Today’s episode is an interview with Dr. Janan Sarwar. It’s the first interview in a 4-part Women Pharmacist Writers Series. Janan is a pharmacist, publishing professional, medical grant writer, pharmacy career coach, and founder of Global Bookshelves International, LLC. She currently serves as the Chief Content Officer of The Happy PharmD as well as a Medical Resource Manager for Continuing Medical Education Outfitters, which is a division of Knowfully Learning Group. She is passionate about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and loves to speak and write about these topics. As a publisher, Janan spent 7 years working at the American Pharmacists Association working in nonprofit print and digital book publishing for pharmacists and she has now taken those skills to her new independent book publishing company that publishes children’s books, healthcare content, and cookbooks that cultivate and celebrate diversity and representation from around the world.
Mentioned in this episode
Janan Sarwar, PharmD LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/janansarwar/
Janan’s Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/rxjanan
Salaam Storytime Podcast: https://anchor.fm/salaamstorytime
Global Bookshelves International (Janan’s book-publishing company)
Email for Global Bookshelves International firstname.lastname@example.org
Preventive Maintenance for a High Mileage Life (Kindle Version) by Dr. Michelle Fritsch
We Need Diverse Books (nonprofit organization)
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Dr. Janan Sarwar and I met at the October 2021 Medipreneurs Summit in Cincinnati, OH. Janan found out about Medipreneurs from someone who worked with Medipreneurs Co-Founder Dr. Michelle Fritsch on her book Preventive Maintenance for a High Mileage Life (Kindle Version).
How does Janan use her voice as an advocate? Janan advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) from a healthcare perspective: research (clinical trials), underserved patients, marginalized patients, and also advocates children understanding diversity in terms of, “What is diversity?” DEI exists in many forms: age, gender, ethnicity, geography, physical ability, unseen abilities, and religious beliefs. Children learn from others. We can all learn from others.
How did Janan learn about diversity in clinical trials? Janan looks at the patient population studied in a clinical trial compared to those in the real world who have the condition. Ex: Black women and breast cancer. Diversity may be affected by the ability to take time away from work, transportation, and other factors. Inclusion in trials can affect health beliefs, willingness to take medications, and openness with healthcare providers.
Janan is writing a children’s story about DEI. It’s about baking cookies with her daughters. The sugar got left out of the cookie dough. After the cookies were baked, icing and sprinkles were used to sweeten the cookies. This is how Janan sees DEI in the world. Diversity is missing form the recipe. We need DEI in decision-making from the start. She thinks we are moving in the right direction with getting the sugar in from the start.
Janan’s career has been in book-publishing. She likes the idea of “windows” and “mirrors” in children’s books. A window book lets us see something that’s outside. Ex: fantasy, another culture, another world. A mirror book is something you read because you “see yourself” in it. Ex: an issue you’re dealing with.
A 2017 study showed that <7% of children’s books were about people of color, neurodiversity, etc. There’s been a gap in the market. The nonprofit organization We Need Diverse Books is trying to publish mirror and window books with greater diversity, equity, and inclusion. Caucasian children need more window books. People of color need more mirror books.
It’s very important to read books that are both windows and mirrors; they make children want to read more. Books can also impact career paths.
Janan’s Independent Book publishing company is called Global Bookshelves International. The books she wants to publish are the English-language version of already-published books from around the world. They are both windows and mirrors. Ex: from Singapore.
Because of her daughter Leena’s podcast (Salaam Storytime), Janan has connected with publishers and people who have created diverse books. She’s bringing their content to North American and selling it here. If you’re interested in writing a book in one of 3 areas, contact Janan at email@example.com:
- Children’s books
- Healthcare books
Leena’s podcast was created because she wanted to spend more time with Janan. 6-year-old Leena chooses and reads books that she has permission from the author and the publisher to read. They have guest readers too. Stories will be available to purchase at Global Bookshelves International. Leena wanted to read stories from her bookshelves at home, which represent voices and diversity from around the world. They are picture books for young children ages 0-6 years.
Books in print are important. They teach patience, provide tactile experiences, and build relationships with the person who is reading.
Janan would like to speak on a TedX talk some day about “We can change the world by reading books to children.”
How does Janan use her voice as an educator? Coaching and publishing.
Janan was in textbook publishing. She has published more than 30 books. Now, she is in the CME space. Janan considers how learners want to receive the information. She gives the reader what they need to learn in less time. She learned the science of how people learn during her Fellowship in Educational Technology, Research, and Development.
As a coach, Janan listens to coaching clients and reflects back what there’e good at. She helps pharmacists see their windows of opportunity. She works with clients through The Happy PharmD. Some people want to advance their career, find a part-time side hustle, start a business, or find a new job. Career coaching brings clarity, improves mindset, develops a strategy, clarifies a pharmacist’s “why,” gets rid of imposter syndrome, and builds confidence over 3 months. 90% is “inner” work. 10% is finding a job.
Janan mentioned two coaching success stories. One was a burned out woman pharmacist who became a medical writer. Another story featured a man named Sam who was in an independent pharmacy setting. He made the transition to consulting. Both are happier now. Do you want to try working with a career coach? Visit the https://thehappypharmd.com.
How does Janan use her voice as a writer?
She is employed as a writer. She creates videos or presentations that will be delivered in-person by healthcare providers of all kinds. The name of the company is CME Outfitters. It is a subsidiary of Knowfully Learning Group. Janan says she stumbled into writing by accident. She’s a storyteller. Janan also writes articles for GoodRX for consumers. Ex: pets and medicine.
Janan is the Chief Content Officer of The Happy PharmD. The Happy PharmD Founder Alex Barker and Janan are co-writing a book called Potential about career paths. Watch for that to be published in 2022.
Fortunately, there are no conflicts of interest among all her different professional pursuits!
As we wrapped up, Janan proposed creating a podcast that brings to light disease states in populations that aren’t talked about enough. Length would be 5 minutes (short, bite-sized chunks).
Thank you for listening to episode 125 of The Pharmacist’s Voice ® Podcast
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