47 minutes | Mar 17th 2020

Bringing Eastern and Western Medicine Together to Change the Mental Health of Corporate America with Dr. Romie Mushtaq

Dr. Romie Mushtaq is a neurologist, mindfulness teacher, entrepreneur, and speaker. She is also the Chief Wellness Officer for Evolution Hospitality and the host of the Wellness Evolved Podcast. She shares how she had a love for brain science and neurology and became a medical doctor. About 10 years into her career, she had a very serious health crisis and discovered mindfulness during her journey to recovery. She is now on a mission to bring together her advanced training in Western and Eastern medicine to alleviate stress and bring health and wellness to the corporate world. 

We talk about how she created and the first mindfulness program for a hospitality company and became the first hospitality Chief Wellness Officer. Then we talk about the podcast and how it became a way to reach employees with the message of mindfulness and people first. Dr. Romie found that wellness emails were going unread, but the podcasts made communication easier and provided tools for mindfulness and wellness with her guided meditations. Even though the podcast is targeted at Evolution Hospitality employees, it also has turned out to be a recruitment tool for potential employees. 

Dr. Romie also shares some of the surprising results from the podcast and how a mixed format of guided meditation, interviews, and solo shows works for her. We talk about how she keeps organized and challenges with finding quality outside guests can be. We also get to hear a very touching story of how Dr. Romie’s maternal grandmother had faith in her and her potential. Even though she isn’t here anymore her presence is always with Dr. Romie. This is a fantastic interview with a very fun and smart lady who I’m happy to have the pleasure to work with. 

Show Notes:

  • [04:37] Darrell and Dr. Romie met at Podfest in Orlando. It was so great that they met in person before Dr. Romie's podcast launched. 
  • [06:33] Dr. Romie's background is in neurology and neurophysiology. In 2013, she got a board certification in integrative medicine.
  • [06:48]  She brings the world of Eastern and Western medicine together. The mission for her wellness company is changing the brain and mental health of corporate America. 
  • [07:01] Evolution Hospitality hired Dr. Romie to be their keynote speaker and talk about the brain science of mindfulness for stress management. After that, she started consulting for them. She's now their Chief Wellness Officer and her job is to guide the mindfulness and wellness programs for their 7,000 employees.
  • [08:37] When she was in medical school, she had a love and passion for neuroscience. She was a practicing doctor, and she got sick from too much stress.
  • [09:02] She had to have a life-saving surgery and this led to her journey of mindfulness, meditation, and integrative medicine.
  • [10:37] The Wellness Evolved Podcast just turned one year old. 
  • [11:44] The podcast is targeted for the Evolution Hospitality employees. She wanted the podcast to be a public-facing recruitment tool for the organization.
  • [12:28] She created and scaled a mindfulness program from scratch. They started with The Power of Pause. They decided that a podcast would be the perfect way to get this program out and supply the employees with the tools they would need. 
  • [14:02] The podcast was first and foremost for the Evolution Hospitality employees, but other hospitality employees started showing interest in the program. It's a great PR tool. 
  • [15:56] There's brain science behind the intimate connection of hearing someone's voice in your ear.
  • [16:56] Communication and spreading the word was what was needed for The Power of Pause. Management had to think through if they wanted something targeted for the employees to be public facing. 
  • [19:31] Dr. Romie is finding ways to measure impact. Her top downloads were the meditations. Their format includes guided meditations, solo shows, and interviews.
  • [22:05] Seeing leaders play the podcast episodes and lead meditations is an indicator of success. Dr. Romie is also getting LinkedIn messages from job seekers. Most people in panel interviews listen to the podcast to prepare.
  • [23:35] The podcast has helped spread the mindfulness program and bring in new candidates.
  • [26:20] Rule #1 turn on your microphone!!! Technical glitches happen when you're in a hurry.
  • [29:11] Dr. Romie has a busy schedule, so she has a team that helps keep things on schedule. She interviews people face-to-face when she is traveling. She also has a content calendar of podcast topics. 
  • [34:39] Serving your audience is what it's all about.
  • [36:05] It's been challenging to get external guests from other companies and vendors on the podcast. 
  • [37:35] They do want to have subject matter experts on the show. 
  • [39:54] Dr. Romie still uses her grandmother's prayer beads when she meditates. Her grandmother always believed that she was going to rise up and do amazing things. She calls upon her grandmother often. She is anchored in unwavering faith. 
  • [43:53] Darrell's takeaways: Dr. Romie's emails were going unopened, but the podcast actually reached people. Podcasts are effective for communication and recruitment. A content calendar is great for organizing themes and ideas and collaborating with others. Don't be afraid to break the mold and try something new.

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