Medical Host, Author, Co-Founder of TULA
I’m lucky. I get to go on TV from time to time and meet amazing people. One of those people is Dr. Roshini Raj. I met Dr. Raj while on the Good Day New York set. She was curious about social media and asked if I could help her. A few weeks later, I met with her at her office in New York City and we became friends. She’s a powerhouse. She has an Ivy League education and movie star good looks. She’s a mother of two, and a gastroenterologist. She’s also a media correspondent, and recently she launched her own skin-care brand, called TULA. Yep – Dr. Roshini Raj is a total badass. She’s the embodiment of what I wish for my daughters. She has a career she loves, a supportive husband, two great kids and an entrepreneurial spirit. She’s got “success” written all over her. Asking her to answer a few questions for my success feature was a v-e-r-y easy decision. Read on to learn more about the powerhouse that is Dr. Roshini Raj.
Chris Dessi: We met because of your regular television appearances. What has led you there? How were you “discovered” or was this an intentional career path for you?
Roshini Raj MD: Although I always loved public speaking and gave regular lectures to the community on health topics, the television work did start somewhat randomly. A TV show came to my hospital (NYU) wanted to film a piece on colonoscopy and colon cancer screening. They wanted to film a female gastroenterologist so by default (there were hardly any of us) I was chosen to do it. After that I was hooked! I loved the experience of being able to communicate an educational message to so many people at once, and I felt very natural on camera. The producers thought I did good job and one thing lead to another after that.
Chris Dessi: You’re young, you’re beautiful and you’re a doctor. You’re also a successful mother of two. I know this question may seem cliche’, but I’m genuinely curious – how do you do it all? Do you have help? What role does your husband play at home?
Roshini Raj MD: I have tons of help and I am not afraid to ask for more. I think a mistake many women make is feeling like they have to do everything themselves. Support is key and I am very lucky to have an incredibly supportive husband. He is always happy to watch the kids if I have an early morning shoot or have to travel for work. Our babysitter is also amazing and my parents live nearby and help a lot too. My mother always worked (she is a doctor) and my father (also a doctor) was a very hands-on Dad so I had great role models growing up in how a man and woman can be truly equal partners.
Chris Dessi: When was the first time you felt you were a success?
Roshini Raj MD: In terms of my media career, my first time on Today show was pretty incredible. I had dreamed to be on the show and it was every bit exciting as I thought it would be. In terms of my medical career, I have so many interactions during the day with my patients that make me feel like a “success.” Whether I diagnosis the right condition, or simply make them feel better my listening, that human connection is very meaningful.
Chris Dessi: You strike me as the type of person that knew she was going to be in the medical field very early on. Am I totally off base here, or do you feel medicine was a calling?
Roshini Raj MD: Yes I did. Although both my parents are doctors, they never pressured me to go into medicine. But they did instill the value in me that whatever career I choose should be one that helps people. Seeing how much satisfaction they derived from their careers and the love and gratitude they received from patients definitely inspired me to follow their footsteps.
Chris Dessi: A few weeks ago Kevin O’Leary from Shark Tank announced that his most profitable companies were all led by women. What do you think women business leaders do differently that you men can learn from?
Roshini Raj MD: Women are usually better listeners, we tend to be less arrogant, and we are great multi-taskers. (this makes me sound sexist, right?). SO while men tend to posture and sometimes act like they know something even if they don’t, a woman will take the time to really investigate an issue, listen with respect to the opinions of others, and a make a wise and careful decision.
Chris Dessi: How do you define success?
Roshini Raj MD: Success is when you derive joy from what you have and what you do. I am truly grateful for my family, career, and all that I have right now so in that sense I feel successful. But I still have many goals and ambitions I have yet to fulfill.
Chris Dessi: When I see women like you and my wife Laura – who work, and are active parents, I’m in awe. What (if any) role has your husband played in your success. I suppose I’m asking – how important has his support been for you?
Roshini Raj MD: His support has been essential. I could never do a last-minute TV spot at 5 AM or drop everything to fly to LA if my husband was not willing to pick up the slack at home. And on a daily basis he is a 50% (sometimes more) partner in raising our boys. I am lucky!!
Roshini Raj MD: So important. As far as women have come we still have a long way to go in terms of being equally represented in leadership positions in every field. Seeing powerful women in the media and business world tells young girls that they should pursue their dreams no matter how lofty, and not let anything or anyone stand in their way.
Chris Dessi: You recently launched your own health and beauty line called TULA. Tell me about the genesis of that launch? Has this always been a dream of yours, or was the business born from necessity.
Roshini Raj MD: Well as a 43 year old woman, creating a really powerful anti-aging skincare line was a bit of a necessity I suppose. But it was truly a labor of love. Being in the media, I love being able to help people live healthier lives but I was ready to create a product that women can keep in their homes. I plan to expand TULA to a wellness brand that extends beyond skincare.
Chris Dessi: How great a role do you think luck has played in your success?
Roshini Raj MD: Luck has played a big role – specifically with chance encounters with people that became meaningful in my career. But on some level we create our own luck. Making sure you are in the right places at the right time helps a lot. You probably won’t have a life-changing meeting if you stay at home all day.
Chris Dessi: You’re a Medical Doctor – so you’ve taken academics seriously. What do you say to the pundits who feel that college is a waste of money?
Roshini Raj MD: I loved my college experience and felt that it made me a much more interesting person. I actually was an English major (in addition to pre-med) and took so many fascinating courses in fields like film, ethnic conflict, and even opera. Most importantly I met wonderfully different people in college and my best friend today is my former college roommate.
Chris Dessi: Do you have brother and sisters? Where did you grow up? How has that shaped your successes?
Roshini Raj MD: I am an only child and grew up in Scarsdale, New York. Being an only child of working parents, I became very independent early on and I still am. As busy as I am, I still crave some alone time every day – even just15 minutes to maintain my sanity.
Chris Dessi: At first blush you seem to have it all. Loving family, new business, thriving medical practice, a book, and you’re regularly on the most popular television shows. What has that journey been like? We know the highs – but tell me about the lows – where there bumps along the way?
Roshini Raj MD: Nobody’s life is perfect. We all have lows and challenges. I think being raised as a Buddhist has really helped me cope with those challenges. In Buddhism we acknowledge that life is full of suffering – whether it is illness, death, a break up, divorce. Once you accept that some lows are inevitable you learn to cope with them and focus on what is positive in your life. And I am very grateful that I have so many wonderful things in my life to focus on.
Chris Dessi: Are there women in your life who inspire your success? Tell me about them.
Roshini Raj MD: My mother for sure. She is a gastroenterologist running her own private practice so she has certainly been a career role model. But she also lives life to the fullest – taking salsa lessons, learning about the latest tech gadgets, and generally having tons of fun.
Chris Dessi: What’s your rhythm? What time do you go to bed? Do you meditate? If not – when and how do you find quiet time? When do you wake up? Do you exercise? If so – what do you do to keep fit?
Roshini Raj MD: I try to go to bed by 10PM the latest and wake up at 6AM. I try to meditate daily but even if I don’t get a chance to, I always take at least 15 minutes before bed to wind down. I exercise every day – I am basically addicted at this point. That hour in the gym is a form of relaxation for me.
Chris Dessi: Do you think there is room for a female Dr. Oz? (WINK WINK)
Roshini Raj MD: Absolutely!! Considering that women make most of the healthcare decisions in the household, we definitely need more women in the media that can speak to the female audience about health and wellness. As much as I love Dr.Oz, there are some female-centric health topics that I think come best from a female doctor.
Chris Dessi: Good Day New York or the Today Show?
Roshini Raj MD: Can’t choose, love them both for different reasons.
Chris Dessi: My daughters know that I hate witches. What (if anything) used the scare the hell out of you as a kid?
Roshini Raj MD: Vans. I think I saw a movie about a child being kidnapped in a white van – so for years I would get scared when I saw one.
Chris Dessi: If you weren’t a Doctor, what profession would you have chosen?
Roshini Raj MD: Honestly, I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Chris Dessi: Best Pizza place in NYC?
Roshini Raj MD: Gigino’s in Battery Park City.
Chris Dessi: Craziest place someone has recognized you?
Roshini Raj MD: Security line at the airport – they let me go through the fast lane!
Chris Dessi: Have you ever been in a car accident?
Roshini Raj MD: Knock on wood – never in a serious one. (weird question!)
Chris Dessi: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Roshini Raj MD: Don’t let naysayers discourage you.
Chris Dessi: Do you have a life motto?
Roshini Raj MD: Look on the bright side.
Chris Dessi: What cheers you up?
Roshini Raj MD: hearing my kids laugh
Chris Dessi: What’s your worst vice?
Roshini Raj MD: I love chocolate mousse. I don’t indulge often but when I do – look out!
Chris Dessi: Arrive alive and drive 55, or are you a speed junky?
Roshini Raj MD: Ever since I had kids I am a very paranoid driver, so you will find me in the slow lane.
Take a look at her skincare line Tula.
Hey there, thanks for reading! My name is Chris Dessi. I’m the founder and CEO of Silverback Social. I’m also the founder of the Westchester Digital Summit, and the author of Your World is Exploding: How Social Media is Changing Everything and How You Need to Change With It.
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