obviously I want to give Dr. Lum community an opportunity to get a free book on us. We're definitely gonna make sure were saying out in the air we're going to sponsor so she can give a book away on us because I think you need to read this. But like I said again, I've been a secret spy on everything you do. And I think even I as a person who always wanted to do academic medicine. That was always my passion. I remember writing when I was a medical student. I was either a medical student, maybe a first year resident.

    It talking about like, oh, I can't wait to be a Program Director because that was just something that I've always wanted to do. (Awesome). And still understanding and learning as I grow in in this role that I've been on three years now. Just a different side of it as osteopathic physician, we didn't typically deal with international medical graduates. So I'm learning all of these things. I'm like, wow, you guys have to deal with all of that. So that's why and when I say that, especially for the medical students who maybe are going to school here and they think like, no, we don't go through that same struggle. And you'd be surprised. The questions I get, the DMS I get, emails I get of going through that same like hurdles and trouble and how do I get over this?

    Because I get those same questions for students who go here too. So I 100% agree that everyone should read this. One, because it definitely opens up your heart and your eyes. But especially your heart to say like, oh, okay. I definitely need to make sure I'm more mindful of there's the struggle that everyone has to go through and then it makes it. I'll say it online. I'll say it on live right here. I respected more because I know your hurdle was a little bit harder that in someone even like me who went to school here, who's from here, once osteopathic medical. So I understand that even my hurdle wasn't the type of hurdle or that you typically have to deal with. I'm definitely a fan of that book and really that premise, that you women got together and say like, let's write our story because, even though it's, you said 28 does that, how many, what that?

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    We have 15.

    Dr. Berry:
    So 15 different stories. But it was, it's still one collective theme. Like, hey, we struggled but we got to where we needed to be.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Right. And that's the message you're trying to put across. As you know, I usually say this jokingly, but and a lot of times when you moved to America from another country, you don't have the same opportunity as a person where this is their homeland. And so when we choose to share our stories, it's also a way to say that despite the fact that we maybe did not have the opportunity to get some added advantage, we still were able to overcome X and Y challenges in our lives to get to a goal. Just like you said, you always wanting to be a program director, thinking, oh my God, here you are walking in goal today. So a lot of times we have all these goals we set for ourselves, but maybe along the way you get a detour or encounter some kind of roadblock remembering that even people that may be could have been statistically considered less fortunate than you are still able to get their goals.

    If anything that you can certainly get yours and so that's really the message of encouragement or empowerment or putting out there is irrespective of what origins you have or irrespective of your disadvantages and if you have advantages to take advantage of them. And so that that way our stories are able to resonate with more than just immigrants. But even just people that are non-immigrants or people to whom this is home. To not only share that story for awareness, but also to remind them that, hey, yes, you could still also achieve a lot of the other things you want to do for yourself given that you have certain advantages.

    Dr. Berry:
    So like I always asked, you come together and you write a phenomenal story, a collection of stories like this, what is next? When we talk about just getting the message out there and we already know what you're doing on the personal front, what's next for you?

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Oh my gosh, I have so many plans Dr. Pierre. I don't even know sometimes how I go to sleep at night with all these plans in my head. But I have a dream of creating some more structure around international medical graduates and their pre-residency process. The biggest thing that I've noticed, I guess if I could create a study, this would be my retrospective analysis of I've worked with. The foundation is lack of knowledge. It's just what it is and it's not a lack of medical knowledge. Because I should have these IMG sense of score way higher on some of their boards. And maybe even students that have taught as part of my job here in the States. I know in the past, the first three years on a residency, I was a community based preceptor for and osteopathic school out of tenancy.

    So I do know that scores can vary, but these IMGs they tend to really knocked up all of the park when it comes to some, not all of course. So that being said, medical knowledge I've noticed maybe is not so much of an issue, even though when it is an issue, that's a usually more difficult hurdle to overcome because you need to have the competitive score. But that put aside, just understanding of the process has been an area where I've seen the biggest gap. And so one of the things I've done is creating an online course geared to with this, but I'm looking at a more structured and casual approach, if that makes any sense. So maybe something like what you're doing, I don't know yet. Maybe something like a podcast or an annual meeting or that could really equip people one time.

    Here's all the information you need, beyond just maybe a static online course, which I do enjoy and I do have and people use it. But beyond just that course, I would like something more dynamic, where there's more interaction and more real time. So whatever that is, I'm yet to discover. I'm yet to find out. Who knows, maybe someday it would be it, my dream will be the educational commission for medical graduates if I can get to work with them in some capacity in the future. That's definitely would be a big, big thing for me that ever happened. So I think for now that's really what I'm looking at is a more standardized platform that would equip IMGs with necessary information, evidence-based information that would really help them be well-armed on the front and instead of reaching out to me when they fail to match one time. Then that just makes it, it's a snowball effect. But they can get that information earlier on. And really I like to emphasize this. My message is not for people to go to foreign medical schools. That's not my message. My message is for people who already found themselves enrolled in those schools to improve their options and their chances of making their dream of being a board certified physicians in States. So it's really not a message of telling people to go to foreign schools because I would not do it over again if I have the choice.

    Dr. Berry:
    Is that just because of the hurdles that are placed?

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Yes. The challenges that I faced, which I did not anticipate because I didn't know any better, I'd never lived in America before to understand the medical systems that extent, hindsight is 20/20. I can't see that far ahead. And so when you're just ignorant to societal standards. That being said, it's never my intention to say or premed student listening to this should go the premed and that's not the message. The message really is this, that if you already are in that predicament, here's what you need to be focused on because maybe the school may not equip you, especially when you start your clinical year. But exactly that piece of information. But then there's people like myself, we're developing with resources to help meet that need.

    Dr. Berry:
    I love it. And so interesting because that was the biggest driver for me. And I've said it before, when I talk about compassion, I don't use it loosely because when I see people who have such a drive, I just generally want to help them. I definitely want to see them succeed. I remember going to school at Nova Southeastern and I remember thinking like, okay, who's on the admissions committee? Because now that I'm at the door, I need to see what they saw in me and what do I need to do to tell someone behind me. And that's probably been secretly my drive to become a program director. Because I already know that my residency, alright, what are people on the other side looking at for potential resident applicants who to get into program.

    And I remember when I did my webinar, right? Because I have a webinar as well too. The ERS interview webinar. The reason why I did it was because I saw so many people and you're so right. Making the same mistakes over and over again. That I knew it was just that they just didn't know. It wasn't they weren't trying. It was just that they just did not know this process. And I figured like, hey, if I just yell out and scream like, hey, by the way, put down your poster presentation. It was like, hey, by the way, I knew if I just yell at the screen that someone would take it and say, oh, you know what, I did do a lot of poster presentations or I did a lot of oral presentations.

    Maybe I should put that in the scholarly activity so my ERS section doesn't look blank. I mean the amount of students who don't even know what goes in the ERS is still mind boggling to me. But like again, I was naive as well too. I didn't know until I got to the other side and I had actually put stuff into the ERS and realized that, oh wow, all this stuff I remember doing, I don't remember doing that. I didn't write it down. So I 100% agree, is never and especially because you're 100% right. It's not the scores are usually not the issue. I wish I could be like, oh yes, the scores that keep them out. It's no. There's so many systems in our medical society that again, and I've talked about this before ad nauseum that keep our foreign medical graduates, try to keep our foreign who graduates outside of the system.

    I'm an internal medicine. So you already know, I think as if I had to pick a specialty that does an amazing job at trying to keep people out. It's internal medicine. So I understand that there are systems in place that purposely make it harder for you. And that's why I love everything that you do. And that's why, again, like I said, whatever your dream, whenever your dream comes to fruition, if you ever need some support, please let me know. Because I know that there's barriers that we have to artificially break down to make it easier for those who are in that predicament to get over here and learn and be able to take care of patients. That's really the end of the day we're trying to take care of patients.

    They got these structures. They don't even let you do that. You have people here who do amazing, amazing work, clinical work, do amazing grades. But because of where they went to school, or maybe they had a hiccup. And like I said, full disclosure, there's not a level that I have not failed at all. So full disclosure and understand, I'm still a program director. I am 35 years, I always forget how old I am. I'm 35, 36, I think I'm 36, maybe 35, 36, but I'm still a program director. And I've had plenty of missteps and fails. So, and I've never believed that a misstep or fail anywhere during a medical school career should dictate whether you have a career at all.

    I am 100% champion of what you do and really how you do it. And I think that's why I was such so excited just to have this discussion because one, I think we're opening up a lot of people's ears who probably don't realize, a lot of these outside forces that effect our international medical graduates, to the point where they hide for them. We're DOs and MDs. That's all they know. They don't know our struggle and they need more people like you, like saying like, hey, look, look, read this book. This is our collection of struggles. Just so you realize like, hey, yeah, it wasn't all straight A's and high, it wasn't all that.

    So before I let you go, if you can, I know were about yourself care, right? But I do want people to make sure that they can follow you, you're always doing that. Again, Lunch and Learn community, let me brag on her a little bit. She is always doing a live. Now My ERS is an automated webinar. Reason why is because I'll be having a time to do that very often. You can go click it already. Press play. It's already prerecorded. It's done. My seat does it live multiple times. I know she just went through as a session where she was doing interviews. I'm not sure if you're still doing that. But I want people to follow. You just gonna just see how you're doing and see how they can stay within your community. Where are you at social wise, website wise, all of that stuff here? And remember Lunch and Learn community, whether you're driving, whatever you do, listen to it. We’ll make sure it is all in the show notes as well.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Thank you for that. I think Instagram, it's sort of my most active social platform and um, @drninalum. Previously I was known as the encouraging doc in Instagram and I'm still being encouraging doc. But my handle is @drninalum. And my blog is theencouragingdoc.com. So those are two places where people can find me on the internet. My online courses are on imgroadmap.com, which you can also find through my blog as well. Um, and I think those are the only places where I exist right now.

    Dr. Berry:
    Sure. What about the book? What about the book?

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Oh yeah. I forgot. Okay. Yes. So you can get the book on my square site. It’s also included on my Instagram bio page. But it's also available on Amazon and this title Beyond Challenges, survival stories from African immigrant physicians on love life and the practice of medicine.

    Dr. Berry:
    Perfect. Remember Lunch and Learn community listeners and especially those in your community, we want to give away on behalf of us a 180 paperback books. So I don't know how, however best you feel, whether through your email list or your website. Whatever way you feel this, let us know. Because we want to sponsor one to give away because it is a message that I think people needs to be have in hand so you can understand like, okay, I really need to respect the grindness of some of these amazing physicians are doing down here.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Absolutely. I would love to do that. So we can probably figure out the rules to give away and maybe use one of our social platforms to further announce that. But I'm down. I can mail a book to that person directly whoever wins that give away.

    Dr. Berry:
    Let’s give them paper back. I know people are digital but let's give hard copy book.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Right. And that way it can get signed before you get it.

    Dr. Berry:
    Even better. See? We got to give the paper back and we've got to get that signed.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Absolutely. We'll love to do that.

    Dr. Berry:
    So again, thank you for joining the Lunch and Learn community. This has been an absolutely amazing episode and we just want to support you and thank you and give you all the well wishes on such an amazing journey. Like I said, to me you are the IMG coach. I'm going to keep sending people to you especially when I can't. I’m too busy. Especially as Program Director, this is interview season, so it's very busy.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Oh my God. I'm sure you're slammed. I can't imagine. That's one thing I can’t imagine how you doing.

    Dr. Berry:
    Oh yes. Crazy. It's crazy. You have a great day. Again, thank you for everything that you do.

    Dr. Nina Lum:
    Alright. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. And to all the Lunch and Learn community folk, it was great spending some time with you today.

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