It's with great pleasure I welcome two FABULOUS friends, pharmacists, and authors to the blog today to tell us all about their award-winning book!
Check it out...
Two Friends and Pharmacists Team Up to Release Award-Winning Debut Title that Teaches Young People More About Becoming #Healthcare Heroes
Dr. Mary Choy and Dr. Michele Kaufman are board-certified pharmacists and educators with over 50 years of combined experience. This passion project combines Mary and Michele’s love for reading books with their dedication to medical careers and helping kids (Mary is a mom to two kids and Michele is a devoted aunt) demystify the medical profession. Their collaboration on writing projects has led to over 400 publications between them. Mary and Michele both live in New York City. They love visiting schools and presenting to students of all ages. Their award-winning book, Healthcare Heroes, has been referred to as “a young adult’s personal career fair.”
Mary’s Instagram/Twitter: @DrMaryChoy
Michele’s Instagram/Twitter: @PharmDGuru
Healthcare Heroes: The Medical Careers Guide gives you the unfiltered, unedited, no-holds-barred version of what it’s really like to be a healthcare professional in the 21st century. This book features some of the best and top healthcare jobs highlighted in the U.S. News & World Report. With expert insights and strategies, this book helps readers find their best career path in the medical field. It features 28 personal stories from healthcare professionals and has insights into different careers that people might not have heard of like art/music therapist, surgical technologist, pharmacy technician, and even STEM careers like a biomedical engineer. It serves as a useful resource for readers of all ages, whether they be in middle school, high school, college or already out in the workforce.
Awards & Honors:
Healthcare Heroes won the Silver Medal in Readers' Favorite International Book Awards for Non-Fiction: Occupational and is a Finalist in the International Book Awards in the categories of Young Adults: Non-Fiction and Business: Careers.
Readers’ Favorite & LitPick 5-Star Reviews:
“A fascinating read with real insight from renowned healthcare professionals...it is literally like having your own personal healthcare mentor.”
“This amazing guide is jam-packed with up-to-date information and all guidance counselors should have a copy!”
“The first book to … reveal steps to careers under the healthcare umbrella. Highly recommended…. A ‘must have’ educational reference for career guidance collections, for adults who want to help any teen, or for adults looking to enter a healthcare profession.” – Midwest Book Review
Please tell me a little about you and what you do.
MARY: I’m a pharmacist, educator, and public health advocate. Over 15 years ago, I became a professor because I wanted to share my knowledge and life’s work through teaching and writing. It is meaningful to teach public health topics to healthcare professionals, students, and the community. I am currently the Director of Pharmacy Practice for the New York State Council of Health-System Pharmacists and I’m also on the medical review board for Verywell Health.
MICHELE: I spend my days as a Pharmacist at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Lower Manhattan, and I am also a medical writer. I was recently on the editorial boards for the Pharmacy & Therapeutics Journal, Formulary Journal, and I am a regular contributor to The Rheumatologist. I am a member of the Clinical Care Committee of the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center in NYC.
In a nutshell, what is Healthcare Heroes about?
Healthcare Heroes is about real stories from healthcare professionals. It gives the reader the feeling that they are having a personal conversation with each one. The featured professionals share insights on why they chose their career and why they love it. We hope this book will help many individuals find their inspiration, and trust that it will serve as a blueprint for finding a successful career.
Where and when did the idea for Healthcare Heroes begin?
MARY & MICHELE: We have been working together on writing articles and research projects for over ten years now (time certainly flies when you’re having fun). Along the way, we’ve had many students, friends, and colleagues ask about different careers in healthcare. We participated in many career events and people always had so many questions. That got us thinking. So we started to do some market research and we really didn’t see any books geared towards kids and healthcare careers. We decided this would be totally worth pursuing together!
How did it develop into a final product?
MARY & MICHELE: We knew we wanted to include stories from other healthcare professionals and the different places people can work, as well as what education is needed for the different careers. So we reached out to our network from across the country. There were so many enthusiastic experts who were excited to share their stories and contribute to our writing project. Our contributors have such inspiring stories and we are thankful they wanted to share them to help others decide on a career. Since we love being in the healthcare field, our goal was to have everyone share their knowledge of how and why they got into each of their professions.
How did you involve youth in the publishing of Healthcare Heroes?
MARY & MICHELE: Since our book was geared towards youth, we wanted to involve them in the review process. We had a team of young adults, they were anywhere from 11-18 years old who helped us with reviewing the book. They were given the first draft of the book, several months before publication. We wanted to include their voice, to see if there were any definitions that they didn’t understand, to get overall clarity on the project, and really just to implement their honest opinions in the project. We got some really excellent feedback that shaped the book into what it is today.
What's been the hardest part of this experience so far?
MARY & MICHELE: We had many contributors, and each of the different professionals shared their story following our template for guidance. The editing process was tedious, but we are so excited to hear that our book has helped many of our readers.
And the most enjoyable?
MARY & MICHELE: Hearing from our readers, for sure! It’s so heartwarming to hear that our book was able to help them with their life decisions. Also, when a teen reads the book and says, “I didn’t know that… now I do” about a particular career. Or an adult says, “I wish I had your book when I was in high school or college.” Our readers’ comments are very inspiring to us.
What do you hope people will gain from reading Healthcare Heroes?
MARY & MICHELE: There are so many science careers and we want kids to learn about the different careers so they can choose the best career path that’s right for them. For anyone else who is interested in learning about different health careers, or potentially pursuing a health career, we hope this book will give them the information they need to forge forward.
Are there any other books in the works?
MARY & MICHELE: We’re gathering insights and looking at unique healthcare careers for our next Healthcare Heroes book in the series.
If you had any advice for people choosing a medical career, what would it be?
MARY: As an educator, it’s been wonderful to mentor and help many people figure out their paths. The best advice would be for people to do their research, speak to others, ask many questions, and shadow healthcare providers to see what a typical day in the medical field is like. That way, you can see multiple perspectives, learn whether or not the field is right for you, and build your network. Treat every opportunity like it’s a job. Always be professional and thank the person who provided the shadowing or volunteering opportunity to you. There are also many virtual healthcare camps available to students who are interested in exploring the medical field. Because it’s virtual, there is more flexibility in that students are able to attend out-of-state programs.
MICHELE: I am a firm believer in networking and in this regard I take after my Dad. If you have friends or family in the medical field, talk to them. Talk to others in different medical fields to learn what they do. You might know that you want to help people and go into the medical or healthcare field, but deciding exactly what you want to do is difficult. It’s always a good idea to volunteer such as in a hospital or in a medical office. In the past, many places accepted kids during the summer or even year-round for different volunteer opportunities, but due to COVID, there are fewer of these opportunities. You can also check-out different health-related websites to learn about topics of interest, or different medical professions websites, read newsletters from these different professional websites, click through and learn what you can to help you decide what might interest you in a medical field.
And something just for fun...
Ketchup or Mayo?
MARY: Both! Ketchup for burgers/fries and mayo for chicken salad
MICHELE: Ketchup, I am not a fan of mayo
Night or Day?
MARY: Before kids: night. After kids – you probably know the answer already.
MICHELE: Both… love the daylight, but more productive at night.
Inside or Outside?
MARY: Inside on rainy days and outside on sunny days for biking and hiking
MICHELE: Inside when its extreme heat, outside when it is sunny but not too hot for walking, biking and traveling/sight-seeing
Dogs or Cats?
MARY: I love both dogs and cats.
MICHELE: Definitely cats. Dogs often scare me… especially big or loud dogs. I don’t like anything loud.
Twitter or Facebook?
MARY: Twitter for writing community, Facebook for friends
MICHELE: Both. Facebook to be more social and keep up with friends (I find it easier to use), Twitter for professional “chatter”
Ebook or Paperback?
MARY: There’s something magical about holding a book at the beach
MICHELE: Paperback, I haven’t gone fully electronic. I still like a good paperback or hardcover book.
Sun or Rain?
MARY: Sunshine, forever and always
MICHELE: I love the sun, it is uplifting, it produces Vitamin D (always the scientist), and for its warm feeling
Keyboard or Pencil & Notebook?
MARY: Usually keyboard. But recently my husband surprised me with these beautiful notebooks with inspirational quotes, so I’ve loved using them.
MICHELE: Pencil and notebook, but sometimes there is too much paper
Comedy or Drama?
MARY: Comedies...laughter is the best medicine.
MICHELE: Depends on my mood. Usually comedy, it’s easier to get lost in these.
Chips or Chocolate?
MARY: Chocolate covered potato chips
MICHELE: Dark chocolate
Want to guest blog or be interviewed? Got a cover reveal or book coming out?
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